Just when you think there is nothing worth noticing in the world of technology, Microsoft announces or rather surprise us with one more acquisition. In the last two years, starting with Skype in the latter part of 2011 to the most recent Hockey App, Microsoft has acquired 21 companies which gives an average of nearly 1 acquisition per month. Microsoft is looking to revive its image post the iPhone era. In 2011, there were reports that Facebook and Google were in talks with VoIP company Skype, but it was Microsoft who gave a shocker when it acquired Skype for $8.56 billion in cash.
The first acquisition of 2012 was done in June, when the three and half years old enterprise Social Networking service Yammer Inc was taken over by Microsoft. The revenues of Yammer were doubling every quarter and during that period Yammer launched version 2.0 which was later described as the “Facebook for Business” as nearly 70 percent of the Fortune 500 companies were using Yammer.
That summer in July 2012, Microsoft acquired one more growing company Perceptive Pixel which specialised in Research and Development of Multi-touch hardware interfaces. Perceptive Pixel’s technology is used in broadcast, defence, geo-intelligence, energy exploration, industrial design and medical imaging. The then CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Perceptive Pixel was acquired in order to make ground breaking changes to Windows 8.
Looks like Microsoft is on a shopping spree
Two months later in October 2012, Microsoft laid their hands on PhoneFactor, which is a multi factor authentication system which utilises phone calls to verify identity. The PhoneFactor service is now available as Windows Azure Multi-factor authentication. It now works with cloud services like Office 365 that use Windows Azure Active Directory.
Two weeks later Microsoft acquired StorSimple which was a privately held company in Santa Clara, Florida marketing cloud storage. StorSimple marketed a computer appliance called Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS). The appliance had an iSCSI interface using 10 Gigabit Ethernet and used serial ATA disks as well as solid-state drives.
The biggest acquisition of 2013 by Microsoft was Nokia claiming it’s mobile phone business in a deal of $ 7.17 billion.Stephen Elop, Nokia’s former CEO, and several other executives joined the new Microsoft Mobile subsidiary of Microsoft as part of the deal, Nokia then announced plans to license product designs and technologies to third-party manufacturers, primarily to enable a continued presence for the Nokia brand in the consumer market.
As part of the deal, Microsoft acquired the Asha and Lumia brands, but only had a limited license to the Nokia brand. Microsoft could only use the Nokia brand to promote Lumia products for 18 months after the closure of the acquisition, X products through 31 December 2015, and feature phones such as the Series 30 and Series 40 series for 10 years. Microsoft did not acquire any rights to the Nokia tune, which the company may only use as the default ringtone on Nokia-branded devices.
In 2014, They acquired the New Zealand based cloud computing firm GreenButton which specialises in cloud platforms for the improvement and dispatch of software and services, which helps Independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprises to move to the cloud. These technologies were added to their Azure services.
Then came the US and India based firm Inmage. It was evident that Microsoft was interested in their product line Scout that uses continuous data protection (CDP) for backup and replication. Scout consists of two product lines: the host-offload line, which uses a software agent on the protected servers, and the fabric line, which uses an agent on the Fibre Channel switch fabric.
Germany based HockeyApp is the latest item in Microsoft’s shopping cart. HockeyApp is a set of tools which includes live crash reports, user feedback tools, a beta distribution platform and test analysis that works across Windows Phone as well as Android and iOS. There are no reports of the cash exchange in this deal, but it is said that the team at HockeyApp is coming over to work at Microsoft. Before the acquisition, Microsoft had been a customer of HockeyApp and it saw the potential of the startup and finally managed to get them under their wings.
With all these acquisitions and maybe many more to come, it is all set to reinvent itself in the big bad world of Technology, only time will tell. If you have reports or stories of any other acquisitions. That is eyeing at, you can mention it in the comments below.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.