Microsoft Friends Facebook

The Empire now has a new territory: social-networking giant Facebook. The deal reportedly valued Facebook at $15 billion, and ended with an investment of $240 million by Microsoft.

As a result of the partnership, Microsoft will now has an exclusive hold on Facebook's lucrative ad market, and possibly room for new Microsoft applications or Facebook software on Microsoft systems.

The new buddies are remaining tight-lipped about the exact terms of the deal. The little that has been revealed suggests there is a third winner in the situation, but you can bet with Microsoft involved it won't be the users.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.