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For Microsoft, Facebook May Not Be Enough

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Investing decisions are made from a mosaic of data, yet synthesizing what matters can be tough. Enter the Fool poll. We show you the Big Headlines, and you tell us what's factoring into your investing decisions and help your fellow Fools in the process.

Is Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) planning its own social network? It's possible. Yesterday, unearthed a landing page at that's operated by Mr. Softy's research team.

"With Tulalip, you can find what you need to know and share what you know easier than ever," read the page before the mockup was taken down, replaced by a wide-screen apology for posting ‘Tulalip’ before it was ready.

No one's saying exactly what the project is, but sign-in buttons for Twitter and Facebook suggest that it could be a TweetDeck rival for broadcasting to and culling from multiple social networks. Or maybe CEO Steve Ballmer finally took my advice and commissioned a team to create a social search engine to complement Bing.

Whatever Tulalip is, it seems Ballmer isn't content to merely partner with Facebook. Given the early enthusiasm for Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) latest social effort, Google+, I understand why.

Yet now may not be the time to stand alone when it comes to social media. Facebook is a great partner with a big moat filled by its relationship with social-gaming superstar Zynga. Why not do more to bring Facebook into Office 365?

Or if nothing else, learn from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and (NYSE: CRM  ) . One -- Apple -- introduced a social network because it could and quickly saw it go nowhere (i.e., Ping). The other -- -- introduced a social network to enhance its business and won customers as a result (i.e., Chatter).

Be careful where you go with this, Mr. Softy, or Tulalip could end up giving you a bloody lip. Do you agree? Disagree? Please vote in the poll below and then weigh in using the comments box below. You can also add Microsoft to your watchlist for up-to-date analysis on the stock as soon as it's published.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and shorting Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (3)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2011, at 9:06 AM, techy46 wrote:

    Social media, like all other internet applications, has it's cons and pros. It's currently a generational thing like all fads. Once it becomes passe the silver bullet will joing the rest of the technological wonders. Microsoft is a software company and should be very careful at staying such. They can partner with any number of social media services but should not own one outright. All social media services must live or die by advertising revenue and that's definitely not Microsoft's strenght.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2011, at 11:04 AM, jpdal09 wrote:

    Having both a facebook and g+ account, I would love to see microsoft devolpe something that would intigrate a multitude of social media like facebook, twitter, google+ and the like to make something where I could check all of these accounts at once. That way they get into the social media game without running the bigger risk of creating a flop.

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