MSFT Today 2019-01-08 : Microsoft Acquisitions
First off, we can’t talk Microsoft without acknowledging what was truly their first acquisition, MS-DOS. In 1980, after not being able to reach a license agreement with a competitor, IBM tasked Microsoft with developing or licensing an operating system for their upcoming IBM 5150 Personal Computer. Microsoft had already been hired to write the BASICprogramming language for the PC, but now they had asked for them to provide the OS to go with it.
No sweat, said Microsoft… DOS, which was developed as QDOS (Quick-and-Dirty Operating System) and originally launched as 86-DOS the company Seattle Computer Products. 86-DOS had been written by Tim Paterson — the owner and operator of Seattle Computer Products, in just six weeks’ time. So rather than re-invent the wheel Microsoft paid Tim Paterson just $75,000 in the summer of 1981 for version 1.10 of 86-DOS.
Upon receiving PC-DOS in July, Microsoft simply renamed it to MS-DOS 1.10and handed it off to IBM in August of 1981, who decided to license it for distribution in November of the same year. From 1981 until 1993, IBM utilized a branded version of MS-DOS on their systems, known as PC DOS… and while IBM offered alternative operating systems for its PCs throughout the years, Microsoft’s licensed version of MS-DOS was sold on more than 9 out of every 10 IBM PCs sold — thus cementing Microsoft’s place in history as a software behemoth.
Microsoft had been around for five years before being award the operating system contract by IMB, and while they may have survived or even thrived without the PC-DOS eal — there is no denying that their successful sales pitch to IBM changed the trajectory of the company, and the world forever.Historic Acquisitions
1987, Microsoft acquired Forethought, which had a little know presentation program that would later be known as Microsoft PowerPoint
1997, Microsoft acquired Hotmail.com as an integral part of their push for MSN.com leading up to the release of Windows XP
2000, Microsoft acquired the Visio Corporation whose diagraming program was rebranded as Microsoft Visio
2002, Microsoft purchased Navision for their ERP (enterprise resource planning) technologies which kicked off a new division of the company, Microsoft Business Solutions which has lead us to what we now call Microsoft Dynamics
2007–2008, in escalated efforts to keep pace with Google’s massive ad revenue, Microsoft acquired aQuantive and its subsidiaries which included Avenue A/Razorefish, followed quickly by Fast Search and Transfer
2011, Microsoft acquired Skype and created a new division of the company to house the chat and VOIP solution, a move that was surprising to some due to the technology behind Skype (Delphi)
2012, acquired Yammer, an enterprise social networking service used for private communication within organizations
2013, acquired Nokia in a last ditch effort by then CEO Steve Ballmer to save Microsoft in the competitive mobile space
2014, acquired Minecraft and its parent company for $2.5 Billion, shocking the world
A move that has already paid for itself ten-fold
2016, acquired business social networking platform LinkedInRecent Acquisitions
There is no denying that there has been a fundamental shift by Microsoft in their recent acquisitions under star CEO Satya Nadella. It seems that the company has shifted focus to brands and technologies that fit with their existing vision, and bolster their current product and services lineup rather than acquiring outright new technologies.
LinkedIn has gone on to expand its reach by acquiring:
Connectifier, a machine learning technology in 2016 for business leads generation
Elearning juggernaut Lynda.com in 2018 for “LinkedIn Learning”
Glint, an employee improvement and engagement platform
FlipGrid, an education, collaboration and video platform was acquired in mid-2018 in an effort to add further value to Microsoft’s education stack of Office 365, Minecraft, Kodu programming language, and partnerships with the likes of Code.org and K