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Microsoft Shareholders Unhappy After Annual Meeting 521

Kozar_The_Malignant writes "Microsoft shareholders left today's annual meeting grumbling about the 15 minute Q&A period with Bill Gates and Steve Balmer and the lack of any real specifics about corporate direction. Many shareholders are concerned about Microsoft's static share price over the last decade."
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Microsoft Shareholders Unhappy After Annual Meeting

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  • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Informative)

    by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:18PM (#38068634)

    Doesn't MSFT pay dividends?

    quarterly [].

  • by Antony T Curtis ( 89990 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:20PM (#38068668) Homepage Journal

    It's more telling when you add GOOG and AAPL to the same graph...

    Over the last 10 years, MSFT is near 0% growth, GOOG is a little under 500% growth.... AAPL is around 4000% growth.

    That makes MSFT a poor long-term investment choice.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:30PM (#38068768) Journal

    Over the last 10 years, MSFT is near 0% growth, GOOG is a little under 500% growth.... AAPL is around 4000% growth.

    That makes MSFT a poor long-term investment choice.

    Except that, as the disclaimer says, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Not that I'm buying any MSFT.

    An oldie but goodie: The Ballmer Stagnation []

  • by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:40PM (#38068894)
    It has a 3% yield, which isn't exactly stellar. You can probably get that from a fixed-rate vehicle with no exposure to Microsoft's dwindling relevance.
  • by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:48PM (#38068996)
    Microsoft peaked earlier. Overall growth [] from the beginning appears to be in Microsoft's favor.
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:49PM (#38069002)

    Microsoft has payed out nearly its full stock price in dividends during that time. Its also got a better P&E.

    That makes it a *great* long-term investment choice. But a big swath of investors that came up during the dot-com boom don't seem to really understand what long-term investment means.

    Its *not* a good stock to try getting short term gains, and its not a good stock for growth. But like a lot of the big blue chips, its a great place to sink cash for the long run.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:50PM (#38069006)

    The yield is 3 percent.

    Forward Annual Dividend : 3.00%
    Trailing Annual Dividend : 0.48
    Trailing Annual Dividend : 1.80%
    5 Year Average Dividend : 2.00%

    Source: []

    Where you get 20 percent, I have no idea. Check your math.


  • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:00PM (#38069134)

    Would the term you're thinking of happen to be the sunk cost fallacy []?

  • by jmottram08 ( 1886654 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:14PM (#38069264)
    idiot. microsoft pays dividends.
  • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:14PM (#38069270) Journal

    An oldie but goodie: The Ballmer Stagnation []

    Not only does that chart use an irregular Y axis that makes Gates' performance seem more steady and reliable than it actually was...

    ...but it doesn't bother to mention the dot-com bubble popping in ~2000. The fact that Ballmer kept their stock price up, while everyone else was losing theirs, is no small feat.

    Please don't post any more dishonest crap from zdnet. I passionately distrust and loathe Microsoft, especially now that the B&N revelations are out. There is so much to hate about them, we don't also need to fabricate indictments of Ballmer.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:59PM (#38069622) Homepage Journal

    You're an idiot. Of course MS isn't growing, it's a monopoly covering one area and has a serious difficulty in cracking other markets without a DoJ investigation.

    The way that you make it sound there's limitless growth potential. Apple got really lucky in that the DoJ has been turning a blind eye to its antitrust violations, same goes for Google.

    Microsoft have the one problem - their success. Most of it was due to luck - Corporate America chose Microsoft as the OS of choice, beginning with MS-DOS. Windows 95 to the present have only grown because the market for PCs expanded until pretty much everyone had one. The problem is - how do you force people to buy a new version of the OS when they don't want to?

    There are millions of people on Windows XP and older versions, who see no point as long as their computers do what they want of them. They don't need no damn extreme experience. Only when their computers die or they decide it's time for a new one will they change - and a lot of them will not be happy because the new version isn't like their old version and they have to fight with it just to do the basics of what they've known before. There's some sickness in the Windows division that says, "We must change everything around with each release." Vista made corporate buyers shy away when they saw what a turd it was. I know we're still running a lot of XP systems, ourselves.

    So grow in other areas? Microsoft have effectively bought their way into other areas on the strength of Windows, Office and server income. Try as they might to barge into other areas, they have all the sexy appeal of Kmart or Walmart. The playing field changed while they were fumbling around and now Apple and Google are flooding new markets, leaving little room for Microsoft to move into. Microsoft haven't a proven product in the Phone or Tablet field (the XP tablets, eh) They're now a marginal player, trying to find a way to wedge themselves in, while holding back Android with flimsy patent suits.

    While they have a good hold on a large market, that market has changed and will continue to change. Microsoft hasn't had the vision to capture anything, playing pretender and following the leaders. Until Microsoft rolls out something people didn't know they always wanted, but never saw before, it's going to be a steadily declining market.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:18PM (#38069778)

    The Microsoft of the 80s and 90s is not the same as the Microsoft of the 'aughts.

    The Apple of the 80s and 90s is not the same as the Apple of the 'aughts.

    In fact, the Apple of the 'aughts has more in common with the Microsoft of the 90s than the Microsoft of today. Apple is a growth company. Microsoft clearly isn't. If a 3 percent dividend yield from Microsoft doesn't tell you that, I don't know what can.

    On the Y! finance boards, what you just did is called "chartin' the charts" and is a known logical fallacy. You need to ask Microsoft "what have you done for me lately and what are you going to do in the future?" Charts from 3 decades ago tell you nothing. How about you get into the current century?


