In 1996, Microsoft dramatically stepped up its merger and investment strategy. Some of the software giant's notable deals:
Microsoft bought Vermeer Technologies, makers of FrontPage, a tool for creating and managing Web documents.
Black Entertainment Television and the software giant launched a joint venture aimed at delivering interactive entertainment and information.
Microsoft purchased Colusa, a developer of object-oriented programming for the Internet.
Aspect Engineering, which makes tools and technologies for the Internet, sold out to Microsoft.
Microsoft bought aha!, a developer of software for mobile computers.
EXOS, developer of software for game-control devices, agreed to a buyout.
As part of its core strategy for electronic retailing, Microsoft bought eShop, an Internet-commerce software maker.
Microsoft puchased Electric Gravity, creator of the Internet Gaming Zone, a Net site for games.
Microsoft invested in ENTEX Information Services, a contractor that handles most of Microsoft's help-desk activities.
Microsoft invested in SingleTrac Entertainment, a developer of such games as Twisted Metal and Warhawk.
WebTV sold a minority stake to Microsoft. The two will collaborate on a new WebTV browsing system.
Microsoft took a stake in VDOnet, a pioneer of software that squeezes voice and video over the narrow pipes of the
ResNova Software, a developer of Macintosh Internet technology, was purchased by Microsoft.
The software giant bought NetCarta, which makes WebMapper, a Web-site management tool.
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