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Microsoft to Buy Palm?

There seems to be an increasing drumbeat for Microsoft Corp. to hang it up on Windows Mobile and just buy Palm Inc..

Goodness knows Microsoft has had a struggle getting traction for Windows Mobile, and Palm has been bleeding for several quarters prior to the launch of the Palm Pre, so it would be an affordable “get.” That said, Palm now has the aforementioned buzzfest of a handset to bring to the table along with the new webOS which has critics raving. So why not?

George Kurian, vice president at Tradition Capital Management LLC (a MSFT shareholder), told MarketWatch that the easiest way for Microsoft to take on Apple and get a piece of the high-end smartphone action would be to buy it, in the form of Palm.

He’s not the only one, as the source article, below, points out: “Microsoft might pay tens of billions of dollars for Yahoo; it could pick up Palm instead for just $1 billion or $2 billion and then spend several hundred million more on transforming the Pre’s user interface into a mobile OS that can run on phones made by multiple vendors,” Farhad Manjoo wrote in Slate back in January.

But does it make sense? Perhaps on paper. But abandoning Windows Mobile would be a cultural shift of radical proportions for the software giant. And it’s clear from the Zune experiment that hardware is not a core strength. Hmm.

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