Besides the ads revenue, I don't think Microsoft and Google are interested in the social network itself as it is today, if you read "network" as "group of people connected because of some common interest, whatever it is". They're interested in the future of Facebook, where what are currently your "profile" and your "groups" could become your desktop and your shared connected apps. Where widgets will allow users to do much more than posting notes, photos, and twitter-style mini-messages. Because, no, I don't see ANY KIND of value in notes, photo galleries and twitter-style messages. The future of Facebook is clearly connected apps and shared documents. Something much more google-ish than it is today.

Remember the old Sun Microsystems motto ? "The network is the computer" ? In fact no. The network is the person. Connect the people, don't care about the computers because computers are just a tool, the value is in what people do with the tools, not in the tools themselves. One hundred thousand more users per day ? *MUST* be cool ! *MUST* be valuable ! Eh.

Don't misunderstand me please : I am just thinking at loud here. Unfortunately for Facebook, you still need to boot a computer and for most of people Windows, to launch a browser and reach Facebook. The easiness factor has an intrinsic limitation :-)

The funny thing about Google being interested in Facebook is the following one : they have Orkut... Well, they had Orkut in fact. Because Orkut never reached the fame of Facebook outside of Brazil (where you're an hermit if you don't have an Orkut account) and was never improved to the point it could become the basis, the platform for something closer to a desktop.

Parakey is probably a key here, isn't it Blake ?