Congrats MSFT on great financial results

I only own stock in one company. Contrary to popular opinion I’m not rich, and don’t have a large 401k plan or stuff like that. I’m working on changing that, but for now I only have my Microsoft shares. I kept them waiting for yesterday. I knew Office and Vista — even if they were failures — would bring truckloads of cash into Microsoft.

I’m getting tougher on Microsoft lately cause I still care about the company. Deeply. Yesterday should have been an even bigger day than it was — Vista is selling “OK” but isn’t a breakaway hit like Windows 95 was (when I first saw Vista, I thought it really could be a Windows 95-style hit).

Since my Mac broke I’m back on Windows XP (I was on Vista on my Mac) and I’m back on Office 2003. I really don’t miss Vista that much, but I do miss Office 2007.

I’m going to hold my stock for Monday, then decide what to do with it. I’ve seen some previews of some cool stuff, and Microsofties are buzzing about stuff I haven’t yet seen, but will come out next week at Mix.

In the meantime, I gotta remind myself not to write off Microsoft or think they can’t have huge impacts on our industry. Any company that has cash arriving by the semi-truck load can’t be counted out and can always do something interesting.

At minimum the great results are getting lots of bloggers to talk.

Here’s to Monday!

UPDATE: Nick Carr has interesting analysis on his post about whether Microsoft is dead. Microsoft isn’t gonna die. We’re not seriously thinking that when we write bombastic headlines like that. But, is Microsoft living up to its potential? Carr points out that Microsoft is many times bigger than Apple or Google. That’s true. So, is Microsoft kicking out many times more new products or services? Not really on scale with expectations. That’s why there’s this consternation over Microsoft’s strategy/execution. Yesterday I was talking to some people and noted that in Web 1.0 Microsoft acquired Hotmail. What’s Microsoft’s big Web 2.0 acquisition? I can’t think of one. Why is that?

Comments

  1. With the Santa Rosa chipset coming from Intel and hopefully a new generation mobile GPU from nVidia, ATI or anybody….

    Windows Vista will fulfil it’s destiny and the Scoble family portfolio will increase in value.

  2. With the Santa Rosa chipset coming from Intel and hopefully a new generation mobile GPU from nVidia, ATI or anybody….

    Windows Vista will fulfil it’s destiny and the Scoble family portfolio will increase in value.

  3. Robert says: Any company that has cash arriving by the semi-truck load can’t be counted out and can always do something interesting.

    Don’t forget to mention that they also have the people :)

  4. Robert says: Any company that has cash arriving by the semi-truck load can’t be counted out and can always do something interesting.

    Don’t forget to mention that they also have the people :)

  5. Diego: that’s true. But they are there cause of the money that keeps coming in. If the money train ever stopped the people would go somewhere else (and already really are, if you’re studying some of the trends — Google didn’t get several hundred employees in Kirkland by accident).

  6. Diego: that’s true. But they are there cause of the money that keeps coming in. If the money train ever stopped the people would go somewhere else (and already really are, if you’re studying some of the trends — Google didn’t get several hundred employees in Kirkland by accident).

  7. Josh: good advice. The strategy of “cash in once more on Windows and Office” held me in place until now. But now what? Is it going to be two more years before we get a new version of Office and Windows together so we can have a good quarter again?

    Or is there some other strategy that’s going to evolve? Kevin Johnson told me that Microsoft would see most of its growth in advertising. But Live.com’s management is in total rehab mode (lots of people, mostly management, getting fired) so it’s pretty clear that that division didn’t return the results management wanted.

    I read your piece. I didn’t see anything about how Microsoft’s strategy is any different than it was three years ago. Other than in the next couple of years maybe Xbox starts turning a profit.

    I want to believe…

  8. Josh: good advice. The strategy of “cash in once more on Windows and Office” held me in place until now. But now what? Is it going to be two more years before we get a new version of Office and Windows together so we can have a good quarter again?

    Or is there some other strategy that’s going to evolve? Kevin Johnson told me that Microsoft would see most of its growth in advertising. But Live.com’s management is in total rehab mode (lots of people, mostly management, getting fired) so it’s pretty clear that that division didn’t return the results management wanted.

