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Falling Microsoft Income Endangers Yahoo Bid

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the micro-who dept.

Microsoft 195

Dionysius, God of Wine and Leaf, points out a new wrinkle to Microsoft's pursuit of Yahoo. The most recent quarterly results, which saw Microsoft's earnings drop by 6% from the previous year (revenue from Windows alone was down 24%), have caused the stock to dip. This has reduced the value of the cash-and-stock offer from its original $44B to something nearer $40B. Yahoo, of course, has maintained all along that the original offer was lowball. A business professor is quoted: "Whatever leverage [Microsoft] built up in the last few days could be slipping away."

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195 comments

HaHa (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235464)

Nuff Said

At least I'll have my... (0, Offtopic)

Centurix (249778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235470)

Microsoft USB 128Mb memory stick to remind me who they once were.

Someone who made a 128Mb memory stick that I don't use.

Re:At least I'll have my... (1, Offtopic)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235708)

Just a suggestion: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ [pendrivelinux.com]

Re:At least I'll have my... (3, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235950)

Shouldn't that be a 640Kb memory stick? Because you'll never need more than 640Kb.

Besides which, I cannot agree with your statement one bit - Microsoft makes damn good mice and joysticks!

Re:At least I'll have my... (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236012)

Yeah, I have a Microsoft Sound System 80 at home which produces good quality sound at astonishingly high volumes. (But all my HID devices are Logitech..)

Misattributed comment is misattributed (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236382)

Shouldn't that be a 640Kb memory stick? Because you'll never need more than 640Kb.

* 640K ought to be enough for anybody.

Often attributed to Gates in 1981. Gates considered the IBM PC's 640kB program memory a significant breakthrough over 8-bit systems that were typically limited to 64kB, but he has denied making this remark.

"I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time... I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bill_Gates [wikiquote.org] , scroll on down to the Misattributed section.

Re:At least I'll have my... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236454)

Their wireless routers were crap, though.

Re:At least I'll have my... (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236578)

Besides which, I cannot agree with your statement one bit - Microsoft makes damn good mice and joysticks!

Microsoft used to make damn good mice and keyboards. I don't know about joysticks.
However, the new Microsoft mice and keyboards that I've tried out are not that good, really.

Clearly caused by H-1b limits (4, Funny)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235488)

It's clear that if Bill Gates could just get the H-1b caps lifted, the best and brightest [cis.org] from around the world could come to the US and be paid $100k straight out of college [programmersguild.org] to save Microsoft.

Anyone who was around during the dot-com era remembers how it was H-1b limits that caused the crash of that wonderful era. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

wrong wrong wrong* (5, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235558)

It was the absurd level of investment which saw things like startups being valued higher than HP, Xerox, and if I remember rightly, the Ford Motor company, that caused that.

Venture capitalists poured billions into the industry without considering that the market had yet to produce the great new age of commerce that was promised.

Startups without a coherent product were valued as multiple million dollar companies, and attracted investment like dead dogs attract flies.

And all this at a time when I believe broadband wasn't even widely deployed.

It was a bust waiting to happen. It's just a shame that so many viable companies were taken down in the crash.

Re:wrong wrong wrong* (5, Informative)

lightversusdark (922292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235580)

Whoosh!

And don't try the old asterisk in the subject line trick - we can see you're not a subscriber!

Re:wrong wrong wrong* (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235598)

*woosh*

That was the stealthy sound of sandpaper-dry sarcasm whistling coarsely overhead.

You are right, though.. There was very little sanity going on there, and we all suffered because of it.

Re:wrong wrong wrong* (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236764)

"There was very little sanity going on there, and we all suffered because of it."

Well, many did.

Others made a killing billing obscene hourly rates.

I really can't complain too much. It's a psychological hit to go from billing $175/hr back down to $75 (and even $50 in the lowest of the lows of 2001-2) but that's fake bruised-ego pain. Not real suffering. Not suffering like a lot of Americans go thru during bubble-busts.

dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (1, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235740)

Why do you have to drag this bullshit sarcasm into this discussion?

