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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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  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:10PM (#38068570);range=my []

    Just look at that chart. Look at it, guys. It's been down and flat since 2000. Yes, that chart is split-adjusted. All Y! stock charts are split adjusted. If you want growth, Microsoft is not where you want to be.

    And the outlook is not encouraging. Just look at Windows 8.


  • by JoeMerchant ( 803320 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:15PM (#38068614)

    Haven't there been some pretty fat dividends on occasion? I really wish the Y! charts would include an option to represent present value of a DRIP [] investment at the beginning of the period.

  • by JoeMerchant ( 803320 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:38PM (#38068854)

    Play that AAPL chart from 1988 through 1998 and tell me how smart you would feel in December of 1998 after 10 years of loyal investing?

    Any idiot can play history back and point out what you should have done. I worked at a publicly traded company that "grew" from 6 to 240 in a space of less than 2 years. The trick is in picking the bottom and the top _when_ it's happening, not after the fact.

    A reliable 10% return will beat 90% of the stocks you can name today. They have an annual tradition in Texas called the "running of the bulls" where they stripe off a pasture and measure the "deposits" left by the horned male bovines and invest according to their percentages. The bulls regularly out-perform the previous year's best analysts on Wall Street.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:40PM (#38068898)

    >Dividend not important?

    Did I say that? No, I did not. I said "If you want growth, you don't go to Microsoft"

    The local utilities give out dividends. If you want steady income, that's what you buy. It's boring. It's low risk. It's slow/minuscule/nonexistent growth.

    Microsoft has lost the battle on the server end and on the mobile and embedded markets. The only place they are dominant is on the desktop, and when you have 90 percent of the market, there's not much to grow into. Microsoft suffers from a lack of imagination, stump ponds / swamps full of deadwood, and institutional inertia.

    That's why the stock price and market cap of Microsoft is moribund.

    If you want growth, go elsewhere. QED.


  • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:42PM (#38068918) Journal
    Oh look, another fucktard who likes contributing to the mentality that has fucked the world's economy. GROWTH GROWTH GROWTH, gotta have nothing but GROWTH. Can't sell stocks and get big fat commissions without GROWTH. Dividends are returns for the investors, GROWTH is return for the speculator and Wall Street investment banker. Go crawl back under a rock where you came from asshole.
  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:55PM (#38069068)

    Depends on "when" and how long you got in.

    Look at a charts more representative of the long term investor: []

    Microsoft has been a rather stable investment over the years, and held its value well during the recent

    That said, some years ago, after Microsoft paid off my house and put my kid thru college, I jumped ship to Apple.
    Now I'm looking for somewhere else to jump, because I figure Apple has run its course.

  • by fsckmnky ( 2505008 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:27PM (#38069390)
    Yeah, that describes it nicely, although I think the one I was originally thinking of was "confirmation bias" as I had recently read an article on titled '5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think."

    link for those interested. []
  • by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:28PM (#38069866)

    according to this, []

    windows has about 75% market share. the next highest is OSX at 7%. if nothing else, that's pretty massive potential.

  • by Prof.Phreak ( 584152 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:45PM (#38069992) Homepage

    Company buying its own shares back is the worst of sleazy practices. The company is using YOUR money (instead of giving you dividends) to buy YOUR shares at a cheaper price than the market thinks they're worth. They're screwing the investors who are selling. If you don't think that's crazy, consider the limit case: a company buys out *all* of its shareholders.

    Heck, it should be illegal for a non-investment firm to own shares of itself or other companies. Any extra money left over after operations should be either used for expansion, rainy-day-fund (t-bills), or given out as dividends---not be gambled with by CFOs... and no, they don't know what's best for me.

  • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:16AM (#38070188)
    I've got a theory. Here's some of your last few modded down comments. They're all -1 flamebait. See if you can see why.

    You're stupid.
    I'm smarter than you.
    Deal with it.

    Oh look the years that the company was left to colored sugar-water salesmen and bean counters. Not the dynamic and growing company it is now.

    Yes, and if I had been born in an earlier decade, I could have bought IBM when there was a market of "four to five computers"


    Oh, look, a softie redefining words at whim.

    You're an idiot.

    Here, have another chart. This is growth.

    You should have bought AAPL, ya dummy. []

    Of your last six comments, 2 are at +5, 3 are at -1, and one is at +2 (at the time of this writing). For what it's worth, I agree with every one of them.

  • by pwizard2 ( 920421 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:35AM (#38070292)
    MSWord was never designed for complicated document layout. No wonder you were having problems with it.

    The lack of formatting tag access is a big clue... I've lost track of how much trouble I've experienced while trying to remove junk formatting artifacts from a document that has been passed around and edited by several people. (DOC files were never supposed to be distributed... that's what PDF is for!!) I often end up dumping the thing back into a text editor to get rid of ALL formatting and then paste it back into a new document and reformat from scratch.