    I read your piece. I didn’t see anything about how Microsoft’s strategy is any different than it was three years ago. Other than in the next couple of years maybe Xbox starts turning a profit.

    I want to believe…

  9. I will die and never understand the stock market.

    I live in the Seattle area and I don’t understand why Microsoft’s stock didn’t go up as much as Amazon’s this week (or why Amazon went up so much when it’s clearly the most fragile player). Or why Starbucks’ stock is stagnant even though the company is growing like crazy with no signs of ever stopping.

    I wish I did, because then I wouldn’t have sold my Amazon.com stock at $45 last week (and I was happy with it, until I saw it at $61 this morning)!

  10. I will die and never understand the stock market.

    I live in the Seattle area and I don’t understand why Microsoft’s stock didn’t go up as much as Amazon’s this week (or why Amazon went up so much when it’s clearly the most fragile player). Or why Starbucks’ stock is stagnant even though the company is growing like crazy with no signs of ever stopping.

    I wish I did, because then I wouldn’t have sold my Amazon.com stock at $45 last week (and I was happy with it, until I saw it at $61 this morning)!

  11. That’s just it though, I don’t think their strategy is much different, nor does it really need to be. Yeah they are doing a lot of exploration with games, search, devices, etc but keeping their core business relevant is so much more important then anything else. The revenue from windows & office is what makes Microsoft a strong company and everything else is just extra. If they can continue to keep corporations and home users more productive with each release, then they are doing what they are supposed to do (just like the economy grows and chip speeds increase, Microsoft makes the world more productive at a measurable rate).

    Personally, I own MS stock because I beleive in what they are doing, just like I invest time in my kids because I believe in them. I own Amazon and other investments to make money.

    So yeah, another few years until the next release of windows/office with a few bumps along the way from SQL, VS, etc..

  12. That’s just it though, I don’t think their strategy is much different, nor does it really need to be. Yeah they are doing a lot of exploration with games, search, devices, etc but keeping their core business relevant is so much more important then anything else. The revenue from windows & office is what makes Microsoft a strong company and everything else is just extra. If they can continue to keep corporations and home users more productive with each release, then they are doing what they are supposed to do (just like the economy grows and chip speeds increase, Microsoft makes the world more productive at a measurable rate).

    Personally, I own MS stock because I beleive in what they are doing, just like I invest time in my kids because I believe in them. I own Amazon and other investments to make money.

    So yeah, another few years until the next release of windows/office with a few bumps along the way from SQL, VS, etc..

  13. Wanderley: I can’t figure it out either but the market rewards when you do better than what people are expecting you to do.

    The key is in your own wording. You think Amazon is fragile. That’s EXPECTATIONS being communicated right there. So when Amazon posted good results the market went nuts. Cause it blew past expectations.

    On the other hand Microsoft is expected to dominate and grow at a nice steady pace but our expectation is that it isn’t sexy anymore — Google and Apple are the sexy ones. So, Microsoft has to not only grow, but be sexy. If it can do both, then watch out. But management is very conservative lately. Most of the new services are simply clones of what Apple or Google are doing. Boring, not sexy. Obviously the cash generation machine is still very healthy, though.

    So, if Microsoft could make itself sexy then you’d see the shares start to go up again.

    One of the other problems is simply the market size of Microsoft. The growth it needs to satisfy Wall Street is simply stunning. It is testament to the organization’s character that it continues to work well in that area.

    Amazon is also doing extraordinarily well with its S3 and EC2 services. Not at generating cash. But remaining really relevant to a bunch of companies. I wouldn’t have sold Amazon just because they are the ones really causing Microsoft to react now. Watch next week at Mix. And Amazon has something really cool coming out, too.

  14. Wanderley: I can’t figure it out either but the market rewards when you do better than what people are expecting you to do.

    The key is in your own wording. You think Amazon is fragile. That’s EXPECTATIONS being communicated right there. So when Amazon posted good results the market went nuts. Cause it blew past expectations.

    On the other hand Microsoft is expected to dominate and grow at a nice steady pace but our expectation is that it isn’t sexy anymore — Google and Apple are the sexy ones. So, Microsoft has to not only grow, but be sexy. If it can do both, then watch out. But management is very conservative lately. Most of the new services are simply clones of what Apple or Google are doing. Boring, not sexy. Obviously the cash generation machine is still very healthy, though.

