Microsoft has been buying up smaller companies since it nabbed the software that would become PowerPoint in 1987, but its most robust period of acquisition is undeniably the post-dot-com bubble years after Bill Gates handed Steve Ballmer the CEO position in January 2000. Between 2005 and 2008, the software giant snatched up more than 10 companies a year and set a company record in 2006 by buying a whopping 18. During Ballmer’s 13-year tenure,Microsoft devoured 149 companies.
While not its largest acquisition — Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion — the company’s $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia’s device and services division this week comes at a troubling time for the big acquisitor. Ballmer has begrudgingly relinquished his role as CEO, a bit earlier than the he originally planned on, and Wall Street is disappointed in the Nokia decision, knocking 4.5 percent off Microsoft’s stock Tuesday.
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