Bill Gates's Quiet Shopping Spree
There are the usual corporate investment binges, and then there is the one under way at Microsoft Corp., a company with $8 billion in cash and a yen to buy. In the past year, the most powerful company in the personal computer business has quietly added a new tactic to its considerable arsenal: In addition to a huge internal research and development effort, it is snatching up technologies--or getting an inside peek at them--through acquisitions and investments.
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