Image 1 of 10
Microsoft is known for having deep pockets, as it proved today when it announced it will buy social networking site LinkedIn for $26.2bn.
The purchase is the latest in a series of big bets Microsoft has made of late, ranging from shelling out $8.5bn for communications platform Skype to $7.2bn for Nokia’s mobile phone business.
Here are Microsoft’s 10 biggest acquisitions, where the value has been made public.
LinkedIn – $26.2bn
The consensus seems to be that Microsoft wants LinkedIn’s data about professionals and recruiters, which should complement Microsoft’s own trove of email, calendar and other user details.
The deal should help Microsoft consolidate profiles for business users across apps and services. Microsoft has touted better prospect and customer information for Dynamics CRM and improved knowledge-management capabilities for Office 365 and Dynamics CRM and ERP.
Skype Technologies - $8.5bn (May 2011)
The acquisition of the popular internet platform for voice and video calling saw Microsoft build Skype into a range of its products and services.
Today Skype is the basis of the business-oriented Skype for Business, formerly Lync, and integrated into its Xbox One games console and Windows 10 on desktops and phones.
Nokia's mobile business - $7.2bn (September 2013)
Microsoft’s gamble on buying the mobile arm of the Finnish company to provide handsets for its then new Windows Phone OS didn’t pay off.
Microsoft has been unable to attract the developer and carrier partnerships to make its Nokia Lumia phones successful and the company eventually took a $7.6bn writedown on the acquisition, as well as making thousands of ex-Nokia staff redundant.
Last month Microsoft also announced it was selling its feature phone business to FIH Mobile and Finnish company HMD Global for $350m.
aQuantive - $6.3bn (August 2007)
At the time, Microsoft’s acquisition of the digital-advertising agency was the biggest in its history, with Microsoft planning to use aQuantive’s various technologies and publisher relationships to boost its ads business.
However in 2012, it was reported that Microsoft was taking taking a $6.2 billion write-down in its fiscal fourth quarter, largely connected with its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive. The write-down followed various setbacks for Microsoft in the digital advertising space.
Mojang - $2.5bn (September 2014)
The acquisition of the creator of the wildly popular game Minecraft followed a pronouncement by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that gaming was hugely important in terms of the money and time invested by players.
It also bought Microsoft a connection with Minecraft’s huge userbase of young players, with Microsoft doubling down on the educational aspect of the game by releasing Minecraft Education Edition.
Visio Corp. - $1.5bn (January 2000)
Microsoft acquired the visualization and diagramming software company, which it used as the basis of Microsoft Visio software.
Navision - $1.3bn (July 2002)
Microsoft’s purchase of the Danish back-end software giant helped improve its standing in the HR, accounting and CRM market against SAP and Oracle at the time.
Much of the Navision technology went on to form the basis of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP software, which is available and regularly updated today.
Yammer - $1.2bn (June 2012)
Microsoft said it bought Yammer to add the firm’s u201centerprise social networking to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud servicesu201d.
Microsoft has bought Yammer under the Office 365 dev team, recently announcing that it is turning on the service by default for eligible Office 365 commercial customers.
Fast Search & Transfer - $1.2bn (April 2008)
By buying Fast Search & Transfer, Microsoft hoped to build out its enterprise search line-up.
The Norweigan company offered various search, e-commerce, mobile and compliance services, which seemed to complement enterprise search features found in Microsoft SharePoint Server and dedicated search products, such as Microsoft Search Server. However, Microsoft later sold off part of Fast Search to Rocket Software.
Staff from Fast team became part of Microsoft’s office in Oslo, whose structure is seen mapped above.
Great Plains Software - $1.1bn (April 2001)
Microsoft bought the US-based, small and medium sized business software specialist in what was perceived as an attempt to capitalise on growth in the server application market at the time. The firm’s software later formed the basis of Microsoft’s Dynamics GP accounting and ERP offerings.