Can Microsoft be any less dead?

“The stock market has never been the same since Microsoft lost its title as the bully of the tech sector. And as hard as it is for me to say, it’s time to stop calling the company a ‘sleeping giant’ – expecting it to suddenly awaken,” Richard Saintvilus reports for The Motley Fool. “The body has been motionless for too long. And if the company’s Q1 earnings revealed anything at all – it’s time to call the coroner.”

“The company didn’t get its fiscal 2013 started on the right foot. The software giant disappointed investors yet again by posting net income of $4.47 billion, or 53 cents per share, on revenues of $16.01 billion – missing both top and bottom line estimates,” Saintvilus reports. “Not only did revenues decline by 8%, but the company managed to shed 22% in profits.”

Saintvilus reports, “With plummeting PC sales projected to reach the teen percentage points by the second half of the year, things are only going to get worse… Essentially, as Microsoft is losing its position to Apple in consumer electronics, the company is also being skipped over in the enterprise by a more nimble Oracle, which has been on a shopping spree… Microsoft is in trouble with consumers and in the enterprise. Unfortunately, despite these facts management believed that increasing the dividend was the best use of its capital. If that is not a sign of ‘throwing its hands in the air,’ I don’t know what is.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GetMeOnTop” for the heads up.]

43 Comments

  1. Still amazing that this company is generating 4.5B (yes BILLION) dollars per quarter in pure PROFIT. Talk about ill gotten gains. They are truly the company we all love to hate but damn…thats a lot ching.

    1. People have been counting MS out for years. Their cash hoard and massive profits each quarter suggest otherwise. MS isn’t going anywhere. These articles are distributed by Apple stock holders.

      What happens if Windows 8 fails? It does NOT spell the end of MS. People can just use Windows 7 for many more years and nobody would notice.

      I want MS to fail… I’m an Apple guy… but get real. They’re not dying. And Apple has had declining marketshare and sales in the past few quarters too. Talk about spin.

      1. As one Apple fan speaking to another Apple guy, believe me, you don’t want MS to fail. Then Apple will become the next Microsoft, and — unlesss you’re a teenybopper or grossly naive — Apple is just as capable of acting the same way as MS, even worse.

        Imagine Apple dominating the marketshare with 80% of computers sold — AND Apple not caring a stuff whether it makes minority-segment hardware simply because the majority don’t need it. You might be a guy that just uses your Apple to text and FB, but there are those of us that rely on our computers for work and business, and we need a company that will make products for large segments of the minority needs. Apple does not do anything except what the majority want. Its profits are excessive because Apple are not fulfilling the responsibility to the wider marketplace as a major supplier of an OS that people from a wide sector of society rely on. Apple specifically ignores the professional marketplace because it is not as profitable as the consumer segment.

        You’re an Apple fan because you like cool Apple stuff — same here — but when you wish MS to fail, you’re not thinking in the big picture.

        Believe me, you need MS.

        1. Your assumptions about me are completely wrong. I’m a huge power user. I have a software company with many engineers and designers and we create software for mobile devices and Mac computers.

          I agree I don’t necessarily want MS to die… that Apple could act like a monopoly just as MS does. Having no competition is never good for consumers. And yes, Apple chases the biggest markets it can. They’re greedy pigs that lead you down a garden path only to use you for information and data (e.g., from your Apps)… suck money off of you (30% from the App Store, and high margins on products)… and keep the upgrade cycle in full swing to keep you buying.

          I like their products because they’re the best as far as I’m concerned but am completely aware of how non-professional they’ve become and how limited things can be in their world.

          We’ll see what happens. As far as I can see, Tim Cook is a very bad person to be running Apple. I think you’ll see by the end of this year that the fumes of Steve Jobs’s vision that he’s been riding on will be running out. And the true colors of him will show.

          iPad Mini with no Retina screen and a shrunk down user interface? This is a sign of things to come… watch.

  2. I’d like M$ to stay around to offer the competition that’ll keep Apple on its toes (Apple can’t keep offering products this great if they’re not pushed). The Surface shows that there are some great ideas at M$…….even though they’re poorly executed. What would make a company offer two completely different versions (WinRT and Win8) of the same product? I mean DRASTICALLY different? Different processor, memory, OS, and price range. And please decide whether it’s a tablet or laptop, because its currently doing shitty at both. #2¢#

    1. apple doesn’t need competition to push it forward. they already have a long term vision, several years out. I’m not arguing that competition is bad, just that apple never really cared about what the competition was doing. competitors are playing catch up while apple is confidently skating to where the puck is going. (-;

    2. I disagree, I don’t see anything about the surface that is new innovative or different.
      It is just an amalgam of a poorly executed copy of what is already working and some bits of what has never worked mixed in.
      Seems like MS being MS. Have they ever innovated ANYTHING? And I am not browbeating, they are and have always been; just bad cloners. From their operating systems to their applications to their database infrastructure components, all are just so-so “good enough” copies of what was already working.
      Their problem now is they cant’ even make (for whatever reason) “good enough” copies, their current products are dam close to unusable at this point.
      I don’t know. Perhaps they got to a point where they began to believe their own nonsense. That they actually were something more than bad (but very aggressive) cloners and actually thought they could innovate and what we have seen (over the last decade) is their attempt to actually design something.

