Microsoft's Nokia Deal Highlights Hoarder Instinct
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft
Currently, Microsoft controls Bing, an offshoot of Yahoo!'s
The firm bought web-ad specialist aQuantive for $6 billion, in a move to bolster its Internet advertising expertise. In 2011, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion to strengthen its communications services.
Microsoft currently holds a minority 15% stake in Barnes & Noble's
In recent weeks, Microsoft has been rumored as a possible investor in Foursquare, a location-based application. The company is even providing financing to Dell
To its credit, Microsoft operates the very successful Xbox video game console business
Still, with assets across most consumer technology markets, few of Microsoft's businesses add up.
Microsoft is trying to take the Apple approach, owning all parts of the ecosystem, though it's done so with little success. Skype is available on multiple platforms, whereas FaceTime is only available on iOS.
Mobile consumers clearly favor Apple's iOS and Google's Android and Chrome ecosystems, which include a far-larger array of applications and more entrenched user bases. Google and Apple have also been able to take control of the smartphone market without collecting such a large array of assets.
Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's handset businesses and their 32,000 employees raises the question of whether the firm is doubling down on a weak strategy.
Is Microsoft investing in building out a successful Windows 8 platform that will integrate desktop computing with mobile trends once-and-for-all, or is Microsoft hoarding an ever-growing number of failed assets?