For the record, both Yahoo! and Microsoft have open positions that they have a hard time filling with qualified people (so do Google, IBM, and most other high tech companies):

http://research.yahoo.com/Job_Opportunities [yahoo.com]

http://research.microsoft.com/aboutmsr/jobs/fulltime/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

The H-1b caps indiscriminately keep companies from filling those jobs; they keep out US educated Ph.D.'s, they keep out foreign educated Ph.D.'s, and they are a huge problem for industry and US competitiveness. Even if there's some abuse of H-1b's, capping H-1b's to prevent that abuse is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. If those Ph.D.'s can't come to the US, they work abroad and found their startups there, pay their taxes there, and create jobs there.

So, stop that stupid sarcasm and get some of the facts, OK?

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235780)

What a complete load of bull plop!

The reason they want the cap lifted is becuase the people being brought in from abroad are cheap pure and simple!

BY the way I'm live in the UK and so therefore have no agenda.

This rubbish about it stopping PHD's etc is crap. By the way if they are being bought in to fill postitons in the US, why do they need to create start ups??

Its a ruse,the high tech companies do not want to pay a decent living wage to americans, when they can hire and fire foreginers, who will also be less uppetity knowing that their green card depends upon them being employed with that company!

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236016)

Its a ruse,the high tech companies do not want to pay a decent living wage to americans, when they can hire and fire foreginers, who will also be less uppetity knowing that their green card depends upon them being employed with that company!

First of all, H-1b's and green cards are completely different things. Green cards have never depended on an employer: for employment (and most other) purposes, a green card holder is the same as a US citizen. For H-1b's, the tie to the employer was removed a few years ago. So your argument is bullshit.

By the way if they are being bought in to fill postitons in the US, why do they need to create start ups??

Apparently, they don't teach reading comprehension in the UK anymore either: I was saying that if those people don't get hired by US companies, they don't just drop off the face of the earth, they start competing with the US from abroad.

BY the way I'm live in the UK and so therefore have no agenda.

So you're just an uneducated lout and you're talking out of your ass. What's your real problem? Are you angry because US immigration found you unworthy? Do you secretly want to escape bad dental care and bad weather but just don't have the guts to emigrate? Or are you merely a run-of-the-mill xenophobic Brit sublimating his hostility to the colored former subjects of the former Empire coming to the British isles?

US immigration doesn't concern you, you don't know anything about it, so I suggest you just shut up about it. You have enough problems in your own country to deal with; focus your energies on those.

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236194)

That fact the you need to resort to name, calling I think tells everyone on this board, you the more ill-educated out of us is.

The HB1 visa ia a gateway to getting a Green Card, it helps that you have employment already in the US.

Last time I checked slashdot, allows anyone from any part of the globe to comment on stories, so if you don't like it, then I suggest you go play in traffic.

The horse shite about h if we don't let them in to do menial programming work for Microsoft then they will start up software companies abroad and destroy us is just that HORSE SHITE!.

If they had that much gumption they would not be applying to go work for microsoft as a bog standard coder in the first place.

Your talking complete and utter shit and you know it. The fact that you've gone on wioth some rant about the empire, shows exactly what kind of juvenile you are.

I suggest that you go tell mummy that its your nap time, and alliow the adults to have a civlised debate, there's a good lad!

ummmm (2, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235980)

When I was a lad companies used to do something called training to get their employees up to scratch, Why can't Microsoft/ Yahoo/ IBM do this?

Re:ummmm (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236130)

They do, grants and on the job training.

this might shock you so hold on to your strawberry daiquiri, it takes years to get enough experience to even start training at the level MS needs to hire people to stay competitive.

Re:ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236250)

Though you can (for example) train a C++ programmer to program Java, it's a rather more complicated matter to turn that C++ programmer into a "Ph.D. in Computer Science or related field with a Strong academic research track record focused on information retrieval, computational linguistics, machine learning, matrix and graph algorithms, unsupervised clustering, data mining, human-computer interaction/user experience or related areas"

Not all employees could be trained to a standard that high.

