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and they are in a business that actually has had a long-term future.

Fixed. :)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The comparison was made a few years ago so MS had some future value at that time. Still does, but I expect it to be depreciating.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:15:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the business of making operating systems does, I believe, have a future.

Whether Micro$oft's business model has a future is another question entirely. And it should be evident from the history of stock markets that considerable discomfort awaits those who believe that the future of a company's market value has been revealed to them :-P

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd put the OS business somewhere between 'mature' and 'declining' on the corporate life graph.

If I was throwing investment money around I'd be spending it on robotics, private space access, interface design and biotech.

The core OS part is pretty much an irrelevance on PCs now, and doesn't have the feudal power that it had now that many people use the OS as a gateway to the web.

MS tried and failed to control that gateway, but Bill G was too slow to understand why it mattered, and without its monopoly MS is failing at almost everything it touches.

MS will carry on, zombie-like, for at least another decade, but it's closer to GM than it might think it is.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Decline, perhaps, but it will not go to zero. As long as we have computers, we will have operating systems of some sort or another (most people don't speak machine code...). Cars, on the other hand, could easily go all the way to zero when the oil runs out, or at least near enough as makes no matter.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:52:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Microsoft is not in the business of crafting operating systems, Microsoft is in the business of leveraging the power law distribution of operating system market share into an effective monopoly.

When I can keep a class spreadsheet in the cloud and get at it from anywhere using a browser without really caring which operating system is running underneath, and we see programmers programming to various browsers and browser plug-ins, the termites have got to the load bearing beams.

Meanwhile, GM can build pluggable battery electric share cars and pluggable battery electric short haul container haulers and continue in their same basic business model for decades. I'd rather hold Ford stock long-term than GM stock, but I'd rather hold GM stock than Chrysler ... as the industry downsizes, the number of transnational firms with substantial US manufacturing will decline.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Jul 20th, 2010 at 12:57:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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