09.18.10

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Malcolm Berko Suggests Selling Microsoft Without Looking Back, Apple Still Boxed in a Niche

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft is having mid- and long-term problem and it seems like GNU/Linux — not just Apple — is poised to benefit from it

Microsoft’s financial situation fascinates us because Microsoft is not telling the whole story. The company certainly produced some billionaires and its two founders proceeded to becoming patent trolls/agitators (Bill Gates and Traul Allen), but Microsoft is already taking debt, laying off staff, moving other workforce to countries where labour is a lot cheaper, and seeing its cash cows decline in impact. Pogson has this to say:

There are compelling reasons to believe the cash-cow of licences on the PC will dry up. The only question is how rapidly the decline will be.

[...]

An OEM actually pushing GNU/Linux may be enough. OEMs are starving. They will change to ensure survival. It’s just a question of which OEM bolts first. Several sell some GNU/Linux products now, testing the waters, like sharks circling.

The end is not in sight but the ending has begun.

The post above was inspired by this new one from Malcolm Berko, an existing/former Microsoft shareholder who says: “Microsoft is no longer a growth company, and management is actually struggling to find new products to keep its 94,000 employees (30 percent of whom could leave and not be missed) gainfully employed. Even Bill Gates’ good buddy Warren Buffett knows that, which is why he doesn’t own a single share.

“Microsoft is no longer a growth company, and management is actually struggling to find new products to keep its 94,000 employees (30 percent of whom could leave and not be missed) gainfully employed.”
      –Malcolm Berko
“And it amazes me that UBS, Standard & Poor’s, Merrill Lynch, Argus, Janney Montgomery Scott, Goldman Sachs and legions of other brokerages have a “buy” rating on Microsoft. That doesn’t say much for the reliability of Wall Street research. So sell it and don’t look back.”

It is not entirely accurate to suggest the above. Standard & Poor’s, for example, recently downgraded Microsoft because of the threat from Apple. S&P could have named the many other top competitors which use or sell GNU/Linux. Apple is only successful within a niche which is rich people in rich countries (people with more money than understanding in computers) and their disregard/apathy for rights and for money can be seen in this new story: [via]

Network provider O2 told customers this week that some iPad data allowances will be cut by up to two thirds from next month.

The news that a brace of current deals were for a promotional time period only caught many customers unawares, and some are switching telcos as a result.

Customers currently paying £15 a month for 3GB of data will now get 2GB, while those paying £2 a day for 500MB will see their allowance drop to 200MB a day.

Our reader ThistleWeb says that “O2 [is] moving the goalposts [...] I’m still in an ongoing complaint with them for the same thing” (common story). How much of a ripoff can these people tolerate before moving to Linux-based tablets, which are just about all tablets except the hypePad? Linux-based tablets are not so locked down. What’s common to buyers of hypePads and buyers of Microsoft shares is that they are dazzled by wealth rather than substance. This may work well within the niche of the world’s affluence, but not in the context of the world at large. When it comes to installed based, Microsoft views GNU/Linux as a greater threat than Apple (on the desktop too).

Ballmer's slide on Macs and GNU/Linux
Steve Ballmer’s presentation slide
from 2009 shows GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple on the desktop

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4 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    September 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Sounds like there will be more layoffs soon. The company that took six years to make Vista can not afford to lay off any of its employees. Vista, in the form of Windows 7, is still an insecure and driverless mess that offers many reasons to stay far away. This comment about 30% being idle must be cushioning for new layoff announcements which it won’t be able to hide. If Microsoft spent half as much money on development as they do on perception management, they would not need to manage perception so much. Sales must be dismal, even worse than Vista.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Vista old better in its time.

    “In reality, Microsoft’s Q3 2010 profits from Windows were up 35% over its Q3 2009 figures only because Q3 2009 had plunged to $2,273 million, making this year’s Q3 income of $3,061 million seem like growth when in reality, it was still lower than Microsoft had reported in Q3 2008 (when the company earned $3.1 billion) and significantly down from 2007 (when it earned $4.2 billion).”

    And the money quote:

    “[W]e’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.”

    Steve Ballmer

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    s/old/sold/

  2. The Mad Hatter said,

    September 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Yeah, I predicted that Microsoft would be applying for Chapter 11 last year. At the time the general response was that I was crazy, even though I pointed to the company’s own SEC filings for proof. Now, well, the mainstream is starting to see it too.

    Nicely done Roy.

    Oh, and thanks. I love your daily links section, it makes it a lot easier to keep up with what’s going on.

    Wayne

    PS: If I ever get to England I’ll buy you a beer.

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