Also, PhD-level education often takes three years or more - and workers who are in full time education are workers who aren't producing code. To produce 10 3-year PhDs an employer has to lose 30 man-years of productivity, and the PhDs still arrive 3 years after you need them.

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (2, Funny)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236200)

Why do you have to drag this bullshit sarcasm into this discussion? [scythe] So, stop that stupid sarcasm and get some of the facts, OK?

Because, outside the US of A, there are still some people who understand humour. Inside the US of A, of course, you can't even spell it.

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236336)

Given the bullshit people from the UK keep posting, it looks like many British have neither humor nor education. But you sure are arrogant.

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (2)

Just because I'm an (847583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236438)

If we're going to use such broad brushstrokes then you have to admit it's pretty funny to have someone who is (or at least appears to be) from the USA label other nationalities arrogant.

Re:dumb, ill-informed sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23237096)

It's interesting noticing that these high-and-mighty citizens of the "esteemed" countries of the world (re: everywhere not the USA apparently) aren't exactly above it all themselves. Understanding the joke, I still don't find it very funny. It's old and tiresome.

So, let's stop the girl's slap fight please.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (5, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235784)

Yes, but $100k is now worth relatively little in proper money.

I was going to make a joke about this but actually its not funny.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236272)

Except if you happen to live in Europe, in which case it is funny. Well, unless you realize that a falling Dollar might negatively impact the country that creates 90% of our culture and goods, which is sad on many levels.

I really wouldn't worry.. (2, Interesting)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236848)

Currencies are SUPPOSED to fluctuate. It's healthy. Like a forest fire. Recessions, too, for that matter.

The weak companies can burn to the ground to un-clutter their marketspace and allow healthy, new companies to grow in their wake.

The strong dollar led to rampant outsourcing in the late 90's/early 00's.

The US was an expensive place to do business.

As the dollar weakens, the US becomes more and more attractive for foreign investment. European companies (like Volkswagen, for example) see a supremely talented labor force with an exchange rate that's to die for. And we have indeed begun to see in-sourcing.

As this happens, the US economy gradually strengthens, the currency rebounds to the point where the country is no longer attracting foreign investment. Outsourcing begins to look more attractive for American companies. Etc. The pendulum swings again.

The sky is not falling. It's just that the tide is turning. It'll come back in again shortly.

Re:I really wouldn't worry.. (2)

pubjames (468013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237086)

It's not healthy. Healthy is a strong, stable economy with a strong, stable currency. The dollar is dropping like a stone. This has lots of negative consequences, which far out-way the benefits.

The fact that European companies find it cheaper to employ people in the USA than other countries is not a good thing. The ability to outsource to other countries where labour is cheaper is a sign of economic strength, not weakness.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236758)

$100,000 US is still quite a bit of money. Expecially if you are talking about yearly gross income. I don't think you realize just how little money some people can live off, even in the United States. $100,000 should be more than enough to support a family. If it's not, you aren't spending your money correctly. If you aren't supporting a family, then you should be even better off with all that money.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237000)

Five years ago 100,000 USD was almost 100,000 EUR, which is a big annual income. Two years ago it was 85,000 EUR, still pretty high. Now it is about 64,000 EUR.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (2, Informative)

anandsr (148302) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235832)

Actually it will be very easy to reduce the demand of H1-B visas. Just stop them from being slave laborers to the companies importing them. This can be done by just allowing them to switch jobs, and allowing them to apply for Green Cards without sponsorship.

Currently the companies hold the H1-B visa holders by a tight leash because they can't switch jobs once Green card is applied. Also they can't switch jobs in the early years.

If both these restrictions are removed, companies will not be able to afford to pay their employees less than the fair market value. And then the local people will be able to compete more easily. Companies will not be able to use H1-Bs as a source of cheap employment.

