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Microsoft takes a shine to Logitech?

Investors eye $8bn takeover claim

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft wants to buy mouse maker Logitech, if investor speculation is to be believed.

At this stage, neither company is commenting on the rumour, though it pushed Logitech's Zurich-traded shares up 12 per cent today, according to Reuters.

The big question is why Microsoft would make such a move. Logitech was once the world's leading mouse manufacturer, but Microsoft has built a solid business of its own, and the growth of Asian manufacturers means Logitech' no longer the pointer powerhouse it once was.

But Logitech doesn't just make mice, and its Harmony universal remote control family might complement what Microsoft is doing to drive demand for Windows Media Center. The software giant might also have taken a shine to Logitech's Squeezebox networked music player operation, gained when it acquired Slim Devices last year.

Squeezebox could fit in with Microsoft's plans for its Zune range, and help it compete more effectively with Apple, though the deal would surely cost it future Mac and Linux customers, all of whom are currently supported thanks to Slim Devices' and now Logitech's commitment to open source software.

Microsoft's bid was alleged to value the takeover at $8bn, enough to make it the company's biggest acquisition yet.

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