The company's S-1 lays the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings of the year, second only to Uber's IPO in May. It's also...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
Trump's tweet comes a day after Apple put out a press release describing the money it spends on U.S.-based suppliers and vendors.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
President Donald Trump held a call on Wednesday with the CEOs of three major U.S. banks, according to people with knowledge of the situation.Marketsread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
Some Weight Watchers loyalists applaud Kurbo by WW. But nutritionists worry Kurbo promotes an unhealthy relationship with food during an especially impressionable time.Health and Scienceread more
Benefits from what President Trump called "the biggest reform of all time" to the tax code have dwindled to a faint breeze just 20 months after its enactment, writes John...Politicsread more
Epstein, 66, was found in his cell in Manhattan federal lockup Saturday morning and transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.Politicsread more
Air travelers faced delays at U.S. airports on Friday afternoon after a computer issue snarled processing of international arrivals.Airlinesread more
Daniel Povey, a professor who was fired by Johns Hopkins University, said he will no longer go work at Facebook after the company asked him to work as a contractor while it...Technologyread more
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has made some bold moves since taking over the world's largest software company last year. But nothing like a $50 billion-plus acquisition.
At least one analyst sees it as a real possibility.
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter, that Salesforce.com hired financial advisors upon being approached by potential buyers. While much of the speculation immediately turned to rival Oracle, Alex Zukin of investment bank Stephens says Microsoft makes the most sense.
Nadella has made cloud computing his No. 1 priority as CEO, and even projected at a company conference this week that Microsoft could reach $20 billion in cloud revenue by 2018, up from a current annualized rate of $6.3 billion. The centerpiece of growth is Azure, the cloud hosting platform that competes with Amazon Web Services.
Read MoreCramer's call on Salesforce
Microsoft and Salesforce tightened their relationship in December, making it easier to run Salesforce on Windows Mobile phones and in Office. Owning Salesforce would enable Nadella to control the entire cloud suite.
"Microsoft is trying to be the operating system across business, consumer and the Internet of Things, " said Zukin, who has an "overweight" rating on Salesforce and doesn't officially cover Microsoft or Oracle. "They have the platform and productivity apps, but they really don't have the killer enterprise app. "
Salesforce shares jumped 12 percent to $74.65 on Wednesday after the report surfaced, lifting the San Francisco-based company's stock market value close to $49 billion. The stock was down more than 3.5 percent midmorning Thursday. Microsoft is valued at $397 billion and Oracle is worth $195 billion.
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, declined to comment, as did representatives from Microsoft and Oracle.
Zukin doesn't see Benioff, who spent much of his career at Oracle before starting Salesforce in 1999, selling to his former employer and longtime competitor "unless something was really wrong."
Analysts at Canaccord Genuity and FBR Capital Markets disagree.
"Oracle is the most logical buyer in our opinion," wrote Canaccord's Richard Davis, who recommends buying Salesforce shares. "Larry Ellison could be looking for a CEO heir-apparent and he may prefer Benioff to lead the firm rather than the joint head combination of Mark Hurd and Safra Catz. "
Davis added that snapping up Salesforce could "turbocharge" Oracle's cloud business, which only amounts to about 4 percent of total revenue.
Dan Ives, an analyst at FBR, wrote that Oracle is "desperate to establish itself as a leader in the cloud," and could easily integrate with Salesforce because of the tight technical and management relationships.
As for other potential acquirers, there aren't many in the U.S. that are big enough. Among technology companies only Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and IBM, along with Microsoft and Oracle, have the available market cap.
Then again, there may be no deal at all.