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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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  • by verbalcontract (909922) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:35PM (#22382294)

    I wonder how the person who wrote that title feels about Microsoft?

    Next up: "Microsoft cruising seedy bars on the hunt for fresh start-up action."

  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:41PM (#22382358)

    Our tipster also mentions that Microsoft would use Ustream as a way to promote its Adobe Flash competitor, Silverlight."

    Joy. Another way for M$ to try to jam Silverlight down our throats...as if asking if we'd like to try it out every time we visit microsoft.com isn't quite invasive and annoying enough.
  • by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:50PM (#22382466)

    I wonder how the person who wrote that title feels about Microsoft?

    Next up: "Microsoft cruising seedy bars on the hunt for fresh start-up action."

    The word "trolling" means fishing by pulling lures through the water, which isn't a bad analogy. It didn't come into existence after the birth of Usenet.

    "Microsoft Fishing for New Acquisitions" doesn't sound so bad, does it?
  • by AndGodSed (968378) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:53PM (#22382500) Homepage Journal

    Rather than attempting to come up with any further new ideas (something I'm not certain Microsoft has really been interested in for a while now), they just seem to want to buy enough bits and pieces of the industry to increase their foothold.


    Or threatening to sue for "patent infringement" like they did with several linux distros, Mark Shuttleworth gave them the finger...
  • by smitth1276 (832902) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:59PM (#22382568)
    ... Slashdot is a self-parody at this point.
  • by smitth1276 (832902) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:03PM (#22382628)
    So "trolling" is now to be considered a complete and perfect synonym for "negotiating an acquisition"?

    Grow up people. It isn't 1997 anymore. It's not cute anymore. It doesn't make you sound smart anymore. Give up the irrational MS hatred.
  • "Microsoft Trolling"

    the meaning of which can go both ways, and still summarizes the meaning of the story better
  • by jalm111 (1237454) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:20PM (#22382846)

    Microsoft not coming up with new ideas? They only spend about $7 billion a year on research which last time I checked was more than Google, IBM, or anyeone else for that matter. I believe this counts as 'attempting to come up with new ideas'.

    They've been buying a crap load of companies every year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_acquired_by_Microsoft_Corporation), this is nothing new...

  • Buying is Bad? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:35PM (#22383030)

    First, it's obvious that "trolling" in the context of an online FORUM is going to have definite negative connotations. It doesn't really matter what the original term meant, it matters what it means to those you are talking to.

    Secondly, since when has buying companies been new, or been evil? Google has bought a ton of stuff, and while some are honest in their thinking about it, most seem to have a "Microsoft Bad, Other Companies Good" mentality that shades their opinion about, for example, "new acquisitions."

    And as for complaining about Silverlight, there isn't much complain about Flash, a proprietary essentially monopoly in the market. As someone previously stated, maybe Silverlight will be horrible, but perhaps it will at least give Flash some competition. [sarcasm] Oh wait, I'm sorry, Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to be competition for anything, because competition ruins good software. [/sarcasm]

    Seriously. If Microsoft is so horrible and so obviously horrid software and so obviously non-innovative, it will die out. I guess I'm just tired of the hypocritical way of thinking about Microsoft as opposed to Apple, Google, Adobe, or open source software.

    And I'm also kinda tired of the apparent opinion that Microsoft is just in it for the money, whereas grand ol' companies like Yahoo and Novell and [insert favourite non-MS company here] are really in it for the good of mankind and whatever. Hogwash. They might like computers, as I'm sure many people in Microsoft's company do, too, and like doing software or hardware stuff, but they want money, too.

    Am I defending Microsoft? No. But I refuse to get into the "everything MS does is evil because it is MS and Bill Gates is the devil" camp...