    So, if Microsoft could make itself sexy then you’d see the shares start to go up again.

    One of the other problems is simply the market size of Microsoft. The growth it needs to satisfy Wall Street is simply stunning. It is testament to the organization’s character that it continues to work well in that area.

    Amazon is also doing extraordinarily well with its S3 and EC2 services. Not at generating cash. But remaining really relevant to a bunch of companies. I wouldn’t have sold Amazon just because they are the ones really causing Microsoft to react now. Watch next week at Mix. And Amazon has something really cool coming out, too.

  15. Josh: that’s a great business while it lasts but I notice I’m moving more and more of my Office work to the Web. How long will Office remain that cash-generating machine it is today? That’s the big question. Sure won’t go away anytime soon, but it will be under attack over next three years.

  16. Josh: that’s a great business while it lasts but I notice I’m moving more and more of my Office work to the Web. How long will Office remain that cash-generating machine it is today? That’s the big question. Sure won’t go away anytime soon, but it will be under attack over next three years.

  17. Oh, and regarding STarbucks, it’s gone up a lot more than Microsoft has over the last four years. That would have been a far better investment to join in in 2001. I just wish I had bought that and held my Apple stock.

  18. Oh, and regarding STarbucks, it’s gone up a lot more than Microsoft has over the last four years. That would have been a far better investment to join in in 2001. I just wish I had bought that and held my Apple stock.

  19. @5. Robert, re: Live.com advertising business performance.

    The point is: Microsoft is uniquely positioned to have amazing, world-leading offerings in this space. Things that benefit all the key stake-holders: advertisers, publishers and end-users. They’re actually better positioned than Google in many ways.

    The fact that Microsoft appears to have neither the right strategy, nor the ability to execute in this area, means that people certainly *should* be getting fired. Perhaps MS should try a simple SWOT analysis… I don’t think it’s rocket science to figure out where the opportunities are…

  20. @5. Robert, re: Live.com advertising business performance.

    The point is: Microsoft is uniquely positioned to have amazing, world-leading offerings in this space. Things that benefit all the key stake-holders: advertisers, publishers and end-users. They’re actually better positioned than Google in many ways.

    The fact that Microsoft appears to have neither the right strategy, nor the ability to execute in this area, means that people certainly *should* be getting fired. Perhaps MS should try a simple SWOT analysis… I don’t think it’s rocket science to figure out where the opportunities are…

  21. Good point Robert, I think your right that there will be a change in how we are productive….but I’ve used web office apps, and they are only useful to a point. Even blogging can be a pain when you lose a long post or comment.

    I don’t know what will replace it, but it needs to have offline & online capabilies (which is why MS has a chance to stay relevant). MS is doing just as much research as Google or anyone else to find the answer (albeit they research things in different ways), but we certainly haven’t seen what that will look like yet.

  22. Good point Robert, I think your right that there will be a change in how we are productive….but I’ve used web office apps, and they are only useful to a point. Even blogging can be a pain when you lose a long post or comment.

    I don’t know what will replace it, but it needs to have offline & online capabilies (which is why MS has a chance to stay relevant). MS is doing just as much research as Google or anyone else to find the answer (albeit they research things in different ways), but we certainly haven’t seen what that will look like yet.

  23. “but it will be under attack over next three years.”

    very true. But i expect MSFT to hit back. The Web 2.0 realization happened a bit late internally. I epxect much more stronger and interesting stuff coming out of MSFT (stuff…not people :-)) in the next couple of years.

    Outisde the web space things are looking very good. The server and tools division has some good releases lined up – Longhorn server, windows home server and visual studio

  24. “but it will be under attack over next three years.”

    very true. But i expect MSFT to hit back. The Web 2.0 realization happened a bit late internally. I epxect much more stronger and interesting stuff coming out of MSFT (stuff…not people :-)) in the next couple of years.

    Outisde the web space things are looking very good. The server and tools division has some good releases lined up – Longhorn server, windows home server and visual studio

  25. These resultsare interestingin the context of all the recent “excitement” about the increasing competition between Microsoft and Adobe. FLEX! APOLLO! FLASH! THEY’RE TAKING OVER THE WORLD!!

