Re: I'll tell you what you want...
The evidence points to a mixed record for Microsoft. They had a little early success with companies like Forethought and Consumers Software that built the products that became PowerPoint and Excel and don't forget Visio that made , er, Visio. It would be interesting to calculate the returns on those purchases with the sales of the Microsoft Office Suite.
NAVision cost them $1.45 billion and became Dynamics. Unsure that would be classed as a success, except by a Dynamics evangelist but it has probably more than paid its way,
Nokia is the best remembered disaster but Microsoft probably lost more money (nearly $7 billion write down) on aQuantive, an advertising platform that was expected to challenge the likes of DoubleClick.
Skype cost them over $8 billion and if you only judged results by user feedback, it has been an unmitigated disaster from the start. A disaster that revolutionised the international calling market, taking over 45% at times, and earning billions of dollars per year.
The purchase of Minecraft ruined the game forever according to some but under their stewardship it is quoted as the 2nd most played game of all time. Maybe the 112 million monthly players have failed to notice that it has been turned to sh*t.
I realise that factual statements about one the Reg's favourite bogeyman won't go down too well in these parts but just occasionally the rabid hatred and blind ignorance can be annoying.
PS. I don't have any Microsoft shares but I sure wish I did, alongside a drawer full of Apple, Oracle and Amazon stock.