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Report: Microsoft may still consider a run at TikTok if the Oracle deal fails

TikTok logo
TikTok logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok is a hip and happenin' social network that is positively rad with gen-Z kids.
  • The US government is, however, unhappy that TikTok's data is stored in China.
  • To that end, the previous administration forced TikTok to do a deal with a US-based cloud provider, Oracle.
  • The new Biden administration, however, may cancel that deal in favor of another company.
  • Fox Business sources reckon Microsoft may still have a chance to land the deal instead.

Well, this is one story that doesn't seem to want to die. According to sources speaking to Fox Business, Microsoft may be gearing up to have another crack at TikTok, which is still pursuing a hosting deal with US-based cloud provider Oracle.

In case you missed last summer's drama, the former US presidential administration forced TikTok's US operations to enter into a cloud provision deal with a US-based provider. This was over general privacy and national security concerns, given that TikTok's parent company ByteDance is based in China.

Initially, Microsoft was supposedly the frontrunner in the deal with the global phenomenon known as TikTok, where people share short creative videos full of memes, dancing, and other hip and cool trends I'm too old to understand. Regardless, Microsoft wanted a slice of this extremely lucrative pie, given that TikTok is already one of the largest social networks on Earth, with truly wild profitability, owing to in-line ads and a very clever content delivery algorithm. Unfortunately for Redmond, Microsoft's bid failed to materialize, with competing cloud provider Oracle sweeping into the front-runner status. However, that may be about to change.

Tiktok Surface Duo 2020 Lede

Source: Windows Central TikTok on a Surface Duo, showcased by our super cool Exec Editor Daniel Rubino, who is a well-known TikTok fan. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

According to sources speaking to Fox Business, the deal with Oracle is in danger of falling through. The new Biden administration in the US is supposedly unhappy with the deal, given that Oracle's CTO, Larry Ellison, is reportedly a personal friend of Donald Trump. According to said reports, the Biden administration is also skeptical of the deal due to the "heavy-handed" nature of how it was handled last year. Banking sources speaking to Fox Business seem confident that Microsoft may attempt to re-enter the deal, if Oracle is deemed unsuitable for approval.

Microsoft isn't exactly a tour de force in the social media space. The firm owns LinkedIn, which is a leader in employment and business-oriented social networking. And Xbox Live boasts tens of millions of users, complete with messaging and mild sharing capabilities. However, Microsoft's mishandling of Skype and other consumer-oriented products has seen its social authority wane immensely over the last few years. Microsoft wouldn't necessarily be in control of TikTok as a service as a result of this deal, but it may gain some valuable insights as a result of hosting the network in the US.

Either way, this is another bizarre twist in the TikTok tale which is unlikely to end any time soon. Now if you'll pardon me, I'm off to practice some cool TikTok dances.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

17 Comments
  • I hope Microsoft gets it.
  • And it kill it. TikTok is a horrible useless platform.
  • If making billions in revenue makes it a "horrible useless platform" then I want to know where I can get a "horrible useless platform" of my own!
  • Hope so too
  • I trust Fox for all of my news.
  • You should really get multiple points of view.
  • That's cool, but I would also check other sources too. You want to get as many sources as possible so you are best informed, not influenced like most people who watch mainstream news 😊
  • But know the difference between tabloids and true journalism. It isn't as obvious these days.
  • The degree of sarcasm is not always immediately appreciated in the comments!
  • Right? It was pretty obvious, I thought.
  • To be fair, even Windows Central does more accurate reporting than CNN and Fox. Legacy new networks wonder why places like this are more trusted, it's one thing to have a bias or point of view, but altering videos and such is too far. At least WC doesn't selectively edit content to push any narratives.
  • Awesome Jez, your wording and flow for this article is truly awesome, keep up the good work! I love reading news that's informative and makes me chuckle, thanks!
  • It's better than buying Pinterest, but that's like saying Monster Truck racing is better than Nascar. Why social media, Microsoft? You were doing so well...
  • If they get a piece of TikTok, does that mean they would own some important IP they would then integrate into Azure/Teams? I know Cortana is dead as a consumer service, but I get the strange feeling that it leaves in Azure services for large enterprises. I recently went through a voice activated digital assistant with Georgia Power. It was flawless in getting me to the right place to pay a bill for the right account. There were no "I am sorry. Can you repeat that?"
  • Slightly ironic that Microsoft got the JEDI deal in part because Trump hated Jeff Bezos and now they might get the TikTok deal because Trump likes Larry Ellison.
  • A lot of innuendos and assumptions in this article with quite a sizeable hearsay making it hard to figure out factual take away of this article.
  • Noooooooooooooooooooo! Let it go.