The best and worst Microsoft acquisitions over the years

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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