Thursday, June 01, 2006 - Pick of the Crop - Pick of the Crop: "Two of the most formidable hunters are Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp., each aiming to forge ties with -- and sometimes acquire -- promising companies that make software and other products for big businesses.
At a big, closed-door meeting with Silicon Valley venture capitalists last month, Microsoft's chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer, boasted that the Redmond, Wash., company bought 22 companies over the past year, some of them Northern California fledglings. IBM made 16 acquisitions last year, including several referred to the company by a special, 20-person venture-capital outreach group that IBM set up in 2000."

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