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Michael Dell (Wikipedia photo)

Now, here’s one of the more interesting stories of the day. CNBC’s David Faber is reporting that Microsoft may invest between $1 billion and $3 billion in Dell as part of the computer maker’s plan to go private.

The investment would be a huge bet by Microsoft in one of its critical PC maker partners — perhaps giving it more control over the future of how personal computers are built and sold. Shares of Dell are up more than two percent on the news, with Dell now boasting a market value of $22 billion.

Private equity firm Silver Lake is reportedly in talks to buy Dell, with a deal in the $13 to $14 per share range potentially occurring as early as this week. Faber said the companies are still in negotiations.

Microsoft has used its huge cash pile to make strategic investments in the past, including deals with Nokia, Comcast and Facebook.

Could Dell be next?

Faber said it could be a “significant” move on Microsoft’s part, and may not necessarily translate into an equity stake. Microsoft has an earnings call set for Thursday, so maybe we’ll get the work later this week.

“(Microsoft) certainly has a lot at stake to make sure that (Dell) does well, because of course it sells an awful lot of software into those computers,” said Faber.

And what sort of financial impact would a $1 billion to $3 billion deal mean for Microsoft? Take this into consideration: It had $66.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at the end of September 2012.

Here’s more from CNBC’s Faber.


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