Thinking more about Microsoft's recent announcements and the fact they seem to be back playing "own-the-infrastructure" again, perhaps we should pay more attention to Cringley's theory of the Yahoo bid.
Could they be this Machiavellian? Is it all about simply disrupting Yahoo as a rival while syphoning off talent and ideas? All the while, the real game is against Adobe to own the Rich Interface Application protocols? Eventually, of course, leading to the evolution of Office into the main client for cloud-based applications? (Routing round the browser and Google etc.)
Of course it can't work. I mean, Microsoft have been failing to get their act together to do this for the last 12 years or so. But M$ are now under new, allegedly smarter, management. They may finally be figuring this out. A Microsoft who get sociality, YASN-as-platforms, clouds, services etc. and who are quick and agile enough to bring their massive developer and user bases to it, are going to be formidable.
Platform-wars-wise things are getting very crazily interesting.