  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:36PM (#38069916) Journal

    The dividend is currently paying 3%. That's not a nice check, that's a cost of living increase while you can't spend your core assets.

    If you want a decent dividend check, look at utility stocks - 6 to 8%. So 2+ times larger checks.
    Or communications companies, that are paying 6-15% dividends.

  • by Goboxer ( 1821502 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:41AM (#38070330)
    Try google's stock screener: []
  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:54AM (#38070382)

    That's what we call a log scale, and it's the appropriate way to represent things like this. To an investor, the stock going from $5 to $10 is the same as it going from $100 to $200. A log scale shows that as the same increment. A linear scale doesn't.

    Sure, give Ballmer some kudos for keeping the stock price from dropping TOO much after 2000 (it did drop). Are you using the bubble popping excuse for the whole ten years since then?

  • by znerk ( 1162519 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:59AM (#38070408)

    Microsoft's DOC format has been around for roughly forever and the free suites STILL have trouble saving them properly?

    Microsoft Office has issues opening/saving MS Office documents; for instance, try opening a Word97 document with Word2010.

    You are obviously a Microsoft shill.

    but it's the industry standard for a reason.

    Yes; actually, many reasons. One of those reasons is that Microsoft gave it to schools for free, and paid them to teach "office productivity" courses using Microsoft software only. Another reason is that Microsoft threatened OEMs with an inability to legally acquire Microsoft software if they installed anything other than MS Windows and MS Office on pre-installed machines.

    Do you live under a rock, or are you really that deluded by the FUD?

    And before you go berserk calling me an anti-MSFT troll, you should know that I'm an MCP.

  • Re:I like Ballmer (Score:5, Informative)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:49AM (#38070944) Journal

    Oh, no... You misunderstood me. Milking the Windows and Office cows until they're dead is just what I want him to do. I don't want him to have a vision for the future. I don't want him to grasp the significance of the transition to mobile. He thinks XBox is a huge win, and that's just what I want him to think. He thinks Windows Phone and Online Services Division have got a chance in Hell, and I'm OK with that. He probably thinks he's going to make something useful out of Skype. He's going to anchor all "innovations" and acquisitions with "business drivers" until they won't fly. There's no danger he's going to "get it" so I hope they keep him until the end. When your opponent is making a mistake, don't interrupt.

    To me this Microsoft debacle is a distraction from the potential progress we could have had these past three decades. Microsoft's goal isn't innovation, it's control of innovation. The prevention of innovation they don't control is Microsoft's goal, and they were great at it under Gates but less so under Ballmer. They've done so well with this that they're now introducing features we had 30 years ago in Unix, and being lauded for it. Their current patent trolling is just the chancres of a much deeper disease. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for them, the innate creativity of people is a force that can be slowed but not stopped. Eventually a way is found.

    With people Microsoft's goal seems to be to destroy morale as fast as possible. Their forced ranking system informs one employee in five that he's on the way out - some say two in five. You can only watch that for so long before you know that one day they come for you no matter what you do. Microsoft only hires people good at math so let's do the math. If the odds of you surviving the next year at Microsoft are 0.8 and the distribution is totally random then your odds of surviving 20 years is 0.8 to the 20th power, or one in a hundred. But we all know the distribution isn't random. Most everybody has in their life a bad year and nobody knows they're not going to have one with divorce, the loss of a loved one that drives you to depression, physical illness, ordinary loss of focus, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that induce you to produce less than your peers - no matter how good you are. Even if you don't have a bad year the currently rumored "Young Up Microsoft" program tilts the scale from "insanely difficult" to "impossible". So after about your third year there you know that this isn't a career path that leads to retirement. That shifts the personal goal of employees from "do what's best" to "get what you can before you're canned". Since new-hires have a well-known "grace year" because otherwise the hirer would suffer, for some segment of the new hires this translates to "don't get caught scrapping the walls for copper." Obviously this internal strategy served the short-term bottom line at some point in the past and is now a cultural anomaly like cargo cults but the rest of us eventually benefit so I hope they don't change it.

    Microsoft's core products are Windows and Office. An operating environment and a suite of basic applications. The operating environment isn't as secure and robust as many we had 30 years ago, and does the same thing it did then: provide an environment for applications to run in. The suite of applications isn't even organic - they bought them all - and hasn't really changed in productivity in fifteen years. There are only so many ways to put glyphs on a page and do a mail merge. The spreadsheet feature wars ended sometime in 1989 when every spreadsheet had more features than three sigmas of users would ever access. Databases and presentations took a little longer - and to be fair the features they didn't buy there they outright stole. Microsoft won the office software wars not by making better software, but by ensuring that competing software wouldn't run well on their OS - and when they won, they stopped giving more value. This is being worked around by various

  • by swebster ( 530246 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:56AM (#38070972) Homepage
    Yes, the shares are "extinguished." So all the remaining shareholders now own a larger percentage share of the company, because there are fewer shares in existence. I just sold a bunch of shares back to a company... it was somewhat handy because they gave preference to odd lots (had 84 shares) so it helps to "clean things up" a bit. Also, they paid above the market rate (which didn't quite jump to the buyback value because they did not buy an unlimited number).
  • by MicroSlut ( 2478760 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:10AM (#38071184)
    There are many free applications that print to PDF. CutePDF is not the worst but it is by far not the best. It cannot create searchable documents when created from a spreadsheet and it cannot be uninstalled cleanly. Try FreePDF or qvPDF.
  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @06:03AM (#38071566) Homepage

    Part of it comes down to the huge amount of development resources that must be wasted by any competitor to MS trying to reverse engineer and implement support for their extremely convoluted file formats...

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous