It’s the time of year for predictions, and technology research firm IDC has a few predictions of its own, including the forecast that Microsoft will buy Netflix to give it a foothold in online video entertainment and LinkedIn to get into social networking.
Those moves would be part of a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in 2012 by companies seeking to increase their presence in cloud computing, social networking and online content. The IDC predictions about Microsoft and Netflix actually also were made by IDC 12 months ago.
Chief analyst Frank Gens said it makes even more sense now, given Netflix’s diminished market value and expected losses next year from growing content licensing bills. Microsoft Predicted To Buy Netflix, LinkedIn in 2012
“In 2012, part of Microsoft’s challenge is to counter what Apple and Amazon have done and what Google is building up, a really strong media and content marketplace,” Gens said.
By offering movies, music and other content, Apple , Amazon and Google are aiding their mobile device ecosystems, including tablets and smartphones. “Without a media and content cloud, the competitiveness of Microsoft’s mobile platforms could be greatly diminished,” Gens says.
In many ways, that observation also illustrates the changing nature of the consumer electronics business as well. To a greater extent, the value of a device hinges on the content resources available to users of the devices.