So ask your senators to remove restrictions that cause H1-Bs to be looked as second class employees. Let them be treated at the level they merit, and you will not lose out on jobs.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235864)

It's clear that if Bill Gates could just get the H-1b caps lifted, the best and brightest from around the world could come to the US and be paid $100k straight out of college to save Microsoft.

Anyone who was around during the dot-com era remembers how it was H-1b limits that caused the crash of that wonderful era. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Ahh.. so not people over investing in any idea that came along, no matter how outlandish it was, just because some of these ideas might pay off in a big way?

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235944)

It is absurd to suggest that (a lack of) engineers caused Microsoft's downfall. The more engineers and managers it threw at Vista; the worse the end product. Marketing and (poor) management will be the downfall of Microsoft; not engineers or programmers; H1B or otherwise.

Re:Clearly caused by H-1b limits (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237068)


It is definatly much better that they get payed much less in their home contries and develope tech economies that will be more and more independant of ours.

Better for the world economy (maybe, cheaper software production could be a win, but artificial controls cause a drag in general), and for the 3rd world economies that can produce qualified people. The preventing of a brain drain to our country is of course bad for our economy.

Disclaimer, written by an American.

Downward spiral? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235522)

Not only the Yahoo! bid. Wasn't MS built up kinda like a pyramid scheme, with their reliance on stock options as payment for top professionals and other things like that? Someone calculated a couple years back by how much about the MS stock can slip before it sets a downward spiral into motion that will wipe the company out. Explained to me at that time while they are so hell-bent at domination and expansion, no matter the cost. Given their makeup, if MS falls, it will fall hard and far.

Re:Downward spiral? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235600)

There is one fallibility in your logic. You're assuming that Microsoft is something of an Enron - that all of their value comes from their stock. This is simply false.
Microsoft's value comes from their assets, their market power, their product reach, and their ability to throw money at problems until they get something people will buy. Might I remind you that Microsoft keeps something like $30 billion in cash - instant liquidity - at all times. Microsoft can take a stock hit and keep on chugging. Don't make the mistake of underestimating Microsoft's business prowess - again, they are no Enron.
You're scenario is simply a fantasy adopted and spread by people that hate Microsoft because of their success and supposed lack of innovation. Might I remind you that a lot of the reason computers have been able to advance as quickly as they have is because we have a single majority platform. Software and hardware can compete on that universal platform instead of between multiple incompatible platforms. There is a reason we like standards. Don't forget that.

Re:Downward spiral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235666)

there is more than one fallibility to your grammar, but we forgive you.

Re:Downward spiral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235700)

30 billions of cash? Right, and how did MSFT offer to pay YHOO? With 50% stock, 50% cash. So how much will be left of MSFTs only effective tool (cash) besides the staggering office suite. Right. Maybe 10 billions. Thats nothing compared to their market value.

If this was a serious offer and not just a poison pill for yahoo, MSFT is really desperate.

Re:Downward spiral? (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235704)

Software can compete on microsoft's platform, if microsoft is not trying to compete with that software. Just you try producing a word processor for windows, you will waste thousands of man hours reverse engineering proprietary microsoft formats, instead of improving your product. And even if you do spend the time and effort to produce a product that is both superior and compatible, you will face a serious uphill battle trying to get anyone to use it.

If we had a truly open single platform, progress and innovation would have been a lot faster.
It was always inevitable that a more open platform would take over from the myriad of incompatible systems that were available years ago, unfortunately it was only the hardware that was open, or at least competitive, while software became more locked in than ever.

Microsoft have stifled the evolution of the open IBM compatible platform, not helped it. They stalled the transition to 32bit, and are doing the same with the transition to 64. They delayed other valuable technologies like USB and SATA by being way behind everyone else in supporting them. And they are keeping people stuck on the crufty legacy bios, because of their unwillingness to support EFI, or anything else that would be newer and better. How many other good technologies have been delayed or killed completely, simply because microsoft couldnt be bothered to support them, or supported them in such a half assed way as to make people falsely perceive them as useless.

