Facebook recently announced $10M in grants for startups dedicated to building Facebook apps... MS should publicize their partner marketing like this. Why not give registered developers an opportunity to apply for an MSDN subscription grant? How about giving away Orcas & the Expression suite of tools along with $25k in grant funding and some small biz loans for hardware and software to qualified startups?
I guess there's always Microsoft Financing... $781.00/mo will get you $24,000 in hardware and software currently at a competitive rate of 4.6% interest. Plus you can do the $50/month deal with SmartPay.
I wonder if they do sub-prime?
Microsoft in recent weeks approached Facebook with proposals to invest in the startup that could value the fast-growing site at $10 billion or higher, said people familiar with the matter. If those talks bear fruit, Microsoft could purchase a stake of up to 5% in the closely held startup, at a cost in the range of $300 million to $500 million, the people said.