Rather than letting its cash just sit around growing mould, just about every major tech company made big acquisitions last year.
However! Not every company made a smart acquisition.
What’s a smart acquisition? Generally speaking, it’s the right company at the right price, bringing in technology or talent to improve your core product.
So who made the best moves in 2010?
... or it could be a flop. But, HP only paid $1.2 billion for Palm. It's worth it to take a chance on a good operating system and free HP of waiting for Microsoft to make a good tablet operating system.
Groupon is very active on the M&A front. When we asked CEO Andrew Mason which of the many startups they've bought stood out he answered CityDeal. Why? 'We picked up some of the most talented entrepreneurs I've ever met.'
One of AOL's most valuable products is also one of its most neglected. AIM has languished over the years. Thing Labs was brought in to freshen it up. Since AOL probably didn't pay much, we think it is a pretty smart deal.
AOL wants to become the Time Inc. of the 21st century. Buying TechCrunch is a smart way to achieve that goal. TechCrunch is one of the best tech blogs in the world.
Kinect is arguably the most exciting product to come out of Microsoft in a long time. To protect itself, Microsoft bought Canesta, a small Silicon Valley company armed with patents related to motion based technology.
We also hear the Canesta technology is great and it will make the next version of Kinect even better.
Yes, Google lost many of the employees at AdMob. And yes, Google overpaid for AdMob to keep it away from Apple. But, so what? It gained one of the most important mobile display companies in the world.
Research In Motion bought QNX, a software division of Harman International, in April. The QNX team is already making a huge impact creating software for RIM's PlayBook tablet, which looks promising. QNX is also platform of the future for the BlackBerry phone lineup.
We assume not everyone agrees with our list ... let us know what's missing in the comments!