Microsoft's $1 Billion-Plus Acquisitions: 9 Big Bets - InformationWeek
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6/27/2016
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Kelly Sheridan
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Microsoft's $1 Billion-Plus Acquisitions: 9 Big Bets

Microsoft's recent $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn is not the first time Redmond has spent big bucks to snap up a company. Here's a closer look at 9 of the software giant's acquisitions that topped $1 billion.
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(Image: Kritchanut/iStockphoto)

(Image: Kritchanut/iStockphoto)

Microsoft turned heads earlier this month when it announced its acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. It signified Redmond's largest acquisition to date and the company's ninth recorded deal exceeding $1 billion.

As part of the deal, expected to close by year's end, the professional social network will retain its name. It will remain an independent operation under the leadership of CEO Jeff Weiner, who will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

In a letter to employees, Nadella noted how the LinkedIn buy closely aligns with Microsoft's efforts to revamp productivity and communication tools. For example, he said, a LinkedIn newsfeed could suggest content based on a project the user is working on, or Office 365 may suggest an expert via LinkedIn to offer assistance.

[Take a look at 10 Cool Microsoft Garage Projects You Didn't Know About.]

Redmond began recording acquisitions on its website in 1994, when it bought Softimage, a company focused on production tools for game development, films, and commercials for a deal valued at about $130 million. It later sold SoftImage to Avid Technology, a provider of digital video, film, and audio products.

Since then, the company has publicly shared information on completed acquisitions through its Investor Relations page. Microsoft makes several acquisitions each year; its purchases have ranged from small startups to major corporations.

To date, there have been 9 instances in which Microsoft shelled out more than $1 billion dollars in a given acquisition. Here, we take a closer look at these major deals, the companies involved, Microsoft's intentions and, for the older purchases, whether things worked out.

Were these moves good business decisions or poor ones? When did Microsoft spend too much -- or not enough? Tell us your thoughts on these deals in the comments section below.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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vnewman2
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vnewman2,
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6/28/2016 | 11:04:49 PM
MSFT Programs that aren't "Microsofty"
Visio is bane of my existance.  Even though it has become part of the MSFT suite, you can tell it didn't start off as a MSFT product.  The features don't behave the same way as they do in the rest of the product line.  It is difficult to even copy and paste a drawing between sheets and forget about easily copying a drawing from one file to another.  It's so clunky, I would love to see one of the engineers rework it - with a few tweaks it could be a much better program.  
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
6/27/2016 | 11:09:44 PM
Re: Any of these profitable?
Skype is likely breaking even for MSFT right about now, although it is hard to tell because MSFT isn't actually saying and any pertinent revenue information is buried in the "commerical licensing" classification which includes a host of other MSFT products.  But in 2013 it was documented that Skype's revenue hit the 2 Billion mark and with the VOiP boom, you would think this number is sustainable and then some.  Skype makes money, according to its website, from Skype credits, monthly subscriptions, along with its Skype To Go service which allows low-cost international calls.  And then there's Skype for Business, with its integration with MSFT Office.  
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
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6/27/2016 | 8:23:52 AM
Any of these profitable?
Have any of these purchases on their own been profitable buys for Microsoft? It spent so much on Minecraft I can't imagine it ever making its money back directly. Perhaps if it releases Minecraft 2 at some point in the future?

Skype too. The service is popular, but will it ever make Microsoft that many billions in return? I don't see it happening from a few adverts and those call cards it charges for.
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