steve ballmer photo Apparently just standing back and watching Google gobble up company after company in acquisitions has gotten Microsoft itching to gobble up their own collection of start-ups. According to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, the company has intentions of making 20 “smaller” acquisitions each year over the next five years, giving them 100 new companies to work with by the end of 2012. It sounds like an ambitious plan and makes you wonder which companies they’ll end up with and how they will be of benefit from and use each of them.

Ballmer was quoted as saying “We buy 20 companies a year within the range of 50 to 200 million. My email is  If you want to sell your company, write to me.” That was essentially an open invitation to anybody who thinks they’d be of value to Microsoft to contact them because they’re in the mood to buy. When asked about a big $10 billion dollar Facebook acquisition, he simply said “No comment.” And of course he was also asked about a merge with Yahoo which has been rumored, to which he replied, “Great company, great relationship.  If at some point it makes sense… but not the focus now.”

So far this year it has seemed like Google has been buying companies left and right yet it’s “only” been 15.  With the DoubleClick deal pending, it would make it 16. Should Microsoft meet their goal of acquiring 20 companies each year, that would give them more acquisitions than Google which means every few weeks they’ll be in the news with the announcement of their latest purchase like Google was this year. Seeing how Google and Microsoft are always competing, is there anyone out there willing to bet that Google will make an announcement next week proclaiming that they will acquire 25 companies each year for the next 5 years? :)

Note: The image above is of Steve Ballmer and shows what he likely does anytime someone mentions Google.

Source: Marketing Pilgrim