I don't know anything about what's going on behind the scenes at Microsoft, but if I were there and if I could make it happen, I'd do it yesterday.

I understand that Twitter isn't an engineering miracle.  I understand that it can be somewhat easily replicated.  I understand that similar functionality may be in the works at Microsoft.  I get all of that.  But I still don't agree with Mary Jo Foley's assessment that Microsoft doesn't need Twitter.

Buying Twitter would be a bold move… the exact type of bold move that Microsoft needs to supplement gradual improvements in the advertising team there.  Twitter is growing its user base significantly, and advertisers & corporate brands are paying attention.  A Microsoft acquisition isn't going to negatively affect Twitter's brand, but it will signal to the advertising world that Microsoft is a legitimate and forward-thinking player in internet advertising.  It will also accrue benefits to other Microsoft advertising properties.  It will signal that Microsoft is serious about Internet Advertising.

The $300-$500m price tag that Twitter would reportedly fetch is a drop in the bucket for Microsoft in the realm of acquisitions.  It's *really* a drop in the bucket relative to all the money Microsoft will likely spend in coming years to buy a single point of market share at a time.  But perhaps most importantly, there are not many chances to acquire innovative, fast-growing companies in Internet Marketing… certainly not on the scale of Twitter.  This is a winner-take-all game.  The buyer of Twitter wins the battle in consumer real-time messaging, search, and associated advertising.  That's a big deal especially when it also results in a net loss for all other major players in the Internet Advertising business.

If I'm Microsoft, I find a way to get it done and NOW.