    Well…in Adobe’s Q1 earnings announcent they reported revenue of $649 million and operating income of $146 million.

    In the same quarter, Microsoft revenue INCREASED by $3.5 billion…so they “grew” 5.4 “Adobe’s” in the same quarter. In terms of operating income, Microsoft generated $6.598 billion in the quarter so they generated 45 times Adobe’s income. Put another way, MSFT INCREASED their operating income $2.71 billion in the quarter from the previous year so they “grew” 18.5 “Adobe’s” in the quarter in terms of income.

    Hey, money is definately NOT everything. But if anyoneis wondering whether Microsoft is going away anytime soon or whether they can compete with Adobe the answer is probably no.

    Google is another thing. Google is the first company other than IBM that Microsoft has ever had to compete with that has pockets almost as deep. That will be interesting to watch.

  26. These resultsare interestingin the context of all the recent “excitement” about the increasing competition between Microsoft and Adobe. FLEX! APOLLO! FLASH! THEY’RE TAKING OVER THE WORLD!!

    Well…in Adobe’s Q1 earnings announcent they reported revenue of $649 million and operating income of $146 million.

    In the same quarter, Microsoft revenue INCREASED by $3.5 billion…so they “grew” 5.4 “Adobe’s” in the same quarter. In terms of operating income, Microsoft generated $6.598 billion in the quarter so they generated 45 times Adobe’s income. Put another way, MSFT INCREASED their operating income $2.71 billion in the quarter from the previous year so they “grew” 18.5 “Adobe’s” in the quarter in terms of income.

    Hey, money is definately NOT everything. But if anyoneis wondering whether Microsoft is going away anytime soon or whether they can compete with Adobe the answer is probably no.

    Google is another thing. Google is the first company other than IBM that Microsoft has ever had to compete with that has pockets almost as deep. That will be interesting to watch.

  27. Keeping in mind what they say about free advice:

    DUMP, DUMP, DUMP!

    But really, MSFTs days of zooming growth are all over. They are part of the DOW industrials, which I think you will find mostly are stocks known for stability over anything else. They can have great quarters, or dismal ones and not move a whole lot. Check this 2-year graph:

    http://ichart.finance.yahoo.com/z?s=AAPL&t=2y&q=l&l=off&z=m&c=YHOO,AMD,INTC,GOOG,MSFT,IBM&a=v&p=s

    Now change that “t=2″ part of it to 1, then 5. While several stocks such as Apple, AMD, and Google fluctuate all over the place, MSFT, IBM, Intel, just sit there in the middle. Look how well AMD was doing for a while when they caught Intel sleeping. Now Intel has woken up, causing AMD to go down, but not causing Intel to go up all that much. Same thing happens with Google and MSFT.

    If Google continues in its success though, at some point they too will level off, having so many “assets” that a major success or failure in one area hardly affects the big picture.

    This is why it would have been good (and still would be good) for Microsoft to voluntarily split the company, as it would give people who wanted to take risks the chance to bet on the future of the XBox, or MSN, or Office without having to be bogged down (or up) on the big average that is the composite company.

    Take the time to talk with a few financial advisers (and tax planners). You’re gonna need a nice chunk of change in about 18 years. Better start accumulating it now.

  28. Keeping in mind what they say about free advice:

    DUMP, DUMP, DUMP!

    But really, MSFTs days of zooming growth are all over. They are part of the DOW industrials, which I think you will find mostly are stocks known for stability over anything else. They can have great quarters, or dismal ones and not move a whole lot. Check this 2-year graph:

    http://ichart.finance.yahoo.com/z?s=AAPL&t=2y&q=l&l=off&z=m&c=YHOO,AMD,INTC,GOOG,MSFT,IBM&a=v&p=s

    Now change that “t=2″ part of it to 1, then 5. While several stocks such as Apple, AMD, and Google fluctuate all over the place, MSFT, IBM, Intel, just sit there in the middle. Look how well AMD was doing for a while when they caught Intel sleeping. Now Intel has woken up, causing AMD to go down, but not causing Intel to go up all that much. Same thing happens with Google and MSFT.

