Microsoft was also recently rumored to be interested in Pinterest and Discord.
Microsoft’s merger activities are unexceptional by big-tech standards, says Mark Moerdler of Bernstein, a broker. In 2016 it paid $26 billion for LinkedIn. In 2018 it picked up GitHub for $7.5 billion.
It is safe to say that Microsoft has term sheets for many potential targets on file. Excluding the Nuance deal, the company has spent only $33 billion on big acquisitions in the past four years, compared with $64 billion on research and development. It has tons of cash ($132 billion at the end of last year). Previous moves by Microsoft have turned out to not be as savvy with textbook examples of what not to do... like buying Nokia and Skype.
“Is Satya Nadella getting bored?” wondered many insiders.
Discord, like GitHub is a focus on content creators and their user communities, much like LinkedIn and Pinterest gave Microsoft access to data about people’s interests enabling new forms of e-commerce.
The Nuance technology will add data to Microsoft’s “health cloud”, and has speech-recognition software and a health-care platform used in 77% of American hospitals. Nuance’s portfolio of patents can be used elsewhere in Mr Nadella’s empire, but the $20 billion price tag, for a firm with a net profit of $29m last year on revenues of $1.5 billion, is steep.
An don't be surprised to see Microsoft make more deals.