In Pictures: Cisco's 10 most opportunistic acquisitions

These acquisitions helped Cisco jump on market trends early on, and take hold of them as they grow into money-makers.

Linksys Group, March 2003 Many may disagree with this, but despite Cisco recently divesting itself of Linksys, the acquisition was a good one at the time. Cisco paid $500 million for the consumer-centric company and then went on to dominate the home networking market for years. The Linksys products were also highly attractive to small businesses that didn't need the features or high price points of Cisco's traditional products. Cisco certainly dominated consumer "connectivity," but never managed to build on top of that success, as the Pure Digital (Flip camera) acquisition flopped. I believe Cisco squeezed all it could out of Linksys as the shift to cloud and other trends has made owning the home connectivity market much less important.

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