Skip to main content

A run on the bank of Microsoft

NOTE: I don't own any Microsoft stock. Nada. Zip. None.

I just checked the news wires and stumbled on something quite remarkable. It's a little after 10 am, and Microsoft stock has already traded close to 140 million shares. Let me repeat that. The NASDAQ opened at 9am, and in a little more than an hour it's traded more than twice its daily average of 58 million shares. To top that off, it's down almost 11%, or $3. What happened?

Microsoft reported earnings that missed Wall Street expectations and lowered its earnings expectations. Microsoft reported revenue of 10 billion for the last quarter. The greedy bastards on Wall Street were expecting 11. Right now their stock is trading at around $24/share as everybody cashes out and "takes profit".

For those in the Linux community who take solace in Microsoft's problems, such as today's stock market fiasco, let me warn you that what goes around comes back around, usually with interest. The carcasses of defunct Linux distributors litter the landscape, and those that are left are not too healthy. Novell, while cash rich, is sales poor, especially when selling Suse. Redhat, while the healthiest and with the greatest US market share, is still puny when compared to Microsoft. Redhat's few offerings are dwarfted by the breadth and depth of Microsoft's product offerings, and the $1 billion shortfall for this past quarter is more than Redhat has earned its entire existence, let alone in just one quarter (or even one year). I mean, Microsoft reported a 13% increase in revenue over the same period last year, and that's bad news because it wasn't high enough? Give me a frikkin' break!

As I work day-to-day with Linux on the desktop and constantly compare it with Windows, I have come to realize that 1) Microsoft on the desktop is not that bad and 2) Linux on the desktop is nowhere near that good. I wake up every morning looking forward to being flamed when I complain about yet another shortcoming in Linux on the desktop. Not. I'm tired of fighting the shrill Linux zealots who drag their considerable emotional baggage into defending their holy operating system. And make no mistake, today's drop in stock price will be yet another piece they throw up on their collection of suitcases. I am just waiting to read on the forums about how this is truly the Beginning of the End (TM) for Microsoft. It isn't anything of the sort. Microsoft's markets are shifting, especially over to China and India. Microsoft delayed delivery of Vista. Again, big deal. What's available works fine, and I can wait until it's done right. Paul Thurrott has already gone over in fine and eloquent detail Vista's shortcomings, so I won't belabor those points. From what I've read it will be better in a lot of areas, though it won't have the earth-shattering features first promised. What's more relevant, however, is that it will improve over XP, and Linux distributions will still be chasing its tail-lights technically. It will still be behind the real power curve set by Windows (and Mac OS X).


It's just after 6pm. Checking Yahoo, I find that over 590 million Microsoft shares traded hands today. That's over 10 times (an order of magnitude) greater than the average. Or to look at it another way, out of 2.6 billion shares total that traded on the NASDAQ, Microsoft made up 23% of the volume. That's one company that had nearly a quarter of the total volume on the NASDAQ on a trading day described as having "heavy volume."


Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…