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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

July 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Vote: Is Microsoft in trouble?

Microsoft posted a quarterly loss of $492 million. That wasn’t unexpected considering its $6.2 billion write-down of its aQuantive venture. Core business remained strong. A tablet and other new products are on the way. Still, it was the company’s first quarterly loss.

All is not well in Redmond and the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Seattle area. Beyond Microsoft’s anemic stock price and ongoing criticism of CEO Steve Ballmer, there is the Vanity Fair expose by Kurt Eichenwald coming out in the August edition. It describes a deeply dysfunctional company that suffered “a lost decade.”

Dan Gillmore, the longtime columnist for the San Jose Mercury News now writing for The Guardian, and no fan of Microsoft during the antitrust fight, says it’s too soon to count the company out. The lost decade was heavily influenced by the antitrust battle. But “Microsoft is not standing still, despite the corporate inertia, or worse, that Eichenwald capably describes. That said, Microsoft does face an existential crisis, much as IBM did in the 1980s and especially the 1990s. I don’t know if CEO Steve Ballmer is the right leader to steer this mega-ship through the storms; when the company forced out Ray Ozzie, a technology genius and one of the possible heirs apparent, it lost one of its best disruptors of the status quo.”

What do you think? (And don’t forget you can post your views in the comments section).

Is Microsoft toast?

Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

Comments | More in Microsoft

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