Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates revealed that his company considered purchasing WhatsApp. The popular instant messaging app was recently acquired by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), but Microsoft could have bought it instead.
Bill Gates explained the matter to Rolling Stone: “Microsoft would have been willing to buy it, too. I don’t know for $19bn, but the company’s extremely valuable… I think [Zuckerberg’s] aggressiveness is wise – although the price is higher than I would have expected. It shows that user bases are extremely valuable.”
Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion last month. Last year, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) reportedly wanted to purchase the app for $1 billion but WhatsApp rebuffed it.
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Microsoft was launched by Bill Gates back in 1975, and has long since changed technology. The company already owns Skype, which offers instant messaging and voice-over-IP service (VoIP). It is considered a freemium service which means users can download it and use it for free, but extra features will cost more. What is interesting is that Microsoft owns a small piece of WhatsApp, even if indirectly. The company owns about 1.6% stake in Facebook which is now worth $28 billion in valuation.
Bill Gates compares himself to Facebook founder
In the interview, Bill Gates also praised Mark Zuckerberg’s drive while adding that Zuckerberg is really just a product manager. He said Zuckerberg started out with products while he got his start as a coder and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs got his start in aesthetics.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been thinking a lot about the future lately and for good reason. It is evident the tech giant is struggling to compete in a market where Apple dominates with iPads and iPhones. Now it’s reported the company wants to fight with companies that create office apps which compete directly with Microsoft Office. In a world that’s going mobile, tech companies are creating useful office-based apps instead of waiting for Microsoft to create one.