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Sounds like a n00bish question, I assume. Oh well...

Okay, I'm not going to ask if Microsoft would sell the rights to any of it's most popular IP (i.e. MSN, SilverLight, Visual Studio, Fable, Xbox, DirectX, etc.) because that's obviously not going to happen. So let's think of something smaller instead. Let's say I wanted to buy the rights to a game Microsoft owns that they don't really use/build upon anymore, such as Ski-Free or Azurik: Rize of Perathia; in general IP that Microsoft doesn't give a crap about. Do you think they would sell it (assuming you fork over enough cash)? If so, do you think they'd only sell it to a big company? I know Microsoft is really strict with their [email protected]#%. What would you say?
 

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Do you think Microsoft would sell any of it's IP?
Unlikely, at least for safeguarding of its own developmental ways. The contrary is the most likely, actually (continual expansion).

The small gaming studios from MS could maybe consider selling unused assets, though going after other studios would probably be more pragmatic (less headaches, and more likely to result in positive transferal of ownership rights and trademark). There are many good games out there that sit underpublicized to have an idea at which brands could be good to have a friendly contact with (indie studios are an easy 'target' for ownership transfers, especially since there is little to no barrier).
 

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Microsoft have a habit of holding onto everything they can, if not to make a profit for themselves, then to prevent competitive companies from taking some of the market share for said particular product. A more likely scenario for them is to outsource the development or to license it to a company, so that they would still see a portion of the profits to be made from that particular IP.
 
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