From a competitive position, it would be major trouble to remove Bing from the deep pockets of Microsoft. Talk of the business being potentially sold to Facebook when that company needs to focus on fighting Google+ makes little sense. There are few other strong software companies beyond Oracle and Salesforce who I think could do a better job with Bing than Microsoft.
But like I said in May, Microsoft is doing as much as can be expected with Bing.
We know Marc Benioff loves Google so count them out of such a purchase – and Oracle, no fan of Microsoft or Google probably doesn’t need the headache or the money-losing business as it is doing fine right now, thank you.
Microsoft has to continue to make Bing better while simultaneously forging stronger relationships with companies who are competing with Google. Facebook and Twitter are two obvious ones – perhaps LinkedIn is another company to work very closely with.
You see as long as Google is a dominant player in so many spaces, Microsoft can play the underdog position and work with all the companies they want. And US and EU regulators won’t be able to say much about these deals.
This is more or less what Oracle did – it rolled up the CRM and other corporate software markets under the cover of competing with the Microsoft monopoly.