They (along with other closed source vendors) are also stopping people moving to other superior architectures (some of which are more open than x86, but less widely supported because they wont run windows).

Re:Downward spiral? (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235720)

a lot of the reason computers have been able to advance as quickly as they have is because we have a single majority platform
Incoming Bullshit Alert...

Re:Downward spiral? (2, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235860)

"Might I remind you that a lot of the reason computers have been able to advance as quickly as they have is because we have a single majority platform."

Thats the worst load of crap ever uttered in this industry. Most things on the hardware side has been hold back because of Microsofts unwillingness to support new technologies.

If you take your time and compare what was on the market when Microsoft started dominating the x86 platform you will find that first Dos then Windows was long behind the competition. They have always been lagging behind the competition, since day one.

Their saviour was that IBM released their platform into the open because of their problems with the DOJ (ironic isnt it?). They got a hold of a platform that took off like a rocket because of it being open and managed to lock down the software side of it. Had IBM held onto x86 Microsoft as we know it would still be making stoplight-software.

I think our software snails along and its development is painfully slow if you look at what happens in labs around the world. Microsoft is just now implementing things in Windows that has been standard in Unix since late 60's. If you think thats fast meet my lawn, enjoy watching it grow!

Re:Downward spiral? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236120)

Had IBM held onto x86 Microsoft as we know it would still be making stoplight-software.
You have more than two errors there. IBM chose the 8088 as their first PC chip. It was Intel's own documentation for that chip that suggested it was best used for controlling traffic lights (the docs I had recommended 8086 for regular microcomputer usage). And if Microsoft had been doing traffic light software, there would have a boom in the ambulance-chasing lawyer industry like you wouldn't believe. Oh wait ...

Re:Downward spiral? (2, Informative)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236218)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traf-O-Data [wikipedia.org]

Maybe we should thank heavens that Microsoft went towards the PC world?

Re:Downward spiral? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235988)

So, microsoft is essentially a financial institution? Then what is being discussed would have to be considered a run on the bank, er, stock. You think microsoft's brand value is going to be worth more than the lint in my belly button if everyone decides to sell? Hell, with that type of scenario the thirty bln looks like just enough to maintain plausible deniability. I mean the big difference here is that enron had *something* tangible (energy), microsoft has all those vista licenses everyone is clamoring after, that's got to be worth something right? Not necessarily, if the market turns on MS then they have support for software currently installed and whatever they can sell of the new stuff. This is valuable, but not nearly as valuable as Microsoft's brand.

Re:Downward spiral? (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235992)

Software and hardware can compete on that universal platform instead of between multiple incompatible platforms

Flog on. One of the reasons I moved to Linux was that the more open-source software I used, the more complete my 'toolkit' became. Microsoft give you only the bare minimum, and then they continue to fuck with what they've given you to 'encourage' you to upgrade, purchase more, upgrade, license this, buy that, etc, etc.

I can see why you posted anonumously

Re:Downward spiral? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235762)

Oh man, it would be perfect... if they fail maybe they will at least release the sources to windows to ease up their stay in hell when they die and we would have enough material for ThedailyWTF for years!

Re:Downward spiral? (5, Funny)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235818)

It is the falling revenue that hubris is set in motion. It is by the gook of management that self-destruction acquires speed, the product line acquires bloatware, the bloatware becomes a warning. IT is by falling revenue alone that hubris is set in motion.

Re:Downward spiral? (1)

oronet commander (1084507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236882)

It's the first time in my years of slashdotting that I've craved for mod points. You deserve all our respect, sir

The crash is coming (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235874)

When Microsoft falls, it's going to fall big-time, and the size of the crash will take everyone by surprise. Microsoft is still a company with basically two extremely profitable cash cows (OS and Office) which are both under threat. Both of these huge cash flows could disappear fairly quickly. I predict their profits will stay stable or show a slight decline for two or three years, and then suddenly they'll be a huge drop in profits - perhaps a 40% drop, and then everything will go to crap for them over the following few years.

