Microsoft and Twitter CEOs meet publicly, talk secretly

According to a report out of Forbes, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had a breakfast meeting with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo earlier this week in San Francisco. The topic of discussion for this meeting is not known, but it was reportedly more of a business exchange than a social affair. As expected, both Microsoft and Twitter declined to comment on this meeting.

Though Twitter and Microsoft are two very different companies, a partnership or even an acquisition would be beneficial for both businesses. Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services, but its Live services are not as popular as its competitors, especially those of Google. On the other hand, Twitter has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people, but has struggled to formulate a business plan that would monetize its service. A merger or partnership would give Microsoft some tech cred in the world of web communication, while Twitter might finally get some assistance with its long-term revenue goals.

This acquisition rumor, though, may not pan out as Twitter CEO Costolo told AllThingsD that he was not interested in selling the company when he accepted the position of CEO in July 2010, replacing founder Ev Williams. A more likely outcome is a partnership that gives Microsoft access to Twitter's data stream and another outlet for its growing advertising business. Twitter will get a steady infusion of cash and an end to those nagging questions about its revenue plans.

Interestingly enough, this news comes hot on the heels of the revelation that Microsoft tried unsuccessfully to buy Facebook in 2007. The Redmond company reportedly offered Mark Zuckerberg $15 billion dollars and was promptly rejected by the Facebook CEO. Microsoft settled for a $240 million equity stake in Facebook and extended its advertising deals with the social network until 2011.

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44 Comments

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I would definately like to see twitter and WP7 integration. Would be nice. Who cares about all the other stuff.. :-)

"Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services but its Live services are not as popular as ts competitors, especially those of Google"

This is utter NONSENSE. Live Mail (Hotmail) is much more popular than Google's Gmail service, for example! Gmail isn't even in the top two! Office Web Apps beat Docs too. Google leads only in search, but that's old news and it's changing. The rest is myth and corporate spin.

Such rubbish is sadly typical of Neowin and many similar websites, obsessive and hysterical about trendy Google and Apple, while ignorant of the market leader MS. What low standards of journalism. You misinform and propagate popular misconceptions.

(Apologies for the typos and multiposts by my annoying phone, it's Android. )

Tim Acheson - 8 minutes ago"Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services but its Live services are not as popular as ts competitors, especially those of Google"

This is utter NONSENSE. Live Mail (Hotmail) is much more popular than Google's Gmail service, for example! Gmail isn't even in the top two! Office Web Apps beat Docs too. Google leads only in search, but that's old news and it's changing. The rest is myth and corporate spin.

Such rubbish is sadly typical of Neowin and many similar websites, obsessive and hysterical about trendy Google and Apple, while ignorant of the market leader MS. What low standards of journalism. You misinform and propagate popular misconceptions.

(Apologies for the typos and multiposts by my annoying phone, it's Android. )

Lol, blame the phone. You obviously made four distinct posts, it's not just some connection hiccup resulting in multiple posts. Even if you're on a phone theres no excuse for being lazy, you can still fix spelling and should have access to the edit button if your phones browser is decent.

"Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services, but its Live services are not as popular as ts competitors, especially those of Google"

This is utter NONSENSE.

Live Mail (Hotmail) is much more popular than Google's Gmail service, for example! Gmail isn't even in the top two! Office Web Apps beat Docs too. Google leads only in search, but that's old need and it's changing. The rest is myth and corporate spin.

Such rubbish is sadly typical of neowin and many similar websites, obsessive and hysterical about trendy Google and Apple, while ignorant of the market leader MS. What low standards of journalism. You modicom and propagate popular misconceptions.

Tim Acheson said,
"Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services, but its Live services are not as popular as ts competitors, especially those of Google"

This is utter NONSENSE.

Live Mail (Hotmail) is much more popular than Google's Gmail service, for example! Gmail isn't even in the top two! Office Web Apps beat Docs too. Google leads only in search, but that's old need and it's changing. The rest is myth and corporate spin.

Such rubbish is sadly typical of neowin and many similar websites, obsessive and hysterical about trendy Google and Apple, while ignorant of the market leader MS. What low standards of journalism. You modicom and propagate popular misconceptions.

Whilst I agree with you, did it really take 3 posts to make the point?

"Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services, but its Live services are not as popular as ts competitors, especially those of Google"

This is utter NONSENSE.

Live Mail (Hotmail) is much more popular than Google's Gmail service, for example! Gmail isn't even in the top two! Office Web Apps beat Docs too. Google leads in search and that'but that's

"Microsoft has struggled to develop an online presence. It has a wide variety of online services, but its Live services are not as popular as ts competitors, especially those of Google"

This is utter NONSENSE.