    If Google continues in its success though, at some point they too will level off, having so many “assets” that a major success or failure in one area hardly affects the big picture.

    This is why it would have been good (and still would be good) for Microsoft to voluntarily split the company, as it would give people who wanted to take risks the chance to bet on the future of the XBox, or MSN, or Office without having to be bogged down (or up) on the big average that is the composite company.

    Take the time to talk with a few financial advisers (and tax planners). You’re gonna need a nice chunk of change in about 18 years. Better start accumulating it now.

  29. Since I moved from Silicon Valley to the Seattle area, I’ve met a large number of outstanding and impressive Microsoft employees. Many of them have persuaded me that they working on amazingly cool innovations with huge potential. Few of them seem confident that the company will actually productize their work and take it to market in an effective manner.

    Acknowledging up front that I’m an outsider with a non-representative and tiny sampling to extrapolate from, the company seems (understandably) mired in protecting the Windows and Office franchises. What do folks with more data think?

  30. Since I moved from Silicon Valley to the Seattle area, I’ve met a large number of outstanding and impressive Microsoft employees. Many of them have persuaded me that they working on amazingly cool innovations with huge potential. Few of them seem confident that the company will actually productize their work and take it to market in an effective manner.

    Acknowledging up front that I’m an outsider with a non-representative and tiny sampling to extrapolate from, the company seems (understandably) mired in protecting the Windows and Office franchises. What do folks with more data think?

  31. @macbeach – Nice chart

    “If Google continues in its success though, at some
    point they too will level off,”

    Change t=2 to t=1 in your URL and you can’t tell between Goog and MSFT except for the color. So much for the ‘out of the park’ quarters…

  32. @macbeach – Nice chart

    “If Google continues in its success though, at some
    point they too will level off,”

    Change t=2 to t=1 in your URL and you can’t tell between Goog and MSFT except for the color. So much for the ‘out of the park’ quarters…

  33. If all of your investments are Microsoft stock, you should sell some portion of them today anyway. You are exposed to too much risk.

    Best practices for investing dictate … well, not putting all your eggs in one basket, no matter how secure (or how valuable.)

    There are any number of things that could substantially change the value of that stock that have nothing to do with anything Microsoft has control over. Quickly exiting the market is a problem if you are on vacation or ill when a crisis shows up.

    I really enjoy your work, and I’d hate to see you in financial difficulty if it is preventable.

  34. If all of your investments are Microsoft stock, you should sell some portion of them today anyway. You are exposed to too much risk.

    Best practices for investing dictate … well, not putting all your eggs in one basket, no matter how secure (or how valuable.)

    There are any number of things that could substantially change the value of that stock that have nothing to do with anything Microsoft has control over. Quickly exiting the market is a problem if you are on vacation or ill when a crisis shows up.

    I really enjoy your work, and I’d hate to see you in financial difficulty if it is preventable.

  35. Santana: great advice, but I don’t have enough stock to make it really important to do that. I should take the money and put it somewhere else, though.

  36. @17. So, will Microsoft be remembered as the 21st Century incarnation of Xerox Parc of the 1970s?

    (BTW: a bonus of owning Apple shares during a rise. Every now and then I sell a few and buy some Apple gear. I tell myself it’s equivalent to tipping the dealer in Las Vegas after a big win.)

    The thing that’s easy to overlook about share prices: they don’t reflect what a company has just done, or what its current cash, technology, or human assets amount to. Share prices reflect collective guesses about what’s going to happen in the future. There’s plenty of voodoo and mystique sloshing around with the rational analysis.

  37. @17. So, will Microsoft be remembered as the 21st Century incarnation of Xerox Parc of the 1970s?

    (BTW: a bonus of owning Apple shares during a rise. Every now and then I sell a few and buy some Apple gear. I tell myself it’s equivalent to tipping the dealer in Las Vegas after a big win.)

    The thing that’s easy to overlook about share prices: they don’t reflect what a company has just done, or what its current cash, technology, or human assets amount to. Share prices reflect collective guesses about what’s going to happen in the future. There’s plenty of voodoo and mystique sloshing around with the rational analysis.

