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Microsoft secretly scoops up 15 companies

Just doesn't like to talk about it

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Microsoft claimed late last week that it quietly bought 15 companies over the past 12 months – but declined to name names.

According to Tech Flash, Redmond biz development MD Marc Brown said that the acquisitions each cost the firm less than $75m, involving relatively smallfry start-ups.

"Typically it will be 20 to 30 people who haven't yet begun to add the marketing muscle and haven't started to look internationally in terms of distribution, and we find great people and great technology in that set of companies," said Brown.

His comments came after a recent CB Insights report that said the software giant hadn't made one takeover announcement in its fiscal 2009/2010 year.

It’s unclear why Microsoft decided to keep the acquisitions close to its chest.

Perhaps the company didn’t want to appear too bullish in the face of its investors and shareholders; or more likely, MS is quietly slotting those start-ups’ tech into new, yet-to-be-announced products.

Or, as the conspiracy theorists might have it, the takeovers never happened and Steve Ballmer hangs out with aliens, Elvis and JFK in a dusty Area 51 hangar. ®

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