For the first time in its history, Bloomberg reports, Microsoft will sell bonds to the public. The company wants to raise $3.75 billion to buy back shares of its own stock (which has dropped 34% this year) and finance improvements in data centers so that it can better compete with Google's search engine. (I'm no expert, but that one sounds like it's headed the way of the Zune.)
Because the company carries no debt, it's credit ratings are the highest possible--AAA!, says Standard & Poor's--and the returns should better those of federal treasury bonds by .95 to 1.05 percentage points. As a safe money stowaway, it beats mattresses and Uncle Sam.