“Inventory” ballmer era, Microsoft major acquisitions of gain and loss

since Microsoft in the 1987 acquisition of a small software, and turn it into Power Point, Microsoft began a series of small firms to buy plan of its own. Since Steve ballmer in 2000, after took the baton from gates in Microsoft’s acquisition activities are more frequent. According to statistics, from 2005 to 2008, the software giant acquisition of companies of more than 10 every year. Only in the year 2006, it created the new acquisitions in Microsoft’s history records, scored 18 companies at a stretch. In Mr Ballmer 13 years at the helm, Microsoft swallowed a total of 149 companies.

the CEO Steve ballmer helplessly announced plans to step down within a year after Microsoft’s market value has risen by $18 billion. When the giant $7.2 billion deal to buy nokia devices and services department, Wall Street is almost empty overwhelmingly sing this behavior. After just one night, Microsoft’s $16.6 billion market value.

although we can’t see Microsoft’s future development after the acquisition of nokia, but history allows us to determine the bid is an adventure or a turning point. The following arrangement for you in recent years, several relatively large acquisition of Microsoft.

1. Visio

company: a Visio

purchase price: $1.375 billion

date of acquisition: on January 7, 2000,

market evaluation: effectively support the development of Office, value

this is the most expensive when Microsoft’s history of acquisitions at a time. Microsoft nearly $1.4 billion in stock exchange, bought the chart software company. Visio of the fourth generation of software, it is specially for Windows 95 Microsoft Office development.

although in 14 years later, still very few people know this software, can be Visio did appear in the Office early in the product list. Now, as a part of Office 365, the software can sell millions of copies each year.

2. Navision

buy companies: Navision

purchase price: $1.45 billion

buy date: July 11, 2002

market assessment: the greater the hope, the greater the disappointment

Microsoft in 2001 to $1.1 billion for the Great Plains accounting Software company Software company (Plains Software), Microsoft set up a separate Microsoft Business Solutions unit. In order to further strengthen their share in European business management software market, Microsoft attracts the Navision, a Danish enterprise management software company with $1.45 billion into its ranks. However, the performance of this company is much less than the expected. Results in 2008, Microsoft in enterprise management software market share of only came fourth, behind the SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle.

3. Rare

company: a Rare

purchase price: $375 million

buy date: September 24, 2002

market evaluation: despite the bumpy ride, promising

shortly after Microsoft launched the Xbox video games, it chooses to purchase a British game developers is Rare. Rare at that time with a “frog” battle (Battletoads), gold eye 007 (Goldeneye 007) and “big gold Country” (Donkey Kong Country) and so on several classic games, and popular in the world.

who know, after the acquisition of Rare string a few game sequel, did not go to the attention of the market. At that time a lot of people are forecast, it will be like a Massive, as Microsoft has a failed acquisition. (translator note: Microsoft bought for $280 million, 2006 in-game advertising (in – game advertising) company is Massive, but the built-in advertising business has not been developed, Microsoft last year shut down the unit.)

however, due to the Rare developed a popular device Sports, it once again return to the public eye. Microsoft’s device body feeling game in 2010, which have achieved great popularity, which to a certain extent, save the reputation of the Rare.

4. Tellme Networks

buy companies: Tellme Networks

purchase price: $800 million

date of acquisition: on March 14, 2007,

market evaluation: a sidetrack acquisition

Tellme Networks is a company that provides query phone business. Through the free voice calls, the user can like using a search engine, the query information such as stocks, weather. Microsoft was going to through the service, to the enterprise market penetration, but with the advent of the era of mobile Internet, category is rich, powerful application allows the service into old tools. Such as apple’s Siri and Google Google Now, on the basis of the powerful data support, the function of automatic speech recognition.

however, for the company’s co-founder Mike McCue, the acquisition is not only for him to make a fortune, but also let he established connections with kleiner perkins caufield & byers and vc. Since then, he co-founded with others unique social magazine.

5. AQuantive

buy companies: aQuantive

purchase price: $6.3 billion

buy date: August 13, 2007,

market evaluation: big failure

has been buying aQuantive behavior, are considered to be the most expensive fees paid by Microsoft. In order to compete with Google launched in the field of advertising business, Microsoft in 2007 to $6.2 billion for advertising software and services provider aQuantive. Didn’t expect that in the next five years, Microsoft, because the company lost almost $6.2 billion, almost equivalent to the original purchase price. Until now, buying aQuantive remains outside the worst place of Microsoft. This painful experience, however, also let Microsoft completely abandon the idea of challenge Google Adsense and Adwords and instead concentrate on Bing in search with Google.

6. Fast Search & amp; Transfer

company: a Fast Search & amp; Transfer

purchase price: $1.2 billion

buy date: on April 25, 2008,

market evaluation, although has been compromised, but technology acquisition enhances the Microsoft’s enterprise business

result in enterprise search market, the lack of Google giants such as yahoo, and Microsoft can gain obvious profit in this market. However, Microsoft seems to be no further investigating on the Norwegian company’s background. Just a few months later, after the acquisition of the company’s financial fraud is charged by the police. In spite of this, the company’s technology is still became the part of Microsoft SharePoint business.

7. Skype

buy companies: Skype

purchase price: $8.5 billion

buy date: on May 10th, 2011,

market assessment: the history of Microsoft’s most successful takeover

literally, this is one of the most successful in the history of Microsoft. Skype has become synonymous with Internet phone. After Microsoft to buy it, Skype has been integrated into the Xbox platform, and then simply replaced the Microsoft’s own communication software Windows Live Messenger. In the whole international long-distance industry, Skype after taking market share from 13% to 34%. Not only that, but the Skype users from the original 27 million, increased to 50 million after the acquisition. On the other hand, Skype also brought tremendous benefits to Microsoft. It is understood that the Skype revenue is expected to reach $2 billion in 2013 (two years ago, us $800 million).

8. Conduct

buy companies: conduct

purchase price: $1.2 billion

buy date: June 25, 2012,


market outlook remains to be seen

it is clear that the social business for Microsoft, is a powerful attraction. Although in enterprise management software market, Microsoft has a strong position, but the lack of social elements, has been the soft rib of SharePoint. In acquisition and enterprise internal social networking services companies conduct, ballmer repeatedly stressed: “conduct is a good model, we will add more content in it.” But given the conduct of business and patterns have certain contradiction with Microsoft’s core business, it is not know whether Mr Ballmer’s dream can be achieved.

it is understood that in one year after the takeover, conduct users rose from 5 million to 5 million, profit increased by 200%.