There has been some interesting feedback from today’s column.
One person said the buybacks and dividends indicate Microsoft is a “sunset” company in the declining phase of its history — “it can’t find a better way to spend that cash and thereby increase future profits.”
I wonder if that perception would change if Microsoft did a blockbuster acquisition — Yahoo! perhaps — or if the Xbox business becomes profitable sooner than 2008. Ballmer and other executives were asked at last week’s analyst meeting why the company isn’t buying more companies to raise its online profile, and they said Microsoft is buying lots of small companies and absorbing them about as fast as it can.
Car buffs may have noted that Ballmer is still being loyal to his family history with Ford — since 2000, Land Rover has been part of Ford. Before that, the marque was owned by BMW, whose chairman, Helmut Panke, also serves on Microsoft’s board of directors.