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Microsoft Hanging With Losers

Nokia just saw its stock reach junk status. Yahoo goes through CEOs faster than Egypt goes through parliaments. And Barnes & Noble has been looking for a lifeline for the last two years.

What do these three companies have in common? They are all critical Microsoft partners.

Redmond's back-page columnist is scratching her head, wondering why Microsoft picks these guys first when any other player would choose them last.

Not only are all these in decline, none have the resources to mount a decent fight. For Nokia, the battle is smartphones -- and the iPhone and Android devices are no slouches.

Yahoo is the search/Internet partner, and Googe ain't exactly going to lay down.

So what about Barnes & Noble. Who's it taking on? Just little 'ol Amazon. No sweat.

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/11/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 oakcool World

All this companies have one or more thing that MS does not have, and it would cost a lot to develop. YAHOO, own a lot of patents, and they do have a market share, and a bunch of little services that no one has, the search part is the smallest of the win they get with a partnership. NOKIA, was once had the biggest market share in the world, they have patents just as well, and they make phones, and MS does not. B & N, well, they also have some stuff that MS did not have, like a reader, they have some internet market and some of the business know how. MS has the technology that all of those might need, and also is much cheaper to acquire something when its down then when its up. If we look historically, MS has invested always in companies that are small or down. Ex: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google (I think), Marvel, and a whole bunch more. I think that its a little weird, that although MS own a part on all this companies, they still invest in similar companies, so in the end they are maintaining all the "enemies" (although all share a little with MS) alive. It almost seem like that they want the enemies to always exist so there is always a chaotic environment.

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 JohnCz

I hardly consider the B&N deal to be in the same league as the others...this was more of litigation settlement / patent deal than a platform deal. Nokia actually has a pretty good chance to come out of their funk next year with their upcoming device lineup.

Thu, Jul 12, 2012 Soup

Not buying the previous 2 comments, despite the fact. This topic is different - Microsoft did not partner with Apple. They just "donated" some cash and both companies went their way. The current topic relates to Microsoft having tied a portion of itself to these 3 companies.

Wed, Jul 11, 2012 Deva Wijewickrema


Wed, Jul 11, 2012 Hari Narayanan

Late nineties, Microsoft threw a lifeline of a few hundred million dollars to a loser, a nearly bankrupt desktop computer manufacturer whose proprietary hardware and O/S were being taken to lunch by the PCs. One guess for you to tell whicmopany it was.

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