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Microsoft’s moves in social space

More obvious this week were Microsoft’s plans for the social Web both mobile and fixed. CEO Steve Ballmer said in a keynote at the mobile phone industry’s (CTIA’s) big fall 2007 trade show in San Francisco that the mobile phone is becoming “the universal remote control for your life” (see this CNET blog post). That’s becoming true especially for teenagers, who already move fluidly from computer to phone to “real life” when they socialize, whether they’re talking, texting, blogging, commenting, or sharing music, photos and video – and mobiles are simply the most handy, portable device to enable all that social self-expression. Microsoft right now appears to be focusing more on the business (“enterprise”) mobile market, but it certainly gets the importance of mobile devices going forward. The company also announced this week it would pay $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, beating out similar bids from Yahoo and Google. This probably won’t affect young Facebook users much. It just says something about the current value and possible staying power of social networking on the Web. “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks prescient for refusing to sell the Palo Alto startup to Yahoo for an estimated $1 billion last year. Wednesday’s deal sets the worth of the 23-year-old, who owns a 20 percent share, at an estimated $3 billion,” the Chronicle adds.

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