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Microsoft Trolling for New Acquisitions 142

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the playing-catch-up dept.
NewShinyCD writes "Sources tell Valleywag that startup Ustream.tv is in advanced discussions with Microsoft to acquire the lifecasting service for more than $50 million, but there are other companies in the bidding as well. Ustream is currently raising a very large initial round of VC financing, and Microsoft is attempting to grab them prefunding for a cheap price. Our tipster also mentions that Microsoft would use Ustream as a way to promote its Adobe Flash competitor, Silverlight." Relatedly, Microsoft has also announced their intent to buy Sidekick maker Danger. Financial details of the Danger buyout were not disclosed.
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Microsoft Trolling for New Acquisitions

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  • Re:Copycat (Score:2, Informative)

    by ArikTheRed (865776) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:08PM (#22382684) Homepage

    The best part of this "strategy" is that every division except the office/Windows division, loses money. Which leads me to wonder why they even try.
    That's not entirely accurate. MS XBox division profited $524M so far the first half of this financial year, and growing (they did lose money in the beginning - no surprise to anyone).

    It only takes one success to make up for many failures - that's how VC companies make their money. That's a large part of what MS is: a giant technology VC company. But rather than just invest in other companies, they buy them.
  • by truthsearch (249536) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:09PM (#22382708) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft is continually looking for companies to purchase. They've acquired more than 80 companies since 1994 [microsoft.com]. So they've obviously discussed acquisitions with many times that number of companies. This looks like business as usual.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:12PM (#22382732) Homepage Journal

    Do you think MS will make a Siverlight for Linux? Most likely it will have to be done by Mono project and no doubt it will not be 100%
    Well known Microsoft supporter Miguel de Icaza is already several steps ahead of you. The Moonlight [mono-project.com] project is exactly that. And no, I will not install it.
  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:14PM (#22382764) Homepage Journal

    Also, IIRC, they had something like $60billion in cash on hand last time I paid attention;

    You haven't been paying attention in quite a while - they have less than $22B. in cash, and even with offering only half-chas and half-stock,they've said they would probably borrow to finance the deal.

  • ITYM "trawling" (Score:2, Informative)

    by aduthie (530266) <andrewNO@SPAMduthiemm.com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:31PM (#22382996) Homepage
    "Trolling" would mean they're hanging around crappy discussion forums looking for ways to cheeze people off.

    "Trawling" would mean they're out there dragging their nets and fishing lines in hopes of catching something worth keeping.

    The former is intentionally pejorative, the latter is simply metaphorical.
  • by AppleTwoGuru (830505) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:25PM (#22383620) Homepage
    Apple, when they got the technology from Xerox Parc, technology that Xerox execs outrightly rejected, Steve Jobs was there to get it, legally and fair. But then Bill Gates stole it. (see Pirates of Silicon Valley [wikipedia.org]) - Justice is not brought on those who slip up with stupidity like Steve Jobs may have done. Justice is brought on to those who break the law. And Bill Gates and co had enough power and politics to slither out of justice being served in the proper way when Apple and Microsoft went to court. Apple had to settle in order to survive. Just because Microsoft came out the victor, does not make Microsoft right or the winner of Justice. There are many court cases in the U.S. where the people lose and the criminals win because, in that case, justice is either corrupt or ignorant.
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom@g m a i l .com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:42PM (#22383776) Homepage Journal
    Why anyone would want to implement silverlight this early on in Linux is beyond me. Mono/Moonlight is helping a closed product to the market with no benefits for the community whatsoever. Not many sites use it and those who do is paid for it.

    Miguel de Icaza should just crawl over to MS on hes knees and beg to work there instead of acting as if he cares anything about open source.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:42PM (#22383778)
    I think it was more like $55 Billion at the time and then they had the stock split and declared a dividend that gave half the reserves away. Based on what I read at the time, and I think the analysts were right, it was a half baked attempt to prop up their stock price. They (MS) were taking a lot of heat for having a stagnant stock price when companies like Google, IBM, HP, Apple etc. were seeing solid appreciation of their shares. I don't think it worked as well as they would have hoped.

    I think MS knows that PC software is a mature market and there isn't much they can do to turn it back into a growth industry again. All they have going for them is the upgrade cycle and judging from the Vista numbers that isn't the cash cow it used to be. I also don't think their corporate culture is very conducive to "innovation". They certainly haven't been able to come up with the "next big thing" internally. I think they are pursuing their only hope which is to acquire it. I also think that the odds of acquiring "the next Google" are pretty slim. In my own personal opinion, I think MS would have been much better served by putting all that money into R&D or an "innovation incubator" that allowed for knew thinking and new products that were outside the MS box.

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