Microsoft could end up swapping their search engine, Bing, for Facebook shares after the upcoming Facebook IPO. This news comes from a news editor at CNBD where they let details slide that Microsoft could be doing the swap. The source hasn't been revealed, and it is reportedly from the anonymously authored Kindle e-book that has just come out called "The Facebook IPO Pitch".
Just last week Microsoft purchased 800 patents from AOL which could be used to protect its Partner, Facebook, from social networking litigation. We already know that Microsoft and Facebook are in bed together, so this makes sense. On top of that, Facebook and Skype collaboration is playing into this fight, with Microsoft owning Skype and all.
At the moment Microsoft are bleeding cash from Bing, big time: $2.5 billion a year to be exact. Facebook already sports Bing for its results in search, but a full ownership of the search engine could help Facebook integrate Bing much deeper into its social networking site. This year is definitely turning out to be very interesting for both Microsoft and Facebook.