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Microsoft Acquisition Ups and Downs

Microsoft doesn't make the kind of blockbuster acquisitions Oracle and HP are famous for. Instead, Redmond focuses on more tactical buys.

Writer and former analyst Matt Rosoff looked at 15 companies Microsoft bought since 1992 to see what happened afterwards.

Some, like WebTV, saw its technology simply overtaken for much cooler stuff. Others, like Groove, didn't turn into much besides the spending $100 million to get Microsoft a Bill Gates replacement for about five years.

Here are the three best buys in my mind: Hotmail is a worthy competitor to Gmail, and as far as I know, doesn't invade one's privacy like Google does (correct me if I'm wrong at [email protected]). Great Plains gave Microsoft its first foot in the ERP door, and Navision gave it a second. Both products are maturing and popular in the mid-market.

Microsoft is sitting on about $40 billion in cash, so it can do almost anything it wants. Who should Ballmer buy and why? Vote at [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on 03/14/2011 at 1:18 PM


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