  38. Everyone is happy repeating Microsoft CFO statement that Office 2007 has seen strong sales. But they don’t break the numbers in the business division, so how do you recoup this? Is it *really* Office 2007, or Office in general?

    Dennis Forbes did some great analysis of the PR. Bottom line : Reports that this quarterly report validates Vista’s success are unfounded.

    Link : http://www.yafla.com/dforbes/2007/04/27.html#a410

    Good read.

  39. Everyone is happy repeating Microsoft CFO statement that Office 2007 has seen strong sales. But they don’t break the numbers in the business division, so how do you recoup this? Is it *really* Office 2007, or Office in general?

    Dennis Forbes did some great analysis of the PR. Bottom line : Reports that this quarterly report validates Vista’s success are unfounded.

    Link : http://www.yafla.com/dforbes/2007/04/27.html#a410

    Good read.

  40. “One of the other problems is simply the market size of Microsoft. The growth it needs to satisfy Wall Street is simply stunning. It is testament to the organization’s character that it continues to work well in that area.”

    If Microsoft were to split itself up into six companies (on its own terms, not on the terms set down by some idiot judge), I think many of the resulting individual stocks would skyrocket, and the combined worth would be 5 or 10 times higher than MSFT’s worth right now.

    I don’t necessarily advocate this; it would be great for investors, but maybe not for the company itself.

  41. “One of the other problems is simply the market size of Microsoft. The growth it needs to satisfy Wall Street is simply stunning. It is testament to the organization’s character that it continues to work well in that area.”

    If Microsoft were to split itself up into six companies (on its own terms, not on the terms set down by some idiot judge), I think many of the resulting individual stocks would skyrocket, and the combined worth would be 5 or 10 times higher than MSFT’s worth right now.

    I don’t necessarily advocate this; it would be great for investors, but maybe not for the company itself.

  42. It’s not the acquisitions, it’s the Xbox’es, the Mobiles, the Zunes, the Tablets, the Live’s with the Advertising fantasy funny-numbers games, the super expensive R&D, all that $30 billion+, that keeps eating away, producing only massive losses. At some point, even for a cash rich hoarder, you will have to cry Uncle, enough eventually is enough. Buying up some pastel-colored widgety social-networkingish do-dad, that makes all the Valley bloggers have woodies, ain’t exactly the path to salvation.

    The stock market is like human behavior, emotional and impossible to predict, and anyone selling a system, is a con-man, or a hedge fund manager, that can afford to lose millions, gaining it back, by sucking you in, fish-hooking past success as the ‘key’ to the future.

  43. It’s not the acquisitions, it’s the Xbox’es, the Mobiles, the Zunes, the Tablets, the Live’s with the Advertising fantasy funny-numbers games, the super expensive R&D, all that $30 billion+, that keeps eating away, producing only massive losses. At some point, even for a cash rich hoarder, you will have to cry Uncle, enough eventually is enough. Buying up some pastel-colored widgety social-networkingish do-dad, that makes all the Valley bloggers have woodies, ain’t exactly the path to salvation.

    The stock market is like human behavior, emotional and impossible to predict, and anyone selling a system, is a con-man, or a hedge fund manager, that can afford to lose millions, gaining it back, by sucking you in, fish-hooking past success as the ‘key’ to the future.

  44. I think Microsoft hasn’t jumped into the Web 2.0 game because they haven’t figured out the best way to exploit it. I don’t mean that negatively, only that the only sure thing in terms of revenue with 2.0 is advertising and that is arguably not a stable, consistent business model. News.com is taking MySpace worldwide because they need sheer volume to build value for advertisers. I think we have yet to reach the ‘ah ha!’ moment when we figure out how to make the money on this model – until we do, we’re building yet another dot com bubble.

  45. I think Microsoft hasn’t jumped into the Web 2.0 game because they haven’t figured out the best way to exploit it. I don’t mean that negatively, only that the only sure thing in terms of revenue with 2.0 is advertising and that is arguably not a stable, consistent business model. News.com is taking MySpace worldwide because they need sheer volume to build value for advertisers. I think we have yet to reach the ‘ah ha!’ moment when we figure out how to make the money on this model – until we do, we’re building yet another dot com bubble.

