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Microsoft Buys Danger--The WebTV Gang Strikes Again

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 11, 2008

I wonder if Danger Inc. founder Andy Rubin kept any of his stock in the mobile phone software developer? If so, Microsoft’s announcement today that it was buying the maker of Sidekick handset software on undisclosed terms, a two-time winner at selling companies to the giant of Redmond.

Rubin was part of the remarkable team that developed the Macintosh at Apple and then went on to start General Magic and WebTV. WebTV was bought by Microsoft for a then-princely $425 million in 1997. Other members of the Mac-General Magic-WebTV all-stars include Steve Perlman, Bruce Leak, and the late Phil Goldman.

In recent years, Rubin started open-source handset software maker Android, which he sold to Google in 2006. Android has become the basis of the new Open Handset Alliance platform. Rubin is now a Google executive.

If he kept a stake in Danger its a relatively small one since he is not listed as a principal shareholder in the now-irrelevant red herring that Google filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission in December.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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