The executives at Microsoft want a big deal, they realize they are missing out on the Internet. The companies web presence is small and actually dropping. They have come to the conclusion that throwing money at internal projects won't work, they are too far behind the curve. So they think they need to buy somebody.

But so far they have not had much success. The companies that are successful in the Internet market are avoiding Microsoft. Thus they have only been able to buy up a few small and marginal startups.

Worse, as Microsoft internal development has degenerated into a huge death march, it has become increasingly hard for them to integrate anything they do get.