Because Google has been so successful financially, one tends to think of Microsoft as the underdog these days. It’s not. Microsoft had a huge overall quarter, with revenue of $13.76 billion and profit of $4.29 billion. Vista appears to be selling well, despite mixed to negative reviews. So are Office and Halo 3. The Online Services Business, which houses the Internet business and online advertising, posted a 25 percent revenue gain, boosted by the aQuantive acquisition, at $671 million. But the division saw an operating loss of $264 million.
In this larger context, the $240 million invested in Facebook is really a footnote on a footnote. And Microsoft is perhaps the only one among the current and former suitors of Facebook that could afford to buy the company outright at an outrageous $15 billion if it so chose.