Microsoft could buy a company like Netflix in 2012, says IDC

Microsoft could buy a company sometime in 2012 that provided content via cloud computing services. That's the conclusion from the research team IDC in a new report that goes over the growth of cloud computing in the IT world and predicts what might happen to that technology business in the future.

In Microsoft's case, IDC states that in its opinion, Microsoft could acquire a "content/media cloud ... to provide a marketplace for its apps and content." The IDC report specifically names the streaming movie/TV show business Netflix as one of the possible companies that could be in Microsoft's targets for a purchase.

The idea of Microsoft buying Netflix might have seemed implausible just a few months ago when Netflix's stock price was riding high. However, that all changed in the summer of 2011 when Netflix raised the subscription prices by as much as 60 percent for some of its customers. That caused Netflix to lose subscribers at a higher rate than predicted and as a result its stock price has plummeted.

Overall, IDC predicts that spending in the IT industry will total $1.8 trillion worldwide in 2012 which would be a 6.9 increase compared to IT spending in 2011. It sees that much of that growth, about 20 percent, could come from emerging technology divisions such as "smartphones, media tablets, mobile networks, social networking, and big data analytics."

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