  46. @26. That’s an apt observation. Web 2.0 companies only seem to be making money via advertising and hoping to get bought because they generate a lot of eyeballs. MS is looking for ways to make money….long term. And also how to get more customers bought into their platform. Like Coulter said above…some nifty-neato Web 2.0 doo-dad ain’t gonna cut it. Scoble, this is the reason MS never took your “advice” on Flickr. Remind me again how that’s helped Yahoo make money?

  47. @26. That’s an apt observation. Web 2.0 companies only seem to be making money via advertising and hoping to get bought because they generate a lot of eyeballs. MS is looking for ways to make money….long term. And also how to get more customers bought into their platform. Like Coulter said above…some nifty-neato Web 2.0 doo-dad ain’t gonna cut it. Scoble, this is the reason MS never took your “advice” on Flickr. Remind me again how that’s helped Yahoo make money?

  48. yes, the Microsoft is dead thing is just a way of talk. Same with the Micro$ucks and stuff (I still find that funny). Microsoft is not going to die, but Microsoft is boring except in those products that are not fulfilling their promise (360, Zune, Windows Mobile, Tablet PC, etc). Where Microsoft is doing what it should (Vista, Office, server stuff), nobody is interested in that! And that’s the problem. If Microsoft got daring with some products. If they really decided to make the 360 a way to watch on TV every video (xvid and divx please!) on your computer, really challenging Apple TV, then we could see a Microsoft “Alive”. As for owning Microsoft stuff… My condolences… Apple or Nintendo would have been a better choice on the past two years…

  49. yes, the Microsoft is dead thing is just a way of talk. Same with the Micro$ucks and stuff (I still find that funny). Microsoft is not going to die, but Microsoft is boring except in those products that are not fulfilling their promise (360, Zune, Windows Mobile, Tablet PC, etc). Where Microsoft is doing what it should (Vista, Office, server stuff), nobody is interested in that! And that’s the problem. If Microsoft got daring with some products. If they really decided to make the 360 a way to watch on TV every video (xvid and divx please!) on your computer, really challenging Apple TV, then we could see a Microsoft “Alive”. As for owning Microsoft stuff… My condolences… Apple or Nintendo would have been a better choice on the past two years…

  50. FWIW, Robert, in relation to your comment about Vista not being the next Win95, I’ve read some people saying it’s actually Win ME II – and there are some pretty annoyed customers publishing stories about annoying experiences they had with MS Windows Vista. I’m sure Adam Barr would be ready to explain his problems with Vista if you called – he’s certainly published them on his blog.
    http://www.proudlyserving.com/archives/2007/04/my_somewhat_lam.html

  51. FWIW, Robert, in relation to your comment about Vista not being the next Win95, I’ve read some people saying it’s actually Win ME II – and there are some pretty annoyed customers publishing stories about annoying experiences they had with MS Windows Vista. I’m sure Adam Barr would be ready to explain his problems with Vista if you called – he’s certainly published them on his blog.
    http://www.proudlyserving.com/archives/2007/04/my_somewhat_lam.html

  52. I still get a big chuckle out of the Microsft is dead lines that appear on the Web, it’s a good way to attract traffic, as for Web 2.0, I don’t see the revolution comming, there seems to be a lot of companies telling the world that the next revolution has arrived, but in reality everybody is still waiting and waiting,twitter’s cute but really nothing to get worked up about.
    The stock market seems to be based more on black arts these days than rational thinking.

    Apple deserves Kudos for their finantial results, but Microsofts latest reports are outstanding.

    Vista’s premature reports of failure are just that,nobody expects real big numbers untill the 4th quarter with Vista when the Manufacturers release big updates to their PC lines for the holidays.

    Vista only added about a Billion dollars to the bottom line for this quarter.

    I see Google as the company with the most to lose,It’s easy to change your search engine, much easier than changing your OS, or tossing out your Mac.

    Google has that Sheen on it that MSFT had in the 90’s, in wall streets eyes they can do no wrong, but that sheen will ware off soon enough,Googles profits are almost all derived from t adwords revenues and they haven’t really showed the same success outside of that, the clock is ticking for them as well.

