Tech collaborations, mergers


By Marshal Mdeza:

In the PC era, we had three PC builders; Digital, Compaq and HP. Digital was acquired by Compaq. The name Digital died. A few years down the line, HP bought Compaq. Compaq became a product line of HP.

HP turned out to be a tech python that had swallowed two big tech goats; digested the meat, and like in a natural process, absorbed the nutrients and excreted the rest.


The then giant chip maker, Intel, took over McAfee Antivirus software and we wondered what a chip maker would want to do with an antivirus company. Since then, we hardly hear anything about McAfee Antivirus.

Microsoft also became a player in the mergers and acquisitions game. The company bought Nokia Lumia smartphone division and rebranded it Microsoft Lumia. And we rejoiced; here was the aura of a small computer that would made calls in our grasp.

Microsoft Lumia runs Windows phone. This was the same Windows on our tablets, laptops and desktops. It was a very familiar platform.


Using the same Windows platform on the Lumia series, Microsoft informed that it would no longer support Windows Phone by December 31, 2019. This was a polite way of saying that Windows Phone was dead, so was Lumia.

Facebook played its part in the game of reducing the population of tech companies. Mark Zuckerberg and his team bought WhatsApp. Why? Because WhatsApp was a threat to Facebook. While Facebook was riddled by advertising material, WhatsApp was adverts free.

Facebook did not kill WhatsApp. It only controlled it and made sure that it did not disturb the monetization programmes of Facebook.

Just imagine for a moment what would have happened if the tech industry had continued in that trajectory? By now Apple would have bought Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note series. And all the competition and innovations would have stopped.

Microsoft would have acquired from Google Android Operating System. Not to use it but to kill it and force Samsung, One Plus, Sony and Huawei to use Windows Phone instead.

Fortunately the rules of the game have changed. Apple cannot buyout Samsung. They are both strong. Microsoft cannot acquire Google. They are fierce competitors.

It is for this reason that Microsoft has been humble enough to admit that Android is what Windows was in the PC era. Microsoft further appreciates that collaboration is the way to go in this day. Tech Companies need to work together without having to enviously kill each other.

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