Microsoft's takeovers: A look at billion-dollar-plus acquisitions since 2000

Since 2000, Microsoft has made some very exuberant takeovers costing the IT major billions of dollars.


Whether the acquisitions truly add value or not, Microsoft has been doing great for investors with market capitalization overtaking Google recently. Here are its billion-dollar-plus acquisitions since the start of the millennium.




visio2000| Seattle-based Visio Corporation was Microsoft's largest acquisition till the year 2000. Visio was a specialist in technical diagramming software that helped corporate administrators and designers make flow and organizational charts and technical drawings. Visio 4.0 released in 1995 was one of the first applications developed for Windows 95. Microsoft acquired the company in a stock swap event wherein shareholders got 0.45 Microsoft shares for each Visio share. Based on the value of Microsoft stock, the final deal amounted to 1.3 billion USD. 


aQuantive2007| aQuantive, another Seattle-based organization got acquired by Microsoft in 2007. aQuantive functioned as a parent organization for a group of three digital marketing service and technology companies- Avenue A/Razorfish, Atlas Solutions, and DRIVE Performance Solutions. Microsoft spent a whopping 6 billion USD to finalize the deal and up until 2011, this was Microsoft's largest buy out. 


fast2008| Founded in 1997, Fast Search & Transfer ASA (FAST), a Norwegian company focused on data search technologies for enterprises. In 2008, Microsoft officially took over FAST in an acquisition deal worth 1.2 billion USD. Currently known as Microsoft Development Center Norway, the organization helps create business intelligence services using advanced search derivative applications (SDA). 


yammer2010| Yammer is a social networking service for enterprises. In September 2010, Yammer was consumed by more than three million users and 80,000 enterprises worldwide, which comprised of about 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. When Yammer 2.0 was rolled out, it was described as a "Facebook for the Enterprise". In June 2012, Microsoft bought Yammer for USD 1.2 billion and later incorporated into the Microsoft Office division.


skype2011| Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 for 8.5 billion USD cash and this remains the second biggest deal till date for the IT giant. At the time, Skype owned the biggest share of the consumer voice over internet protocol (VoIP) market. Although Skype still remains as a popular video chat platform, similar platforms have also caught up their fair share of the market demand. In 2017, Microsoft redesigned Skype from a peer-to-peer service to a centralized Azure service. 


mojang2014| Mojang- Based in Sweden and known for developing popular independent games such as Minecraft, Mojang AB  was bought by Microsoft for a hefty 2.5 billion USD in 2014. The acquisition put Microsoft at the center of the gaming industry. Mojang is now a part of Microsoft Studios. 


nokia2014| Microsoft acquired the the device hardware segment of Nokia, the Finland-based multinational telecom, IT and consumer electronics company for about 7 billion USD in 2014. Microsoft renamed the Nokia brand to Microsoft Mobile. The acquisition deal took place three years after the launch of Lumia smartphones, a collaboration product of the two organizations. In 2016, Microsoft sold Nokia branding and device patent rights to HMD Global and Foxconn. 


linkedin2016| At the end of 2016, Microsoft finalized its deal to acquire LinkedIn, world's biggest professional networking platform, for a massive 26.2 billion USD. Adding to its list of investments in collaboration products for enterprises and business users, LinkedIn has been Microsoft's biggest acquisition deal till date. Post the deal, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman also joined Microsoft's board of directors. 


github2018| Paying 7.5 billion USD in stock, Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition of GitHub. Founded in 2008, GitHub is the world's largest code repository with contributions from 28 million developers, including the ones from Apple, Amazon, Google, and other big tech organizations. The deal will be finalized by the end of 2018. CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath will be replaced by Nat Friedman, who then will report to Microsoft’s Cloud and AI chief Scott Guthrie.