How many times in the dozens of acquisitions that Microsoft has made has there been any advance rumor? Answer? Never, at least to my knowledge.
I have been on the far outside periphery of two of their recent acquisitions, Sybari and Giant Company. The secrecy surrounding these acquisitions rivals the internal machinations of the NSA. So secretive, in fact, that they didn’t contact Giant’s closest partner (Sunbelt) prior to the acquisition of Giant Company (which we do understand).
One of our speculations is that the rumor is a trial balloon, done only to quell an internal debate at Microsoft. Maybe this one was leaked on purpose. There were internal battles in MS about the idea of buying Claria, and someone internally said “let’s leak this, and see what the audience reaction is”. In other words, are they just testing the waters?
Or, quite possibly, it’s pure fiction. I really can’t get my mind around why Microsoft would want to buy a company that makes software that generates pop-ups.