Journey Down Memory Lane: Microsoft and its Biggest Acquisitions

September 6, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Microsoft’s buying out of Nokia’s devices and services has come as a shock to many out there. But for those who have followed the tech giant in the past years, it wouldn’t seem to be a real surprise.

Ever since Bills Gates handed over the CEO position to Steve Ballmer, the behemoth has swallowed almost 149 companies!

However, share holders are not happy with the recent acquisition. Microsoft’s stock had been knocked down to 4.5 percent after the announcement.

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That makes us trek down memory lane  to find out the earlier acquisitions by Microsoft. In January 2000, Microsoft had purchased American electronics company Visio for $1.375 billion. At that time, it was Microsoft’s largest acquisition. Despite being less popular, Visio is still recognized as the best flowchart software from Microsoft. Currently, this software is a part of Office 365 and has sales of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

When Microsoft decided to buy Navision, a Danish company, it intended to solidify its business management software suite. Together with Great Plains software, Navision became Microsoft’s best business accounting application software.

The purchase was made in July, 2002 for $1.45 billion. Although Microsoft had made some valuable profit at the beginning, it failed miserably later on in the market.

Microsoft’s acquisition of the UK game developer Rare came as a puzzling move for the company. The company had purchased Rare on September 24, 2002 for over $375 million. Initially Rare failed to follow its previous success history, but eventually it started popularity and success by developing Kinect Sports.

Back in March 2007, Microsoft bought Tellme Networks for $800 million. This seemed like a perfect deal for Microsoft, but later the concept of Tellme Networks become irrelevant, due to the growth of mobile web.

On the other hand, it came about as a great deal for Tellme cofounder Mike McCue, who soon after found Flipboard, a social magazine app.
The purchase of aQuantive at August 13, 2007 is believed to be the worst and most expensive by Microsoft.

The company grabbed the aQuantive for over $6.3 billion. While purchasing this online advertising business, Microsoft aimed to compete with Google. Unfortunately, this purchase is considered a huge blunder by the tech giant, causing almost $6.2 billion loss for Microsoft.

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After purchasing Skype in May, 2011, Microsoft integrated it to its Xbox platform. Reportedly, Skype’s market share increased from 13 percent to 34 percent after the purchase.

Moreover, the number of users grew from 27 million to about 50 million. Although, a few critics are still questioning Skype’s profit rates in the long term, Microsoft has managed to prove that it is capable of improving this video chatting system. The company had purchased it for $8.5 billion.

And now it’s the Nokia business. Let’s wait to see what time will tell about this acquisition.

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