Microsoft has started talks with Time Warner to buy its AOL subsidiary. AOL, formerly America Online, has emerged as an alternative for the software giant which, in results reported last week, recorded a net profit of Â£2.2bn in April-to-June but lost around Â£445m from its online advertising division. Silicon Valley insider Henry Blodget said a team from Time Warner/AOL met executives at Microsoft's Seattle headquarters last Tuesday. "The two have talked many times before. But this is reportedly the closest the companies have come to a deal so far," said Blodget. "It sounds as though Microsoft is now working more diligently on a Plan B."