Microsoft Corp has agreed to lend $2 billion to Michael Dell and private
equity firm Silver Lake to help finance their move to take PC maker
Dell Inc private.
The world's largest software maker has invested in
or bought hundreds of tech companies in its 37-year history, but returns
have been patchy.
Here is a list of some of Microsoft's most notable investments over the last 15 years, starting with the most recent.
Last year agreed to invest $605 million in Barnes & Noble Inc's
Nook e-reader and college textbook business over five years. The Nook
still trails Amazon.com Inc's market-leading Kindle.
May 2011, inked deal to buy online video chat company Skype for $8.5
billion. Price was considered high at the time, but is still too early
to judge success.
Microsoft has paid more than $1 billion
to Nokia since the Finnish handset maker agreed to build phones running
Windows software in 2011. Payments back to Microsoft in royalties have
been disappointing as Windows phones have not dented the market
domination of Apple Inc's iPhone and Google Inc's Android.
After failing to buy the former internet giant in 2008, Microsoft
signed a 10-year deal to provide internet search services to Yahoo in
exchange for a cut of the ad revenue. The deal has disappointed both
companies so far.
Reportedly paid $500 million for the
edgy smartphone designer in 2008, but most staff left and it ended badly
with the disastrous Kin phone.
Scored a home run with a
$240 million purchase of a 1.6 percent stake in the social network in
2007, which is now worth much more and paved the way for co-operation
between Facebook Inc and Microsoft's Outlook email and Bing search
Paid $6.3 billion in cash for the online ad
company in 2007 and wrote off virtually all of that in 2012, effectively
admitting the investment had been worthless.
The acquisition of these two companies in 2001 and
2002, respectively, laid the foundation of Microsoft's corporate
software business and is considered a success.
Agreed to invest $500 million for a stake in government-owned telecoms
company in 2001, hoping to grab a foothold in one of the world's most
advanced Internet markets, for an uncertain return.
only tens of millions of dollars for game studio Bungie, creator of the
mega-hit shooter game Halo, in 2000. Bungie eventually split from the
company, but Microsoft kept the lucrative Halo franchise.
In 1999, Microsoft bought $5 billion in stock of cable and phone
giant AT&T Inc with the aim of getting its Windows software into
set-top boxes, but it did not deliver the desired entry into the
emerging cable-based broadband market.
million in a struggling Apple in 1997 and committed to make software for
the still unpopular Mac. The deal ended a long-running patent spat
between the two companies but arguably saved Apple and put it on course
to eventually eclipse Microsoft financially.
billion in stock of the cable provider Comcast Corp in 1997 to help it
build out high-speed data and video services. Bill Gates' vision of
connecting the PC and TV was slow to materialize and Microsoft sold the
stake 12 years later.
© Thomson Reuters 2013