The latest rumor relating to the Redmondians is Microsoft is contemplating some kind of acquisition or merger with AOL.
As much as I (and many others inside and outside Microsoft and Yahoo) thought a Microsoft buy of Yahoo made little sense, a Microsoft-AOL tie-up seemingly makes even less.
With Yahoo, Microsoft at least was set to get Yahoo's search share (and/or to take the second biggest search vendor out of the equation). But what would Redmond gain by buying AOL? I am guessing that the Microsoft dealmakers are rationalizing the idea by claiming the AOL online properties would give Microsoft and its adCenter advertisers more potential ad real estate.
But what else would Microsoft get from an AOL acquisition? Are there AOL sites and services that don't overlap with MSN.com and the various Windows Live ones that I am overlooking? Is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer going to cite potential "backend-infrastructure synergies" or "brain trust" rationalizations for an AOL purchase, like he originally did a Yahoo one?
Other theories and rants welcome in the Talkbacks.
Me? I think Microsoft is doing everything in its power right now to mess with Yahoo. And if Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang is talking to Time Warner/AOL, Ballmer is going to do his best to thwart any kind of deal his nemesis might try to forge.