Posts Tagged Microsoft

Twenty Years Ago Today

I was in about my second week at Microsoft when Windows 95 officially launched.  It was a big deal on the corporate campus with Jay Leno MCing the event. It seems like just a few days ago and then again it seems like eons in the past.  Our two decades in Washington have passed ever so quickly.

windows-95-launch

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Whew! Five Years Retired

Can’t see how it’s been five years since my last day at Microsoft. It’s scary how fast the time passes.

Excel and Outlook on the screens, of course.

Feb. 2010: Excel and Outlook on the screens, of course.

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Microsoft Fumbles Again

Good Grief!  The EU has fined Microsoft $730 million for failure to give users the option to select a Web browser other than Internet Explorer.  And Microsoft admits they did it.  “Yep. We screwed up. A technical oversight.”

When are heads going to roll in Redmond?  

  • A decade of flat stock price in the biggest bull market in history.
  • More than a decade without a truly new product.
  • Complete failure in the smart phone and tablet products.
  • Over $3 billion in fines paid to the EU.
  • Billions squandered is useless acquisitions.

What other company in the world with this kind of litany of failures still has the same CEO?

 

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The Delusional Mr. Ballmer

I don’t work at Microsoft any longer and I dumped the last of my MSFT stock earlier this year.  And I feel good about it especially after reading the description of the latest shareholders’ meeting.  Mr. Ballmer reprised his past performances, telling everyone what a great year the company had and how rosy the future is, emphasizing –get this–: “We are in the Windows era. We were, we are and we always will be.”  How’s that for thinking outside the box?  He’s saying effectively, “You know that stuff we did in 1981?  It was great and that’s all we’re ever going to do.”

I’m stunned how a CEO and corporate board can have so little regard for the shareholders.  They absolutely don’t care that MSFT stock price has been flat for a decade and seem to think it’s unreasonable for shareholders to ask for a better ROI than zero.

MSFT 10-Year Stock Price Graph

MSFT ended the day yesterday at $26.74.  Ten years ago, Nov. 16 2001, it closed at $32.88.  By comparison, McDonalds, another mature company with a pretty basic product line has managed to raise its share price from $28.01 to $94.47 while paying out a 2.5% dividend.

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