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Who will Microsoft buy next: LinkedIn, Citrix, BlueKai or the maker of Angry Birds?

Who will Microsoft buy next: LinkedIn, Citrix, BlueKai or the maker of Angry Birds?Microsoft made an enormous guess earlier this month when it devoured up Skype for $8.5 billion, a transfer that acquired some VCs salivating at the prospect of the software program large returning to the M&A scene. Now, a report out at present from GigaOm Professional and TheStreet.com seems at how 5 large-cap, high-tech firms, together with Microsoft, might spend their money in 2011. The authors write that Microsoft is a well-managed firm, however it’s in “dire want of an revolutionary spark.”

Was Skype sufficient of that spark? Possibly. Possibly not. (I do know some of you on the market in the neighborhood imagine that Microsoft overpaid for Skype, and would have favored to have seen these {dollars} circulate elsewhere).

The authors have a number of different options, together with key growth areas in cell, cloud computing and Web search. Additionally they be aware {that a} “transfer into {hardware}” can be a chance.

In cloud computing, the authors counsel that Citrix is likely to be a lovely candidate because it already has a 20-year alliance with Microsoft. Couchbase additionally is obtainable as a possible goal.

In cell — the place the authors say that Microsoft is particularly “weak” —  WHERE Inc. (a maker of location-based apps); Jumptap (a cell advert firm); and Mobclix (an iPhone app maker).

In an effort to fight Google, the report additionally means that Microsoft might resolve to construct an advert community particularly for Fb. If that happens, Microsoft might go after two firms with Seattle roots: Viewers Science or BlueKai. (Right here’s our report from yesterday on BlueKai, detailing why CEO Omar Tawakol relocated to Cupertino).

The authors additionally counsel LinkedIn, although with a $9 billion market cap after final week’s IPO it could possibly be too wealthy for Microsoft at the moment.

In a single of the extra intriguing prospects, the authors additionally counsel that Microsoft might bolster its Xbox and Kinect franchises by going after a gamer maker like Rovio which produces Angry Birds. One other candidate in the gaming enviornment is Prime Sense, a maker of 3-D imaginative and prescient know-how.

Along with Microsoft, the report seems at IBM, Cisco, H-P and Oracle. In the case of Oracle, the authors write that it could go after Field.internet with the intention to create a low-cost different to Microsoft’s Sharepoint.

The report additionally offers an general image of the tech M&A market, suggesting that acquisitions will possible enhance this 12 months based mostly on the tens of billions of {dollars} that tech giants are presently hoarding. (Microsoft alone has about $50 billion in money).

“Given the know-how sector’s prospects and obtainable money, it maybe faces the loudest calls from buyers who need to see the firms broaden and enhance earnings,” the report says.

Who will Microsoft buy next: LinkedIn, Citrix, BlueKai or the maker of Angry Birds?

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