Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Feb 2013 21:18 UTC
Microsoft "Although Bill Gates stepped away from his day-to-day role at Microsoft nearly five years ago, he still keeps a close eye on the company he co-founded - and he isn't always happy with what he sees. During a recent interview broadcast this morning on CBS This Morning, the Microsoft chairman was asked by Charlie Rose whether he was happy with Steve Ballmer's performance as chief executive. Noting that there have been 'many amazing things' accomplished under Ballmer's leadership in the past couple of years, Gates said he was not satisfied with the company's innovations." It's impossible to deny by this point that Microsoft hasn't done well in mobile. It would be more surprising if Gates had denied it.
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RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by sgtrock on Tue 19th Feb 2013 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
Member since:

IBM fading away?? Let's compare financial returns between IBM and Microsoft for the past 10 years, shall we?

Looks to me like Microsoft is the one that's fading, not IBM. While Microsoft has been essentially devolving into a two trick pony (Windows/Office on the desktop and Windows/SQL Server in the datacenter), IBM has an incredible range of successes over the same period. You just don't hear about them much unless you work in or near datacenters. That has been their historical strength and they continue to do some really nifty stuff there. By contrast, Microsoft is in danger of seeing all of its markets erode away.

In the broadly defined personal device market, they are in real trouble. They no longer have the #1 OS by marketshare, and by the middle of this year they won't even have the #1 installed base. Android has grown that fast and that big. Microsoft is going to have to retreat into the enterprise and watch the consumer market evolve away from them. Ironic, when the source of their greatest strength in their early days were people sneaking in their own PCs to get work done that the datacenter guys didn't have time or inclination to do!

Meanwhile, the SQL Server/Windows Server combination is coming under attack from multiple directions. The supercomputer and mainframe battles were lost long ago. IIS never had a chance in the Internet facing space, although it was frequently the webserver of choice inside firewalls. That's changing rapidly, though. The SOHO market is being lost to external hosting providers building upon open source solutions. Even the bigger companies are moving more and more work off Microsoft solutions to Linux based ones. And, since IBM has been supporting FLOSS solutions across their entire hardware line for more than a decade, they are ready, willing, and able to take that business away from Microsoft.

Nope, if you're looking for a company that's fading away, you're looking in the wrong direction. Microsoft is the one that's in trouble, not IBM.

Edited 2013-02-19 01:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 10

tanzam75 Member since:

IBM fading away?? Let's compare financial returns between IBM and Microsoft for the past 10 years, shall we?

You have plotted IBM's stock price against MSFT's stock price. That tells you nothing about how well the company has done financially. All it does is indicate how the stock market perceives each company.

Since the end of 2007, IBM's stock price has clearly outperformed MSFT's.

However, when you look at actual financial performance, you see something quite different. Microsoft's financial results have clearly outperformed IBM's over the past ten years.

Operating income, net income, dividends, net cash, you name it. On all of these bottom-line metrics, Microsoft has done better than IBM over the past ten years.

Here, have a look for yourself:

IBM's annual reports:
Microsoft's annual reports:

Reply Parent Score: 4

sgtrock Member since:

None of which invalidates my main point: When comparing the two companies, Microsoft is the one who is in danger of fading away, not IBM. Microsoft's annual reports only serve to highlight what I stated. Read the financial breakdown by segment in the 2012 annual report that starts on page 22 as a typical example.

I only pointed to the share price comparison because it shows the fact that investors have become disenchanted with Microsoft's lack of ability to innovate in any market. There's a lot of smart money out there that sees the same set of conditions that I pointed to. Now, if you have some evidence that can refute my argument I'd love to hear it.

Edited 2013-02-19 14:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:

They wasn't the power they was back in the 50s and 60s ... where IBM was its own country essentially.

I am sure they are doing well today. But they aren't what they were before the personal computer revolution.

Edited 2013-02-19 08:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

sgtrock Member since:

OK, I see your point. Fair enough. I just have a hard time seeing them as 'fading away' these days after having lived through IBM's doldrums in the 70's, 80's, and 90's before they bounced back as far as they have today.

I hope we can both agree that's it's a good thing that they no longer own the computer market, right? A monoculture is never healthy, for one. For another, more choice in a marketplace is always beneficial to the customer because it forces vendors to compete on quality, price, and innovation.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:

** Duplicate **

Edited 2013-02-19 08:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3