If they play their cards right over the next few years, they could prevent this happening, but unfortunately their current actions suggest they've lost the plot.

Its a beautiful day after all! (3, Funny)

Dana W (1281070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235530)

Lets all say that together, shall we? "Falling Microsoft Income" Beautiful........... Do I get two more wishes?

Re:Its a beautiful day after all! (2, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235812)

What more could you wish for? :P

Re:Its a beautiful day after all! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235934)

Ballmer to be knocked flat in the face by a joke rubber chair that rebounds off the wall he threw it at following his hearing the news of the fall in Microsoft profits?

And losing one of his teeth in the process so that whenever he smiles in a photograph, there's a black gap? And because of the tooth he lost, he ends up with a lisp and ends up shouting "Developerth, developerth, developerth"?

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236640)

Operating income was only down 6% during a eco-slump. That in the face of much increased R&D budget. I think that means the opposite what everyone is clapping about.

The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (4, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235564)

If you think that Yahoo which is trading over 40 to 50 PE as lowball well then YAHOO is crazy.

Look at the earnings growth of Yahoo for the past five years. IT IS pitiful. Yahoo is being too arrogant for its own good.

Personally, I think Microsoft should just walk away. Watch that Yahoo stock drop faster than gravity.

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (1)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235618)

Err. I thought we were supposed to hate Microsoft here though...

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235638)

Yes we are. Except for the people who are paid to like microsoft here.

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235652)

Oh yes I am paid by MS (sarcasm)... Care to show proof?

No, my side hobby is investing in the market. Yes I am long MSFT, but I am also long AAPL. I would be long GOOG, but I find GOOG a bit too opaque for my tastes. Though they are a good company.

My point is that I am looking at this deal from a financial perspective and Yahoo is an idiot...

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235712)

If I was totally crazy, I might say that microsoft is actually just pursuing its E, E, E stratagem, and this has more to do with silverlight, web applications and php than advertising.

I also might think that yahoo's assertion that the offer undervalues the company is for the press and the regulators... That yahoo may have more heroic reasons that are practically illegal these days (being a public company and having a reason other than money).

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (1)

sir fer (1232128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235886)

Oh yes I am paid by MS (sarcasm)... Care to show proof?
Proof? On /.? Surely you jest.. On the internet, never let proof get in the way of a good slur... Everyone on /. knows that M$ got to where they are today by sheer luck and the stupidity of the market, nothing at all to do with getting their solutions out there before they're ready...and i use the term "solutions" in the broadest possible sense...

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236178)

Oh yes I am paid by MS (sarcasm)... Care to show proof?

No, my side hobby is investing in the market. Yes I am long MSFT
Who needs to when you just confessed?

I think you're the same morally as those who "invested" in the Golden Triangle in Asia a couple centuries ago or the African slave trade a bit further back.

But hey, if it works for you, more power to you ...

Offer is attractive to shareholders (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235718)

Recent economic worries tend to make people risk adverse and tends to pop the bubble of any high PE stock. Being able to trade away high PE stock for a good price gives YHOO shareholders a nice sleep and that is all that is keeping the YHOO stock from crashing.

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (3, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235728)

If you think that Yahoo which is trading over 40 to 50 PE as lowball well then YAHOO is crazy.

Look at the earnings growth of Yahoo for the past five years. IT IS pitiful. Yahoo is being too arrogant for its own good.

Over 5 years, Yahoo stock has outperformed Microsoft stock [yahoo.com] . If a Yahoo stockholder were basing his decision solely on the 5-year history, he would have to be crazy to want to trade his Yahoo shares for Microsoft shares.

Yahoo has only run into problems during the last 2 years, which is kinda short to declare the company dead. And their current P/E (with a price based on Microsoft's offer) is 35, which seems about average for most tech stocks. The day prior to Microsoft's bid, YHOO had dropped so low I was considering picking some up. I'm still kicking myself for putting off the research for a day so I could watch a movie.

