Here are a few suggestions for what else Microsoft could get for $40 billion:
--Hire 40,000 engineers, at $100,000 apiece, for a decade
--Acquire Facebook (estimated to have a market value of $15 billion), along with just about any other meaningful social networking site, including MySpace, Bebo, Hi5 and LinkedIn. There would still be enough money left over to pay some consultants to help with integration.
--Spend eight times more than Google did last year to acquire traffic--and presumably make traffic more pricey for Google, to boot.
--Hire 80 million workers in China to do nothing but click on Microsoft properties and related ads for 10 years.
--Promise a free Big Mac to everyone who clicks on a Microsoft ad--and give away 14 trillion of 'em.