Microsoft spent the last year exploring lots of big business ideas.
I even pitched Always-On to some Microsoft executives. In the end the
company decided it had no worthwhile idea, so it's giving its profit
back to shareholders.
Microsoft brings in $1 billion worth of free cash every month, and
has set a $75 billion pay-out plan, including $30 billion in share
buybacks. This is all in an effort to raise its stagnant stock price.
The result will be a higher price, but I guarantee you it will also
mean a lower price-earnings ratio. Microsoft has decided to become a
widows-and-orphans stock because it can't see any worthwhile way to
invest its profits.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because if Microsoft, with all the money
in the world, can't thnk of anything better to do with its money than
give it away, what does that say for the rest of us? What does it say
for the technology business climate?
Sad – but true. It's up to US to prove Dana wrong! [Marc's Voice]