Seems like the information technology major Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is now into the habit of coming to the aid of struggling tech firms which have had their glory days and are now past their prime. The most prominent example of such “knight in shining armor” behavior of Microsoft was when it managed a coup of sorts by buying out the handset business from the ailing Finnish telecom and handset manufacturer Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK).
If the strongly prevalent rumors at this time are to be believed, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is readying itself for a repeat of its rescue mission. It has been reported by trade magazines that the software maker is in talks with ailing, one-time shining star of the pre-tech-bubble information tech sector AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL). The buzz is that Microsoft is attempting to augment its media and music offering capability by trying to take off media player “Winamp & SHOUTcast” from AOL.
Shedding cash cows?
Readers should note that AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) had gone on record in the past two days indicating that the day were numbered for Winamp and the firm would be bringing the curtains down on Winamp over the next couple of months. Readers who grew up watching downloaded movies on their PC monitors in the 90’s would vouch for the immense popularity of the media player which had captured a dominant market share in the media-player space at its zenith. AOL had also previously indicated that it saw no future for SHOUTcast and is to be shut down in the near future. The software allows streaming of media across platforms. It is ironic that both these products, which Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is intent on taking off AOL the asset list (if rumors are to be believed) were originally acquired by AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) during its heyday in 1999 for $80 million from tech firm Nullsoft.
Analysts have started to speculate that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is attempting to augment its offerings around Xbox Music by bringing in these two AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) once-popular media-playing properties under its wing and pour in investments to refurbish their features. It is being speculated that these apps will be repositioned by Microsoft to take on the more recent online music streaming players who have been dominating the space.