Microsoft Raising Debt... To Buy Yahoo? SAP? RIM?

Microsoft (MSFT) is selling bonds for the first time today, the WSJ reports. While Microsoft has more than $25 billion in cash, it could potentially raise $15 billion in bonds, one investor told the WSJ.

Microsoft says it plans to use the money for general corporate purposes, according to the WSJ, “including working capital, capital expenditures, and repurchases of its capital stock.”

But could it also be planning a big deal?

Of course, one deal it might make is to try (again) to buy Yahoo (YHOO). Microsoft has recently said it’s focusing on a search/ad deal instead of an outright acquisition, but anything’s possible. Yahoo is certainly cheaper now than it would have been 17 months ago — though shares are up 4% today, likely on the news of Microsoft’s bond sale.

Microsoft could have other targets. Business software maker SAP (SAP) has long been a possible Microsoft acquisition. And then there’s BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM), which would instantly make Microsoft a very powerful player in the mobile industry, where many believe computing is headed.

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