back to article Microsoft secretly scoops up 15 companies

Microsoft claimed late last week that it quietly bought 15 companies over the past 12 months – but declined to name names. According to Tech Flash, Redmond biz development MD Marc Brown said that the acquisitions each cost the firm less than $75m, involving relatively smallfry start-ups. "Typically it will be 20 to 30 people …

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Not surprising

Given Microsoft's recent track record of integrating companies they have acquired - perhaps the simply don't want the buzz going about a bunch of companies they have bought that might just fizzle like most of the ones that have gone the same path.

Microsoft seems to be still struggling with buying an innovative company without suffocating it. It will be interesting to see if they can resolve it - because a company like Microsoft which tends to suffocate internal innovation that lacks this capability cannot compete in the long term.

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Interesting...

Can any commenters name any of the startups?

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Black Helicopters

Come on! You know if Steve ever left the safety of the MS campus for Area 51

Claudia would track him down and Artie would have him brought in to be bronzed.

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Gates Horns

Could it be ...

that these companies write software for the iPhone and iPad?

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JDX
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WTF?

$75m

That's where we stop calling a company a STARTUP? Whoa.

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One of the companies

will be Poly9:

http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/07/14/apple-reportedly-buys-quebec-based-map-startup-poly9/

That I know, it has not been announced officially.

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Poly9...

Was actually purchased by Apple, and it was announced, including here:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Apple-Buys-Mapping-Firm-Poly9-147614.shtml

I remember that because these guys were my neighbors ;)

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V 2

One of the companies

Surely the hint is in the URL....

..../apple-reportedly-buys-quebec-based-map-startup-poly9/

:-)

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I kind of prefer this

One of the most predictable patterns of this new web economy is the takeover of startups, huge PR noise trumpting amazing features and fantastic teams... only for it all to fizzle out six months later.

I'm getting sick of hearing about it. Show me the product that comes out of all this back room wrangling and I might be excited.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft secretly scoops up 15 companies

"Or, as the conspiracy theorists might have it, the takeovers never happened and Steve Ballmer hangs out with aliens, Elvis and JFK in a dusty Area 51 hangar."

Or maybe MS is just full of crap? MS would never lie to us, would they?

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The only thing worse than being talked about...

...is not being talked about.

Rumours about companies being bought by Microsoft are always getting reported.

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The only thing

The only thing I can think is a cloud based backup which uses P2P tech.

Oh and maybe a game or two, esp. for the smartphones

A CMS which spits out SVG sites, finally you can get the font you want at the right size, but I would have thought Corel should have had that in the bag...

What would you buy?

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iD software

Yeah, Doom on win 7 phone, next to minesweep

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Perhaps they just want the patents?

Maybe they're just hiding some companies which have some vague patents they think might be developed by competitors, but they can't be bothered to develop themselves? That way, when the competitors products come out they can set the lawyers on them.

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Bronze badge

Perhaps they just want the patents?

I suspect this, too. Could be some site helping them bingify more phones, browsers, and social sites. I suspect that some may be Linux-related, but working on stuff to revive sliver life, ummm, silverlight, tablets, and gaming. (Yeh, throwing darts all over)...

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Big Brother

look to the iPhone and Android app markets

considering how Microsoft entered the game console market by purchasing up gaming companies and often spinning them into MS XBox exclusive biz, I would think they are purchasing iPhone and Android ISV's and turning them around to be MS Windows Phone 7 exclusive.

They know they need apps and if most of the apps all look like they are coming only from Microsoft then they have a problem. If they purchase dozens of little companies and keep them looking like they are independent while forcing them to push out a dozen little WP7 apps each then their market store might look interesting.

so look at the iPhone and Android markets, filter down to companies who are coming out with MS WP7 apps, and watch for the ones not updating their existing apps. You will probably find many of the ones purchased by Microsoft.

Big Brother because well, it's Microsoft and they like to control the world and your choices.

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Anonymous Coward

No need for crackpot conspiracy theories

micros~1 are, in fact, sitting on some pretty technologies. Worse, some of that stuff is quite good in theory. Worse, because so far their track record of nurturing the stuff they buy is less than stellar. Think "Danger". Put another way, "Danger, steve ballmer, Danger!"

If we have to wait for them to push the envelope in computing, we'll die of old age first. That is the real danger in these acquisitions. Among them there might have been really useful things.

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FAIL

RegFAIL!

>Steve Ballmer hangs out with aliens, Elvis and JFK in a dusty Area 51 hangar.<

Now I know this is wrong because Elvis is with his son-in-law Michael Jackson in Las Vegas.

I saw them both having a cig outside a Wedding Chapel in August.

As for rumours of MS buying someone,.... standard practice for many companies trying to boost their profile/shareprice. 99.99% of the time it's bullcrud. The ones that are actually being bought stay VERY quiet about it.

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