    3. Microsoft is not in competition with Apple. Microsoft makes operating software for PC manufacturers. Microsoft makes operating software for tablet manufacturers. Microsoft makes operating software for for cell phone manufacturers. Microsoft makes Office Apps for many different OSes.

      Apple doesn’t.

      1. Tell Microsoft that.
        They’re the ones that keep opening their Microsoft stores beside the Apple ones (you know… the stores that are almost carbon copies of the Apple stores)
        They’re the ones that keep coming out with new products to directly compete with Apple’s (the Zune, the Surface…)
        I think if THEY remember they’re not Apple’s competitor, they’ll be much better off.

    1. Microsoft doesn’t necessarily pull Dell down with it. Dell can buy out a Linux distro and use Apple’s business model of producing vertically integrated products. Nowadays there enough standard interfaces and protocols that it’s not necessary for everyone to have the same OS. Dell started as a cheap knock off of IBM, they could continue as a cheap knock off of Apple.

  3. Has anyone noticed that the Surface is really a netbook? It’s has a touch screen and a full-size keyboard, but it’s a netbook nonetheless.

    Microsoft isn’t fully aware of what it’s doing.

  4. msft has had miserable growth for the last twelve years and miserable prospects, yet the stock carries a p/e of 25. AAPL has had staggering successes and continues to grow at a rapid pace, but investors are only buying Apple for a p/e of less than 12!

  5. I love Mac Daily News.
    I’ve been using it for a long time for the latest Mac news. This has been a family friendly site but now you folks are showing that you are an NRA, pro gun nut job supporter with NRA ads! Seriously, stick with tech and tech related stuff or I’m outta here.

    1. “Family friendly” and the NRA are mutually exclusive? In what politically correct, liberal fantasy land? My kids enjoy plinking at cans and paper targets with their .22s and going deer hunting with me. You must lead a very sad life of watching soccer games and sitting through ballet lessons. Get a life.

    2. MDN is usually not family friendly when it comes to MDN’s take on Articles or readers commenting in the Feedback section. I too have been giver and receiver of sharp criticism within the feedback forums. many of it would not be fit to allow a 12 year old to read. i think you need to review the feedback forums a little closer to see the real filth as it is…

  6. Microsoft has been dead to me for years. I don’t care for their endless updates and patches that don’t seem to fix anything. Their terrible UI design and confusing mess of settings et al.
    Microsoft isn’t dead though. They still matter to the conservative corporate world that are too lazy to consider anything better.
    I’m sure Microsoft will be around for years to come, spreading their compiled code like a toxic weed in the IT garden.

    1. Exactly. When my lawyer, my accountant, my banks, my Dr.’s and hospitals no longer have PC’s on their desks I’ll consider The Sloth as dead.

      Right now the Sloth is just in a coma but still breathing through oxygen tubes. The Oxygen is made up of the business entrenchment they were able acquire back in the early days when Apple was run by idiots for awhile.

  7. I am clueless why the board over there, at the insistence of the stockholders, have not replaced Mr. Ballmer years ago. He’s certainly been there as long as it has taken to destroy the company though it may be still salvageable – so maybe he needs to stay a bit longer. I suspect someone else, perhaps of Melissa’s caliber, may still be able to turn it around. But no one is on the horizon like her and it’s clear SB is not stepping down nor being replaced. Can’t say this is bothering me, but I really don’t get why so many there are just letting this happen.

    1. Mr. Ballmer is one of the original employees and owns enough stock that it’s impossible to fire him. Imagine being a helpless passenger in a car with a speeding, reckless driver who has a maniacal laugh and a satanic grin. That must be what it’s like to be a Microsoft stockholder.

  8. With income of $4.47 billion in a flat economy, it will take a lot longer for the dinosaur to die than this crackpot predicts. MSFT will continue to use that enterprise-fueled cash pile to partner or buy hardware makers & attempt to compete head-to-head with Apple in consumer markets. No doubt, MSFT will resort to predatory pricing to undercut Android and iOS to gain market share. An aggressive MSFT could swallow Dell, large chunks of HP, RIM, Nokia, HTC, Motorola, parts of Sony, Yahoo, and so forth.

    But while MDN loves to vilify MSFT, Redmond is not Apple’s biggest competitor. Apple will have to work doubletime to invent, license, or buy the technologies as manufacturing capacity to stay ahead for the long term of the copycat competitors coming out of Asia, where Apple’s IP has been stolen and copied.

    While I believe Win8 and the Surface represent botched products, Apple too has stumbled lately. The reports of limited availability of iPhones and MacBooks through the holiday season is troubling, as is the poor quality of recent OS and software releases from Apple. Cook clearly needs to rethink his strategy for a more diversified, better controlled manufacturing that protects IP for the long run AND get some much overdude quality control implemented in all of Apple’s software development groups.

  9. MSFT is a large company with the largest installed base of users. It is not going anywhere. Its success doesn’t have3 much to do with Windows 8. it’s an enterprise company.
    The enterprise isn’t going anywhere. Ballmer’s a goon, but Jobs was an asshole.

    Too bad.

    1. Totally agree. In the four workplaces I’ve worked in over the last 5 years (three local government and one private consultancy), it’s all Microsoft everywhere (XP mostly) using tailored applications. No way Windows is going anywhere. Also XBOX is the best selling console and has a huge user base with great titles. So even if Windows and Windows Phone/Surface etc. was dead, Microsoft’s heart would still be beating as a console company lol.

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