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Microsoft General Information

Microsoft General Information

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Published by Ayesha Khan
Microsoft General Information
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Microsoft General Information
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Published by: Ayesha Khan on Feb 20, 2012
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Mergers and Acquisitions by Microsoft 
Microsoft has acquired several companies throughout its history. Poplar acquired businesses include DOS, FrontPage,MSN TV, Hotmail, Direct3D, Internet Explorer, Visio, Windows Virtual PC, and Windows Defender, to name a few.
Key Acquisitions
Microsoft's first acquisition was Forethought. Forethought developed a presentation program that was later knownas Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft acquired Hotmail for $500 million. This was its largest acquisition at the time. Microsoft integrated Hotmailinto its MSN.
Microsoft acquired Visio Corporation in 2000 for $1.375
 
billion. Visio was a popular software company.
Microsoft purchased aQuantive, an advertising company, on August 13, 2007 for $6.333
 
billion. Before theacquisition, aQuantive was ranked 14th in terms of revenue among advertising agencies worldwide.Source: Seattle Times and Bloomberg
About Skype 
Skye was founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg. The software can be downloaded onto computers, mobilephones and other devices for free. Skype is communications software whose purpose is to break down barriers tocommunication. With the connection to internet, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free withmessaging, voice and video. In addition, you are able to call landlines or mobiles from anywhere in the world at asmall cost. Skype has also introduced group video.
 
Microsoft to Acquire Skype 
REDMOND, Wash., and LUXEMBOURG May 10, 2011Microsoft Corp.and Skype Global today announced that they have entered into a de
nitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype,the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has beenapproved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype.The acquisition will increase the accessibility ofreal-time video and voice communications, bringing bene
ts to both consumers and enterpriseusers andgenerating signi
cant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype’s world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft’s existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.With 170million connected users andover 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010, Skype has been a pioneer in creatingrich, meaningful connections among friends, families and business colleagues globally. Microsoft has a long-standing focus and investment inreal-time communications across its various platforms, including Lync (which saw 30percent revenue growth in Q3), Outlook,Messenger,Hotmail and Xbox LIVE.Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect,Windows Phone and a wide array ofWindows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skypeusers with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoftplatforms.“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions ofpeople aroundthe world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together we will createthe future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.”Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates willassume the title ofpresident of the Microsoft SkypeDivision, reporting directly to Ballmer.“Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers,” said Tony Bates.“Together, we will be ableto accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate,” Bates said.“Tony Bates has a great track record as a leader and will strengthen the Microsoft management team. I’m looking forward to Skype’s talentedglobal workforce bringing its insights, ideas and experience to Microsoft,” Ballmer said.Speaking on behalf ofthe investor group that sold Skype to Microsoft, Egon Durban, managing director of Silver Lake, said:“We are thrilled withSkype’s transformation during the period of our ownership and grateful for the extraordinary commitment of its management team andemployees. We are excited about Skype’s long-term future with Microsoft, as it is poised to become one of the world’s most dynamic andcomprehensive communications platforms.”Founded in 2003, Skype was acquired by eBay in September 2005, and then acquired by an investment group led by Silver Lake in November2009. Skype has made impressive progress over the past 18months under Silver Lake’s leadership, increasing monthly calling minutes by 150percent, developing new revenue streams and strategic partnerships, acquiring the intellectual property powering its peer-to-peer network, andrecruiting an outstanding senior management team.Other members ofthe selling investor group led by Silver Lake include eBay International AG, CPP Investment Board, Joltid Limitedin partnershipwith Europlay Capital Advisors; and Andreessen Horowitz.The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties hope to obtain all required regulatoryclearances during the course of this calendar year.
 