    [/rant]

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:45PM (#22383146)

    don't personally keep close enough tabs on Microsoft acquisitions), is a sign of some sort of desperation on Microsoft's end. Rather than attempting to come up with any further new ideas (something I'm not certain Microsoft has really been interested in for a while now), they just seem to want to buy enough bits and pieces of the industry to increase their foothold.
    Does that mean Google is more desperate and has no new ideas? Google acquired 17 companies in 2007(including the behemoth DoubleClick) whereas MS acquired only 14. Well I shouldn't have replied to someone calling Microsoft M$.
  • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:12PM (#22383484)
    The problem is that since Gates left, Microsoft has reorganized a bunch of times by corporate executives that do what executives do, make themselves look good. The new divisional lines seem designed to make certain that every division is profitable, by taking a money maker and assigning it a bunch of losers.

    The corporate structure appears designed to protect executives, their jobs, and their bonuses, not identify winners to ride and losers to cut loose. The company is WAY less cutthroat and vicious that it was when Gates ran the place... and it is not dominating new markets the same way... and the stock's performance reflects that.

    So either Gates saw the glory days behind him and got out on a high note, or he was a truly remarkable visionary/businessman that saw waves early enough to get in and dominate, and his replacement keeps moving the chairs around knowing that payday is on Friday, and each payday he hits is a nice win for him
  • by AppleTwoGuru (830505) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:12PM (#22383486) Homepage
    The reason caution should be given to Microsoft regarding anything they do, is because what they did (in the public eye and behind closed doors) with the existing market computer market in the late 80's... take a crappy product (MS-DOS and Windows 3.0) litigate companies out of existence (like Stac Electronics,) run companies/products off/reduce the market through either bullying or blackmail (Atari, Amiga/Commodore 64/128, Wordperfect for Linux, Novell DOS7, Caldera DOS, CP/M) or through their illegal monopoly (Wordperfect in general, Visa-calc, WordPro, dBase III,) or through investment manipulation (the indirect funding of SCO Unix to litigate against Linux/IBM,) or even recently, the vote-buying and rigging of the ISO to pass a stupid standard like OOXML off as an ISO standard.

    No, Bill Gates is not the Devil, but he might be listening to him. And a lot of what MS-Executives do, not necessarily the employees, is Evil. Evil against a true democratic-judicial system that is somewhat prone to influence, bribery, and special interests when enough money is presented with a certain level of political maneuvering. True justice is when a person without large sums of money, a person like the consumer, can be protected from a person with a lot of wealth, power, and influence. (BTW: When someone can successfully use power, wealth, and influence to compromise a market and law enforcement the way microsoft has done over the years, that is not True Capitalism. That is Greed, Suppression of the People, and Taking Unfair Advantage of the consumer market. There is a reason they call it ANTI-TRUST, because the market DOES NOT TRUST them. You can defile the true beneficial impact of ANTI-TRUST by paying off the guardians of Trust.)

    And no, how Microsoft runs their business is not how it is suppose to be, because there were certain laws established to protect consumer markets, and all Microsoft see them as are marketing hurdles, not items that give respect to the people. By their actions, they reduce the options available to the market, because they know themselves, that anyone can out-produce, out-innovate, or out-create them. They had to change the rules to suit their corporate personality, which is equal to that of a high-school bully.

    Defending Microsoft? You claim you are not. But I refused to buy into the lie that Microsoft is a good corporate citizen of it's market and country. I want corporate responsibility, accountability, and true innovation by even the smallest least insignificant inventor, to give them a chance to get themselves out of poverty or a lower economic class just like people in pro-sports do. All of the citizens are valuable, not just a select few rich and wealthy people who also happen to be bent on Greed instead of being a public or market servant.

  • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:53PM (#22383878)
    I'm not particularly sure how far Microsoft going to get with their attempts to compete with Flash. Considering how widely used it is everywhere. It's even used outside of web applications. An ungodly number of cartoons on TV are animated using Flash. It's even beating out similar products in that field as well. Toonboom studio which is supposed to be a more animator friendly vector based animation program isn't even touching Flash. So I'm not sure what the hell Microsoft intends to do here. I think they should have released their Flash knockoff maybe 10 years ago, instead of now when they have absolutely zero chance of success.

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