bill-gatesBack in February, Facebook announced that they would be acquiring WhatsApp, an instant messaging app for mobile devices. The deal was valued at $19 billion and safe to say that many were shocked by this news, along with how much Facebook was willing to pay for it.

So far we have only heard that Facebook is the only company that might have made a bid for the company, but apparently it seems that Microsoft was close to making a deal themselves as well, thanks to a recent interview that Bill Gates did with the Rolling Stone magazine.

In the interview, the interviewer mentioned Google’s rumored interest in WhatsApp, to which Gates responded by saying, “Yeah, yeah. Microsoft was willing to buy it, too. . . . I don’t know if it was for $19 billion, but the company’s extremely valuable.” We have to agree with Gates’ assessment of the company, especially given that WhatsApp is a competitor to Microsoft’s Skype platform as far as instant messaging is concerned.

It’s interesting that the interviewer mentioned Google because according to earlier rumors, it was suggested that Google themselves wanted to make a bid for the company as well. In fact the rumors suggested that Google was so interested that they were willing to give WhatsApp money to inform them if they had received any potential bids.

However the rumor was then dismissed by Google’s Sundar Pichai who revealed at MWC 2014 that Google had never made an offer to WhatsApp. Well we guess as far as money is concerned, WhatsApp made a good choice at going with Facebook, especially since based on Gates’ comments that they would not have paid that much to begin with.

What do you guys think? Do you think that Microsoft could potentially do a much better job at managing and leveraging WhatsApp to their advantage compared to Facebook?

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