Microsoft Could Make Apple Play with Logitech

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-01-16 Print this article Print

Buying Logitech could help Microsoft better compete with the likes of Apple and other competitors of the Zune and Xbox.

Microsoft may be looking to acquire Swiss-based computer peripherals maker Logitech International so it can better compete with Apple and other competitors of the Zune and Xbox, according to some analysts.

Rumors about a possible deal between the two companies surfaced the week of Jan. 7, which helped boost Logitech's share price, but neither firm will comment on the speculation.

Were the deal to actually happen, it would immediately make Microsoft a major power in PC peripherals, gaming accessories, mobile accessories, and iPod accessories, said Rob Enderle, an analyst with The Enderle Group. 

It could also help Microsoft with the much-needed accessories for the Zune and Xbox, he said, noting that the Zune needs a much deeper set of accessories to compete with Apple. The deal also would help correct some of the difficulties Microsoft has had building Xbox accessories.

"In fact, if the deal took place, Logitech would likely have a lot to do with the design of the next Xbox. In addition, the combination of the Zune and Logitech groups would create a much more credible challenger for Apple," he said.

With regard to Logitech, which "leads a market that few care about," such a deal would give the company access to resources that put it in another league entirely, Enderle said.

 Acquiring Logitech's remote product line could also help propel Microsoft's vision of the connected home further, faster, Chris Swenson, an analyst with the NPD Group, told eWEEK.

"The remotes from Logitech have support for Xbox 360, Windows Media Center, and thousands of other devices.  Microsoft is going to need technology like this for all the electronics the company is trying to stuff into the American living room," he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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