02.23.11

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An Empire Crumbles

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 2:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shipwreck - nice angle

Summary: Microsoft is borrowing more money while IIS is gradually dying and a Microsoft PC gaming alliance falls apart

Microsoft has gone through some bizarre financial situations. Either it is stashing money in some tax-free haven or it is simply running out of money because its borrowings are exceeding what was once allocated for debt: (thanks to “twitter” for the information)

Earlier this month, Microsoft borrowed $2.25 billion in unsecured debt. What in the world possesses a company with $40 billion in cash and short-term securities to go out and borrow money?

The above comes from Murdoch’s biased & unfair press, which also has this article that says: “Software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) hit the market Thursday with a $2.25 billion, three-part debt offering–its third ever–and was met with a whopping $6.5 billion of orders.

“Although the company paid more to borrow than on previous issues because of a recent rise in Treasury yields, to which corporate debt is benchmarked, current rates are still attractive historically.”

Isn’t that odd?

Meanwhile, writes Răzvan Sandu, “Microsoft IIS webserver is dying, netcraft confirms it http://is.gd/sUguLi” (see the graphs/plots which complement the following text):

Apache saw the largest increase in terms of both market share and absolute growth this month, with 9.6M new hostnames equating to a 1 percentage point increase in market share. This continues the general upward trend seen for Apache since January last year. The most significant increase occurred in the United States, where 7M new Apache hostnames were recorded. Once again, significant contributions to Apache’s increase were seen at AmeriNOC (4.6M) and Softlayer Inc (1.3M). Apache also made a net gain of 817k hostnames in the Netherlands as the result of a 1.3M increase at Axoft Group.

It has been a rough time for Microsoft recently and many managers left. There were layoffs, too, especially in units that are associated with hardware/consoles-related products like Xbox 360. PC Authority says that “Microsoft and Nvidia abandon PC Gaming Alliance”, noting that it’s not just Nvidia:

Industry body grows smaller and weaker as two more major players leave altogether, while AMD reduces involvement

Microsoft may no longer be worth so much attention because its impact on the industry is limited and it appears to be declining as the days go by. The principal issue is proprietary software or monopoly abuse (there is a correlation); wherever it appears this becomes an issue.

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2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    February 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Gravatar

    A sample report from the HBGary email story in Techrights links yesterday contains some very interesting statistics for Russia from a company named “EndGame” (EGS) that monitors things for the military and other spooks. Botnet activity is out of control there and honest counting of web servers shows Microsoft is hardly a competitor.

    All through 2009 there were more than 300,000 new botnet infections per day accross all private and government computers running various versions of Windows. The vast majority were Windows XP users but other versions including Vista and Windows 7 were there too. The tiny number of Vista and Windows 7 botnet clients should be taken as evicence that hardly anyone uses that software or that the study simply did not detect bots that targeted those systems. The reported browser distribution was 99.7% Mozilla 4.0 with the remainder being Opera and Mozilla 5.0, so we should assume they were only able to track a bot that attacked a specific Windows flaw exposed by Mozilla. Surely more than one or two percent of people in Russia use IE on Windows and we know that is the least secure combination possible. A graphic hints at similar results in France, Germany, former Soviet Republics and China.

    In server land, Microsoft is in the single didgits at 6%. Of more than 475,000 servers identified, only 19,448 were running Windows. By way of comparison, 18,163 claimed to be running Sinclair Basic! There were 111,000 unknown OS, but we can peg Windows at less than 5% as a server platform outside of the US.

    The spooks were looking at this data to find out how to spy on Russia but what it reveals is how bad things really are for Windows users. A US Government that wants to spy on the rest of the world might want to conceal the results of this kind of study, but there is no explaination for why well informed US offices would use the same for themselves.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There’s something familiar about this…

    “It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.”

    Bruce Perens

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