Microsoft stranded

  • Posted: 30 January 2011 11:56 PM #76

    wab95 - 31 January 2011 03:39 AM

    To your points above, cast in the current context, I do not believe that Microsoft are being smart at all and their strategy appears to be more Monte Python than Machievelli. If Microsoft were a fighter jet, they’d now have one engine dead, the other in flames,  the pilot stuporous and the navigator clueless as to the location of their aircraft carrier. One could argue that they’re just trying to confuse the enemy; I would argue that they are just confused and on a collision course with the future.

    Your reference to a jet reminded me of a dumb blonde joke that I am now going to butcher in my haste to make my point. In short, the dumb blonde is taking a three hour flight on a four engine jet plane. The first engine flames out and the pilot announces that they’ll be arriving 1/2 an hour late. The second engine flames out and the pilot announces that they’ll be arriving 1 hour late. The third engine flame out and the pilot nervously announces that they’ll be arriving 2 hours late.

    “Geez”, says the dumb blonde, “I hope our final engine doesn’t go out or we’ll be up here forever!”

    Maybe Ballmer is like the dumb blonde. As one market after another flames out and goes dead around him, his profits continue to soar. Perhaps he thinks that so long as he has Windows and Office, Microsoft’s profits will stay “up there forever”. Sadly, I think the day is coming, and coming soon, when people realize that not only is Microsoft flying on one engine, but their airport is flooded with Apple’s products and there’s no safe place to land.

         
  • Posted: 30 January 2011 11:59 PM #77

    rattyuk - 31 January 2011 03:26 AM
    FalKirk - 31 January 2011 03:05 AM

    2) Windows Phone 7.
    ...
    Microsoft may be thinking about taking a different tack to the mobile marketplace, but Windows Phone 7 is powerful evidence that they’re actually doing the same things that they’ve always done.

    The lack of updates is disheartening… It’s like they’re a deer in the headlights and can’t decide to go all in or fold. Damn - now I’ve mixed me metaphors.

    FalKirk - 31 January 2011 03:05 AM

    3) Tablets. Microsoft’s tablet strategy is either really, really dumb or its brilliant. They haven’t produced even the beginnings of a competitor to the iPad.

    I’m siding on the dumb.


    Ratty, I like your mixed metaphors.

    I also agree with the gist of your comments above. No apologist can explain away the utter squandering of opportunity and the many pointless and abortive ventures at the cost of billions that MS have been engaged in under current leadership. I do not believe that this is sustainable without sacrificing the company. I’m betting, however, that there is considerably more interest in preserving the company than in preserving the current status quo.

    It is often difficult to imagine change until it happens, and it takes guts, desperation or both to bring it about. Desperation hangs thickly in the air. For my part, I find it difficult to imagine change not happening, and soon.

    As to your and Falkirk’s point about Microsoft exhibiting a pattern of repeating past mistakes, I think this underscores precisely why Microsoft need to draw upon extramural talent in formulating a new strategy. A political scientist named Kenneth Dolbere (sp?) once observed that most revolutions fail, among other reasons, because they replicate the very systems they overthrow. While I disagree with much of what the man wrote and believed, I think that he was spot on on this point; and if MS are to regain their footing, they are going to need fresh blood, and dare I say, a clean slate.

    Signature

    wab95

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 12:11 AM #78

    FalKirk - 31 January 2011 03:56 AM
    wab95 - 31 January 2011 03:39 AM

    To your points above, cast in the current context, I do not believe that Microsoft are being smart at all and their strategy appears to be more Monte Python than Machievelli. If Microsoft were a fighter jet, they’d now have one engine dead, the other in flames,  the pilot stuporous and the navigator clueless as to the location of their aircraft carrier. One could argue that they’re just trying to confuse the enemy; I would argue that they are just confused and on a collision course with the future.

    Your reference to a jet reminded me of a dumb blonde joke that I am now going to butcher in my haste to make my point. In short, the dumb blonde is taking a three hour flight on a four engine jet plane. The first engine flames out and the pilot announces that they’ll be arriving 1/2 an hour late. The second engine flames out and the pilot announces that they’ll be arriving 1 hour late. The third engine flame out and the pilot nervously announces that they’ll be arriving 2 hours late.

    “Geez”, says the dumb blonde, “I hope our final engine doesn’t go out or we’ll be up here forever!”

    Maybe Ballmer is like the dumb blonde. As one market after another flames out and goes dead around him, his profits continue to soar. Perhaps he thinks that so long as he has Windows and Office, Microsoft’s profits will stay “up there forever”. Sadly, I think the day is coming, and coming soon, when people realize that not only is Microsoft flying on one engine, but their airport is flooded with Apple’s products and there’s no safe place to land.


    Now that was funny.

    Regarding Ballmer’s thinking, outwardly this appears to be the case, and if so, bespeaks an inability to take the longterm view, something essential in an effective leader.

    Signature

    wab95

         
  • Posted: 31 January 2011 09:40 PM #79

    Via Daring Fireball:

    Jay Yarow and Kamelia Angelova:

    Every quarter Microsoft reports earnings, and every quarter it reports a massive loss in its online operations. Today it reported a $543 million loss for its December quarter. This gives Microsoft a trailing-four-quarter loss of $2.5 billion. That?s simply astounding. We?ve asked it before, and we?ll ask it again: Has any company lost as much money online as Microsoft?

    Just keep digging.

    Microsoft’s number are so big that no one seems to even notice that they are losing half-a billion dollars EVERY THREE MONTHS on BING. And yet, Microsoft supporters think that BING is a big success.

         
  • Posted: 14 February 2011 07:11 PM #80

    I know it’s just numbers and just temporary, but right now, Apple’s market cap is over one hundred billion dollars more than Microsofts’:

    Apple (AAPL) ? $330.90B
    Microsoft (MSFT) ? $228.80B

    http://macdailynews.com/2011/02/14/apple-shares-hit-new-all-time-intraday-closing-highs-110214/

    Amazing.

         
  • Posted: 16 February 2011 07:10 AM #81

    Apple: Way the most valuable tech company in the world

    At the close of the New York markets on Tuesday, Apple climbed $100 billion past Microsoft in market valuation. And the little engine that could keeps climbing, way more than Hewlett Packard, Sony, Dell and the many others that once pronounced it dead.

    In a post on Seeking Alpha, MG Siegler points out the rise of Apple is counterpointed by the descent of Microsoft. A year ago, Microsoft?s valuation was some $60B more than Apple. Today, Apple has a market cap of $330.66B while Microsoft is at $228B. What a switch!

    In fact, not only is it clear now that Microsoft will not be re-taking the crown as the most-valuable tech company any time soon, but they?re flirting with being knocked down to the number three ? or even number four spot. In the past year, while Microsoft?s stock is down slightly, Google?s is up nearly $100-a-share. This has allowed the search giant to surpass the $200 billion market cap themselves. And they?re now just $28 billion away from Microsoft.

    Question, if Google passes Microsoft in valuation, how many days later will the reign of Steve Ballmer last?