Microsoft has a lot of cash laying around—like, $95 billion. Apparently all that money is burning holes in the pockets of industry watchers who want Microsoft to spend some of it.
This week a blog on KitGuru cited an anonymous source claiming Microsoft approached AMD about a possible acquisition. Microsoft uses AMD processors for its Xbox One game console.
The post argues that since Microsoft has already spent an estimated $1.26 billion on silicon from AMD, it could save money outright by buying the company, which has a market cap of $1.81 billion.
It also notes an acquisition would ensure AMD didn’t go out of business or get bought by a competitor. The author also says it might confer a competitive advantage for Microsoft, as Sony Playstations also use AMD chips.
Meanwhile, earlier this month a blog in Fortune made the case for why Microsoft should buy the container startup Docker:
“…a purchase would be a bold move by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is trying to position the company’s Azure cloud as the cloud-of-choice for businesses, but as part of that effort also a first-class home for containers and for open-source software.”
The post argues that a Docker acquisition would garner ‘credibility’ for Microsoft in the open source community.
Both posts are rife with speculation, and it’s easy to suggest bold corporate moves when you’re spending someone else’s billions. My own perspective is that neither acquisition is likely. In regard to AMD, I’m suspicious of anonymous sources. And while Microsoft does have a portfolio of hardware devices, it doesn’t follow the company would be better off owning a chipmaker—particularly one that’s struggling with falling sales.
As for Docker, you can’t buy credibility, particularly when it comes to open source. You have to earn it, by contributing code and developers. Besides, Microsoft doesn’t have to buy Docker to have a container play.
That said, it would be amusing to see heads explode if Microsoft did buy the newest open-source darling. Not sure that’s worth several billion to Microsoft shareholders, but who knows.
Drones Vs. People
I’m fascinated and slightly alarmed by the onset of drones. While drones are cool, people are often idiots.
Case in point, a Seattle woman was apparently knocked unconscious by a drone that tumbled out of the sky after it crashed into a building. Authorities are looking for the operator.
It also looks like we need to get our social protocols straight when it comes to drones and firearms. Ars Technica shares the story of a Modesto, Calif. man’s struggle for justice after a neighbor gunned down his drone with a shotgun.
Apparently there was a dispute over whose property the drone was flying, which was first settled by buckshot, and then by small claims court. While the court ruled the drone’s owner should be compensated by the shooter, the owner has yet to collect.