The new outlets that are reporting the story are all linking to this story that is:
Rumour: Microsoft to buy Second Life - Linden Lab goes on sale as UK office shuts down, quietly | TechEye
But the TechEye story only has as its source a Tweet by @Tizzers and though Tizzer seems not to be some kind of hack, he does have some bad blood with Linden Lab and his post was simply that he heard from someone that Microsoft was silently offering to buy Linden Labs.
My day job is working with Microsoft technology, and Linden Labs entire approach simply does not link up. Linden Labs has produced Open Sourced products, that run on Linux servers with Apache web servers against MySQL databases. Any purchase would mean the product being moved to closed source on ASP.NET with Windows and SQL. But I don't think you can build a Microsoft Grid to scale. So would Microsoft keep it first major move in to this area on Open Source platforms?
And precisely what would it do with it? One could say that it would trump Sony tyring to make Home but is Home really a threat to XBOX? The XBOX is the ultimate mass killing machine and it is kind of hard to see people going in to a world to interact and dance and make nice friends in say a Steam Punk community. And beyond XBOX is is hard to see Linden Labs technology mixing in with the Unified Communications strategy of Microsoft. One thing it would do is would give Microsoft a virtual world strategy, actually make it the leader over night. Also by buying it they would prevent IBM or Google from getting it, but those do not seem like good enough reasons.
I guess you can't imagine a more non-Microsoft place.