MS+Facebook10-07 - Microsoft bests Google in the Facebook...

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Microsoft bests Google in the Facebook race Social networking site had been wooed by both Internet giants. Now Microsoft will invest $240 million in the upstart company, which is now valued at $15 billion. By Joseph Menn and Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers October 25, 2007 MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. -- Microsoft Corp. emerged Wednesday with a rare triumph over archrival Google Inc., winning the right to invest in Facebook Inc. in a deal that valued the social networking upstart at a staggering $15 billion. Microsoft is betting that online social networking is the marketing platform of the future, letting advertisers narrowly target their brands to people who group themselves around such affinities as the Lakers or French cooking. Best known for its Windows and Office software, Microsoft is trying to become an advertising giant by snapping up Web marketers and partnering with fast-growing sites such as Facebook, which now boasts nearly 50 million active users. Facebook was founded in a Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago. Now No. 2 in social networking sites behind MySpace, it has become the tech debutante of the year -- the hottest company inside the hottest Internet trend. The company attracts as much Silicon Valley attention as search- engine king Google itself, largely because Facebook allows thousands of programmers to add features that help its users update one another on their every move and thought. The investment should make it easier for Facebook to recruit staff, buy smaller companies or sell shares to the public. "This gives Facebook the war chest to compete against whoever might
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MS+Facebook10-07 - Microsoft bests Google in the Facebook...

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