Microsoft, a $2 trillion worth (According to Wikipedia) organization, is one of the largest companies in the world. The company, like some other successful tech giants, was started in a garage and was founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Bill Gates-founded company’s first acquisition ever was Forethought in 1987. Forethought was a company established in 1983 and had developed a presentation software that’d later be included in Microsoft to be known as Microsoft PowerPoint.
Want to know what companies are owned by Microsoft? In this blog, we’ll talk about 8 of the best Microsoft-owned companies that the world has seen.
1. LinkedIn, Inc.
LinkedIn is a well known professional social networking website that’s focused on helping individuals find their dream job and cultivate their professional networks. The business-centred social media company was founded in the year 2002 and managed to become profitable just within 5 years of its establishment.
The social media platform became a Microsoft-owned company in 2016, five years after LinkedIn went public in 2011. After the company got listed, its members grew from 15 million to over 100 million. A year after its acquisition by Microsoft, LinkedIn reportedly added more than 500 million members in 200 countries.
One reason why LinkedIn has thrived after its acquisition is Microsoft’s “hands-off” approach, giving LinkedIn the freedom to retain its core culture and brand. This Microsoft -owned company provides Microsoft with a key social media platform along with the recruiting tools that earn Microsoft revenue via premium memberships.
Github is essentially a software development platform that was founded in 2007. Its founder Chris Wanstrath created a provider of internet hosting for version control using Git. Wanstrath “created” the term “commit” – a term used for describing an action of storing the hierarchy of a file and content in an online repository.
This Microsoft-owned company became a part of the Microsoft universe in 2018. The acquisition price was $7.5 billion. At the time of the deal, GitHub had about $30 million developers and hosted over 100 million repositories.
The Microsoft-GitHub partnership showed the tech giant’s focus on open source development and is aimed at boosting the use of the platform along with providing more tools and services to the audience.
3. Nuance Communication Inc.
Nuance Communication was founded as Visioneer Inc. in 1992. The company changed its name to what it is now in 2005. Nuance is a pioneering provider of conversational artificial intelligence and cloud-based clinical intelligence for healthcare providers. The company created a clinical speech recognition software that was built on the cloud platform of Microsoft.
Microsoft acquired Nuance Communication recently in April 2021 for about $19.7 billion in an all-cash deal. The deal isn’t completed yet and is expected to close by the end of this year. This acquisition represents the strategy of Microsoft to offer industry-specific cloud offerings, like the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare initiative (which was launched in 2020 during the pandemic.
4. Skype Technologies
Currently headquartered in Luxembourg, Skype Technologies was established in 2003 by Janus Friis of Denmark and Niklas Zennström of Sweden. The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication technology company allowed its users to make audio calls via an internet connection.
In 2005, Sykpe had about 50 million registered users and in 2010, the number of users soared to over 600 users. Skype was acquired by Microsoft in 2011. The deal amount was $8.5 billion.
After the acquisition, the Microsoft owned company made the integration of its capabilities with tech like Windows and Xbox possible.
Introduced in the year 2001, Xbox is a video gaming company that was found in the United States. The company was established and is owned by Microsoft. It comprises 5 video game consoles along with streaming services, games, Xbox network (an online service) and Xbox Game Studios (its game development arm.
Its consoles include First generation: Xbox, Second generation: Xbox 360, Third generation: Xbox One, Fourth generation: Xbox Series X and Series S. Services by Xbox include Xbox Games Store, Xbox SmartGlass, Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming, Content filter and Xbox Game Pass. Its range of controllers includes Xbox Controller, Xbox 360 Controller, Xbox One Controller, Xbox Series X and Series S Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller.
6. Playground Games
An AAA game studio based in England and best known for its popular franchise – Forza (a racing game that was launched in 2012. The goal of Playground Games is to make the process of game development fun and the quality top-notch. The company was one of the “Best Places to Work” in the year 2019. Xbox, a Microsoft-owned company, acquired Playground Games in 2018 and in the same year released Forza Horizon 4.
The very first edition of Forza Horizon was launched by Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360 exclusively. This was followed by Horizon 2 in 2014 as well as Horizon 3 in 2016 with many more compatible platforms like Xbox One and Windows.
7. ZeniMax Media, Inc.
Established in the year 2019, ZeniMedia is based in Rockville, Maryland. It is a video game publisher that builds and publishes original interactive and entertaining content for PCs, mobiles and consoles. A few of the recognizable and best-selling franchises of ZeniMax are Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
To date, ZeniMax is Microsoft’s biggest gaming acquisition. The tech giant announced in 2020 that it will be acquiring ZeniMax for approximately $7.5 billion. The acquisition was closed in March 2021 after getting approval from the European Union regulators and United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
This Microsoft owned company helps Microsoft bolster Xbox’s offerings and accelerates its position against competitors like PlayStation (by Sony).
Mover is focused on mid to large scale business cloud migrations as well as backups. Movers was founded in 2011 by Mark Fossen and Erik Warnke. The company was founded to simplify and align the data transfer process to the cloud. Consumers can use Mover to change cloud storage providers and back up their files or website while reducing anxiety about where and how their data is being transferred.
Microsoft acquired Mover in 2019. The amount for which the company was bought was not disclosed.
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