    I like document prep tools like TeX infinitely more than WYSIWYG tools like MSWord. I can focus on content while TeX handles the formatting, and I end up with a nicely done PDF. How hard is it to learn LaTeX, anyway? Even non-programmers could learn the basics over a weekend if they put their minds to it. Everyone I've met who does tech writing knows some basic HTML at least, and LaTeX syntax isn't much harder.
  • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:44AM (#38070632)

    big institutional investors who want to play the volatility game

    Then why are they buying Microsoft (MSFT []) of all things? Microsoft is a dividend safety play and has been for at least a decade now. It's not Microsoft's fault that these pension funds promised their members payouts based on 8%+ returns when the only way to get them these days is to go risk-on heavy into high yield bonds, small to mid cap stocks or options, futures and derivatives (aka the financial weapons of mass pension fund destruction). They should either man up and sell their shares so that they can make those plays and get those 8%+ returns (or not) or they should sit down, shut up and be happy that they still have their principal and the dividend was paid on time. This is the new reality of investing and personally, I don't think that things will ever get back to 8%+ consistently on average, or at least not here in the United States or Europe. We live in a world of increasing population, increased demand and increasing depletion of natural resources. We won't have another fossil fueled 20th century of growth and investors, just like everyone else, are going to have to get used to that and plan accordingly.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:31AM (#38070866) Homepage

    Actually M$ did a great job of M$ Office. Office 97/98 was great, did what it needed to do, had straight forward macros (admittedly not very secure) but real easy to program, didn't take up much space, was pretty quick even on that era's hardware, came with a manual and it wasn't annoyingly over unhelpfully helpful. M$ Office 2000 was borderline, it was starting to cross the line of being unhelpfully helpfull and was slower and more annoying to use

    People who really, really liked M$ Office 97/98 are the ones who switched over to Open Office now Libre Office.

    Of course what M$ needs to do is break up the company to allow growth. M$ Office and windows in one division along with their crappy business support services mess and, the reduce staff and milk profits. Other division should be based around MSN and Ballmer and his drones should no be allowed anywhere near it, so the creativity can thrive in a better environment. XBox is neither really here nor there and will run into the problem of more powerful consumer level computing devices and of course things like steams bulk buy packs.

  • by chthon ( 580889 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:09AM (#38071180) Homepage Journal

    Wordperfect twenty years ago on DOS and a 16 MHz machine was better than MS Word is today on today's machines.

    In 1991-1993 I helped creating and managing documents of 500-1000 pages, technical documents with much tables.

    In MS Word I never got beyond 10 tables or pictures before I started having all kinds of problems with layout and formatting.

    In that respect is Open/LibreOffice a fine replacement, it handles long documents with much graphics and tables without complaining.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @06:01AM (#38071558) Homepage

    The problem is twofold...
    Firstly the formats are so complex that even with the spec, its very hard to implement them...
    Secondly, the specs are not very good, they are vague, inaccurate and sometimes downright wrong in places. Not to mention the additional differences in format between different versions of ms products (even products of the same vintage, mac version is often different to windows version and service packs can break stuff too)...

    When MS can't even properly interoperate between themselves, what hope has anyone else got? If you want a good laugh, try a few things:
    Use ms publisher to open and save word files, not sure if it has improved lately but last time i tried this the results were garbage...
    Setup different versions of word, and configure them with different printers, then try interchanging complex documents between them...

    The only thing MS has going for them is lock-in, their office suite is extremely buggy and has poor interoperability even with itself while intentionally not trying to interoperate with anything else.
    For the vast majority of users, something heavyweight like msoffice or libreoffice is a poor choice, and one of the lighter options would suit their needs much better.
    Those who claim that ms is the best suite have generally not used anything else extensively or have niche specialised requirements.

    Having used wordperfect years ago, and a mix of msoffice and libreoffice at work i can say that i definitely prefer the latter. Unlike word it doesn't choke on very large documents, it lets me write macros in several languages and i can save the files out and parse them outside of the application quite easily.

    One thing that does annoy me however, is that libreoffice (and excel, which i assume its copying) truncates very large numbers, i end up having to use gnumeric instead if i want accurate results.

  • by Lorien_the_first_one ( 1178397 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:40AM (#38072222)

    So, you own both Microsoft and Apple. As a shareholder, how do you feel about their war against Android and Linux? Do you, as a shareholder, feel that you are contributing to that war by owning the stock? Do you feel a personal investment in the battle against Linux and software freedom pursued by Apple and Microsoft?

    I ask this because I believe that people who own stock in Apple and Microsoft have little interest in software freedom and would rather trade that freedom for a nice dividend.

    What are your thoughts?

Hold on to the root.