“My recent comments have probably echoed that of many other commentators, that if Microsoft is on a death spiral, it would be a slow decline, one that would require years to totally reverse their standing as one huge money-making machine,” Gene Steinberg writes for TechNightOwl. “But now it appears as if Microsoft is doing their level best to speed up the process.”
“Take the curious decision to waste over $8.5 billion in spare cash to buy up Skype, a company that has yet to demonstrate the ability to actually deliver even decent revenues despite having a huge user base,” Steinberg writes. “The other issue is how Microsoft is going to solve their real problems, with a declining PC market and, except for game consoles, no proven track record to establish products and services that will ultimately become larger profit centers than Windows software and services.”
Steinberg writes, “That’s the magic bullet that Apple discovered years ago, when the arrival of the iPod presaged a new direction for our favorite fruit company. These days, Apple makes most of their revenue from the sale of mobile gadgets, not Macs, although Mac sales continue to grow ahead of most of the rest of the PC industry… This is not to say that Microsoft is finished. IBM managed a rebirth as a services-oriented company. I suppose Microsoft, if the situation proves desperate enough, will find ways to survive. But that will likely require dumping Steve Ballmer and the rest of the company’s failed leaders, and going on a hiring spree to attract executive talent to guide the company into the future. The question is whether that’ll happen before it’s too late.”
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