Microsoft to Buy Skype for $8.5 BillionBY ANDREW ROSS SORKIN AND STEVE LOHRFranz-Peter Tschauner/European Pressphoto Agency
Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it would buy Skype Global for $8.5 billion in cash, in its largest acquisition ever.In Skype, Microsoft is buying the leaderinInternet voice and video communications, with 107 million users per month connectedformorethan100minutes amonth onaverage. That large andactive user base representsamajor asset, Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, saidin an interview.“It’san amazing customer imprint,”Mr.Ballmer said. “And Skype is a verb, as they say.”In aninterview Mr. Ballmer nevermentionedGoogle, Microsoft’s archrival whose name is used as a verbin Internetsearch —amarket where Microsoftis spending heavilytotry to catch Google, making some recent progress, but at great
nancial
 
cost.BuyingSkype, analystssay, gives Microsoft the upper hand in the fast-growing market for Internet communications, both for consumers and businesses.“Google is way behind Skype, and ge
ing ahead of Google in this market was certainly an incentive for Microsoft,”said Leif-Olf Wallin, an analyst for Gartner in Sweden.Mr.Ballmeremphasizedthat Microsoft plans toexpand Skype’sbusiness andinject itsvoice-and-video technology acrossthe spectrum of Microsoft products, fromconsumer o
ff 
erings like Xbox to its O
ce productivity software. “There are a lot of great opportunities to optimize Skype services in Microsoft products,” Mr. Ballmer said.Despite itspopularity, the service hasstruggled to maintainpro
tability. Since most of itsservicesarefree, Skype makes much of itsincome from a small group of users whopay for long distance calls to telephone numbers. In 2010, Skype recorded $859.8 million in revenue but reported a net loss of $7 million, according to a
ling.Marc Andreessen —the co-founder of the venture capital
rm Andreessen Horowitz, aninvestorin Skype — isoptimisticabout thecompany’s prospectsunder Microsoft,given the behemoth’s extensive lineup of products and various market opportunities.“Microsofthas extremely broad reach, they have a whole product portfolio thatSkype canbe a
achedto,”said Mr. Andreesen, whose
rm bought a$50 million stake inSkype in 2009. “There’s all kinds of ways Skype can make money.”But Microsoft’sdeal-makinghistory is mixed. The company has often been asmart acquirer of start-ups and smaller companies, analysts say, picking o
ff 
technical teamsthatare thenfoldedinto productslikesWindows, O
ce and Internet Explorer. But during Mr. Ballmer’stenure as chief executive, beginning in 2000, the companyhas alsomade far larger, riskier bids, most of which have been viewed as unsuccessful.In 2004, Microsoft enteredinto talks to buy the big businesssoftware company SAP, forabout $50billion, according to testimony that came out inacourt case. In 2007,Microsoft acquired aQuantive, an online advertising company, for about $6 billion, a sizable premium, and some suggested it overpaid.Nearly threeyearsago, the company made asurprise $48billion o
ff 
erfor Yahoo. Talks thenbroke o
ff 
, andMicrosoft withdrewitsbid, but laterreached a partnershipto takeover Yahoo’s search business.The Microsoft acquisition is the second time a technology giant has acquired Skype.In 2005, eBay bought Skype for$2.6 billion with hopesoftightlyintegratingthe service as asales tool. But the deal neverlivedup toits promise andeBay took a$1.4billion write-down on its investment.Skype was soldseveral yearslater toa consortium ofinvestorsledby SilverLake Partners, Index Ventures,Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan InvestmentBoard. Mr.Andreessen, whoco-foundedNetscape Communications, wasseen as a pivotal matchmaker for Skype, at one point trying toput it together withFacebook,another company for which he is on the board, according to people involved in the discussions.The Microsoft deal ends the speculationabout the future of Skype. The company hadbeenplanning an initial public o
ff 
ering but delayed itsdebut last year, promptingtalkthat it would be sold to a company like Facebook, Google or Cisco Systems.Microsoft, Mr.Ballmersaid, haslookedat the possibilityof acquiring Skype in recent years.But with Skype’sprivateequity investorsknown to be exploring a public o
ff 
eringforthe company, Microsoftmoved in early April. PeterKlein,chief 
nancial o
cer,
ew down to Silicon Valley andmade an unsolicitiedo
ff 
er to the investor there, SilverLakeand Andreessen Horowitz. The negotiations accelerated in the last few weeks, Mr. Ballmer said, and the
nal agreement was signed on Monday night.The boards of both companies have approved the deal.“MicrosoftandSkype share thevision ofbringing software innovation andproductsto ourcustomers,”saidTony Bates, the current headof Skype who will becomethepresidentof thenewly created Microsoft Skype Division. “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’splans to extend our global community andintroduce new ways for ever yone to communicate and collaborate.” Evelyn M. Rusli contributed reporting.

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