Live Mail (Hotmail) is much more popular than Google's Gmail service for example! Gmail which isn't even number two!

haha, all I saw on my screen when reading the first line was

Steve Ballmer had a breakfast meeting with Twitter CEO Dick
immature? yes, funny? not really

Auzeras said,
haha, all I saw on my screen when reading the first line was immature? yes, funny? not really

Some people can have a quick step back from reality and have a little laugh at something that simple. Do we care if it's mature or hilarious? No! Everything in life doesn't have to be all grown up and mature just because we have. Lighten up a bit.

NienorGT said,
Not good... I don't see this as a good thing for users...

Having more integration with MS's Live service and WP7 is bad for users why? It's just twitter, you post little messages and maybe a picture or two.

dhan said,
Live services not as popular as Google? May be in the tech blogger bubble.

You're correct about the Google reference. I was thinking in terms of services like Google search, Google Reader, Google calendar and Google docs, especially the boost these Google services have received from the success of Android.

I redacted the Google part, but the principal stands. MS does trail Yahoo in email, AIM in IM, and Google in search.

Edited by Kelly Hodgkins, Dec 11 2010, 12:54pm :

I hope they're only discussing Twitter platform support for their operating systems. The best part about Twitter is that it's simple and not locked in to Windows.

Northgrove said,
I hope they're only discussing Twitter platform support for their operating systems. The best part about Twitter is that it's simple and not locked in to Windows.

How can a web service be tied to Windows anyways? Talk about jumping the gun here, even if, and I'm not saying this is the case, but even if MS did buy twitter there's no way to tie it to Windows unless you make it a client side only app and then kill the service itself.

GP007 said,

How can a web service be tied to Windows anyways? Talk about jumping the gun here, even if, and I'm not saying this is the case, but even if MS did buy twitter there's no way to tie it to Windows unless you make it a client side only app and then kill the service itself.

Well, look at ICQ: once AOL bought it it became so bloated that became unusable.

Fritzly said,

Well, look at ICQ: once AOL bought it it became so bloated that became unusable.

ICQ needed a client side app to make it work which would make it exactly what GP007 said. ICQ was good and I used it for a long time until it became so bloated that it eventually lost most of it's userbase because of that. Everyone I used to have on my list left for WLM/MSN because of the bloatedness.

wetworker said,
More windows phone 7/windows live and twitter integration.

Probably this. Some integration deal like what they did with FB, now FB is supported all over MS's stuff.

Yeah if anything I'd say it's this is it. I doubt MS would really want to buy twitter...IMHO it's not a competitor to Facebook and trying to treat it as such would destroy twitter without likely impacting Facebook. Maybe I'm short sighted but I'm unsure if theres a lot of money for MS to make out of owning twitter, sure its popular but given they support integration already with everything under the sun, why would MS need to own them themselves?

Targeted advertising would be about it I imagine and even then I think they'd prefer to do a deal similar to what they did with Facebook...maybe buy 5% or something but not the entire company.

warwagon said,
If you can't buy facebook, go for twitter for 1/5000 the price.

MS already in bed with Facebook, office docs, bing search and skydrive along with the rest of Window Live services are getting integrated into FB.

MS pretty much going to envelope google instead of going directly against them.

warwagon said,
If you can't buy facebook, go for twitter for 1/5000 the price.

If Microsoft buys Twitter, than it would make it so "Windows Live" that the service would fail faster.
They should stop calling their products Windows_______ (fill in the blanks). People are just tired of their OS being connected to their online life. DO THEY UNDERSTAND THAT HUMANS GET BORED?????
lol

Luis Mazza said,

If Microsoft buys Twitter, than it would make it so "Windows Live" that the service would fail faster.
They should stop calling their products Windows_______ (fill in the blanks). People are just tired of their OS being connected to their online life. DO THEY UNDERSTAND THAT HUMANS GET BORED?????
lol

This goes for Apple and i____ insert product name.

KickassAMD said,

This goes for Apple and i____ insert product name.

That's not even close. Or Apple would be calling their products Mac OS _______ (insert product name). Thus, what is an I compared to W I N D O W S ?

warwagon said,
If you can't buy facebook, go for twitter for 1/5000 the price.

Show how much you know, Microsoft already owns a percentage of Facebook. Microsoft was one of the original investors in Facebook's foundation.

You need to get out of moms basement once and a great while.