  53. I still get a big chuckle out of the Microsft is dead lines that appear on the Web, it’s a good way to attract traffic, as for Web 2.0, I don’t see the revolution comming, there seems to be a lot of companies telling the world that the next revolution has arrived, but in reality everybody is still waiting and waiting,twitter’s cute but really nothing to get worked up about.
    The stock market seems to be based more on black arts these days than rational thinking.

    Apple deserves Kudos for their finantial results, but Microsofts latest reports are outstanding.

    Vista’s premature reports of failure are just that,nobody expects real big numbers untill the 4th quarter with Vista when the Manufacturers release big updates to their PC lines for the holidays.

    Vista only added about a Billion dollars to the bottom line for this quarter.

    I see Google as the company with the most to lose,It’s easy to change your search engine, much easier than changing your OS, or tossing out your Mac.

    Google has that Sheen on it that MSFT had in the 90’s, in wall streets eyes they can do no wrong, but that sheen will ware off soon enough,Googles profits are almost all derived from t adwords revenues and they haven’t really showed the same success outside of that, the clock is ticking for them as well.

  54. Robert, you’re a great guy, but your knowledge of business could fit comfortably in a thimble. You say, “In the meantime, I gotta remind myself not to write off Microsoft or think they can’t have huge impacts on our industry.” Kind of astonishing considering you used to work there…

    For all your ballyhoo about Google as the threat to Microsoft, I still see a one-trick revenue pony completely dependent on defense of their core advertising product (hence the panic price they paid to keep DoubleClick out of MS hands). They may be tossing out consumer products at a breakneck speed, but where it counts — in the bank — they are playing defense.

    Apple is doing well, but are evolving into a consumer electronics company and are more of a threat to Sony than Microsoft.

    Microsoft sits on an empire that reaches from the living room to the desktop to the data center. They provide the platform that the Web 2.0 wannabes depend upon and they compete with them on the same platform. They can afford to hedge their bets on the economic viability of so-called “Web 2.0″ and wait to see where the best potential is before they move.

    The only place I’d really fault them is on marketing of Vista — they should be making the case for upgrade more effectively. Still. I’d bet on Microsoft over the long haul.

  55. Robert, you’re a great guy, but your knowledge of business could fit comfortably in a thimble. You say, “In the meantime, I gotta remind myself not to write off Microsoft or think they can’t have huge impacts on our industry.” Kind of astonishing considering you used to work there…

    For all your ballyhoo about Google as the threat to Microsoft, I still see a one-trick revenue pony completely dependent on defense of their core advertising product (hence the panic price they paid to keep DoubleClick out of MS hands). They may be tossing out consumer products at a breakneck speed, but where it counts — in the bank — they are playing defense.

    Apple is doing well, but are evolving into a consumer electronics company and are more of a threat to Sony than Microsoft.

    Microsoft sits on an empire that reaches from the living room to the desktop to the data center. They provide the platform that the Web 2.0 wannabes depend upon and they compete with them on the same platform. They can afford to hedge their bets on the economic viability of so-called “Web 2.0″ and wait to see where the best potential is before they move.

    The only place I’d really fault them is on marketing of Vista — they should be making the case for upgrade more effectively. Still. I’d bet on Microsoft over the long haul.

  56. Brian: I’ve seen other great companies disappear for a variety of reasons. Heck, back in the 1980s DEC was a nice big dominant computer manufacturer. Gone. Before that Rand Corporation was nice and big. Gone. How about Kodak? Totally dominated film. Now? Whithering.

  57. Brian: I’ve seen other great companies disappear for a variety of reasons. Heck, back in the 1980s DEC was a nice big dominant computer manufacturer. Gone. Before that Rand Corporation was nice and big. Gone. How about Kodak? Totally dominated film. Now? Whithering.

  58. […] What the fxxx is Microsoft waiting for to enter the Web 2.0 era? Here’s a quote from one of Robert Scoble’s recent posts, following Nick Carr’s statement that Microsoft would die: “Yesterday I was talking to some people and noted that in Web 1.0 Microsoft acquired Hotmail. What’s Microsoft’s big Web 2.0 acquisition? I can’t think of one. Why is that?” (source: Scobleizer) […]