Microsoft Supports Facebook With More Than Just Money

Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) $240 million investment in Facebook (FB) in 2007 has become about more than just money. As Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) tries to move in on Facebook’s social media monopoly with Google+, Microsoft has Facebook’s back. Some have said that Google+ might be a more attractive social media site because of the network of services that Google offers and how it is able to share user data among them. Microsoft is helping Facebook keep up the pace by filling in some of those services that Facebook lacks.

Microsoft’s Bing search engine is one example of the company’s symbiotic relationship with Facebook. When you search on Bing, Facebook’s “like” link pops up next to each result. When you search for a specific person on the search engine, your results might include data about the person from their Facebook page. Facebook’s relationship with Microsoft is also helping the company to answer to Google’s document capabilities within Google+. EWeek.com reports that FUSE Labs, owned by Microsoft, has launched Docs.com, a service that will allow Facebook users to create and share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents with .PDF support and full-text search.

EWeek.com’s Nicholas Kolakowski sums up the Facebook vs. Google match-up well as he writes, “Combined, that gives Microsoft and Facebook a search engine, social network and cloud-productivity hub to battle Google’s assets in those areas. Granted, Bing trails Google in search-engine market share, and Docs.com (still in beta) is unlikely to run roughshod over Google Apps. However, Facebook won’t have to fight Google entirely alone.”

Here’s how these stocks closed the week:

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): MSFT shares recently traded at $30.50, down $0.27, or 0.88%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.65 to $30.80. Volume today was 44,606,751 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 54,496,000 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.05, while trailing earnings are $2.76 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $605.91, down $5.55, or 0.91%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $670.25. Volume today was 2,325,443 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,989,930 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.36, while trailing earnings are $29.76 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com