Microsoft does NOT want to buy the New York Times. Got that? Not that the Times is for sale, per se — at least to our knowledge. So perhaps the larger point Steve Ballmer was trying to make outside the McGraw-Hill building yesterday is that Microsoft has no interest in investing in what newspapers have to offer (even as newspapers are trying to figure out for themselves what exactly it is they have to offer).
It’s no secret Microsoft is trying to overhaul its approach to the Internet — not to mention sort out its on-again, off-again relationship with Yahoo. So, what does that overhaul include if not the NYT? ZDNet reports that they company is “working on a ‘set change’ in how it approaches search on the Internet, code-named Kumo.com. Exclusive high-quality news, behind a registration or pay wall, could distinguish either a refashioned search business or its Web portal.” Whether this includes Yahoo is unclear, what it won’t include, apparently is newspapers no matter how cheap their share price is.