Far-fetched as the story sounds, it is lent a little credence by the fact that Microsoft has shown interest in several cable operators to bolster its plans to make interactive television a reality. The firm spent $425 million to buy WebTV Networks last year.
However, there would be little natural 'fit' between the pair and even for Microsoft's cavernous pockets BT would cost an enormous sum.
A more plausible rumour suggests AT&T as a potential purchaser of BT. Telecommunications companies are rushing to boost the size of their enterprises in anticipation of big demand for interactive services and Internet growth.