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (1)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235742)

Gravity doesn't drop. At least not in that sense of the word. :-D

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235752)

There is more to it than just money. The people who founded Yahoo 13 years ago are still in for the ride. If they sell it to Microsoft, they know the adventure will end there. After all, they already are rich enough, I don't think they want more money, I think they want independence and fun.

And battling Microsoft is a fun that many people here can probably understand!

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235806)

Gravity Drops? Cool!

Re:The Offer is NOT LOWBALL (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236516)

"Yahoo is being too arrogant for its own good."

It could also be a matter of them really not wanting to become part of MS because they're aware of what tends to happen, or that they know how desperate Ballmer is to find some way of competing with Google, and that there aren't many companies he can buy with any realistic chance of giving them that capability.

"Personally, I think Microsoft should just walk away. Watch that Yahoo stock drop faster than gravity."

The question from Microsoft's viewpoint is whether they can afford to walk away. None of their many efforts to diversify have been particularly successful, and their monopoly position tin PC software means that they have few prospects for the growth that's so beloved of stockholders, so what options do they have besides buying up a company with a significant presence in one of the markets that their own efforts have failed in for years despite having massive amounts of money thrown at them?

Vista sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235570)

Oh, wasn't Vista supposed to be selling better than ever, even better than XP? If so, why Windows division dipped by 24%? Or is 'better' another Microsoft ActiviRedefinition (tm).

Re:Vista sales (1)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235608)

I think everybody knows by now that Vista sales are not going as Microsoft initially envisioned, whatever Steve Balmer might be saying.

Re:Vista sales (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235744)

Vista will sell because it is forced onto unwilling customers. In Poland you almost can't buy a laptop without Vista, except budget-end ones that sometimes run "Linux" (no mention of the distro), but the more disturbing thing is that your warranty is void if you replace the OS. This means if you want to downgrade to XP you're royally screwed, because warranty is the main reason people buy in stores instead of e.g. on auction sites.

Fish out of Water (1)

bluemetal (1269852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235574)

It was never going to happen anyways. Together they would have created just one GARGANTUAN mess instead of two unbelievably huge messes.

It's just a couple of humongous fish desperately flapping their fins about as the water from their tanks slowly drain into more fruitful oceans.

Re:Fish out of Water (1)

mcsporran (832624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235670)

You missed the dinosaur metaphor


It's just a couple of humongous coelacanths, desperately flapping their fins about as the water from their tanks slowly drain into more fruitful oceans.

Re:Fish out of Water (1)

bluemetal (1269852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235710)

Snap...

You got me there.

No seriously, that would have made it better. I agree.

Re:Fish out of Water (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235726)

Have to agree with that. As far as I like yahoo standing up for themselves, yahoo's product is hardly viable either with or without MS. I remember yahoo's horrid news group interface with ad-only pages intermitting every 5 messages or so. The only good thing about yahoo is Flickr and the only reason MS needs yahoo is to make Flickr dependent on Silverlight so that they will get a critical mass for the Silverlight userbase. MS needs to do that fast, if the growth of Silverlight is too slow web developers will just spare their time learning to use it.

In "real" money, however, both MS and yahoo are probably higher priced than their actual valuem, and the worth is more likely to go down than up.

Re:Fish out of Water (1)

Socguy (933973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235756)

Good call. Microsoft would have slowly killed Yahoo, not overnight mind you, Yahoo is far too big for that. Most companies try to focus their energy on their 'core competencies'. (Makes sense that you would spend most of your time focusing on what you do best in order to NOT kill your golden goose!) Now what is Microsoft's core competency? Well, they do a ton of things but I guess you would have to look at where they make their money: Windows/Office.

For some reason Microsoft is desperate to compete with Google in 'search.' They failed in their attempt to build their own so they figure that dropping $44B on Yahoo is a good idea. As I understand it, Yahoo's strategy is largely wrapped up in creating original content to attract users. How does any of that fit with Microsoft's core competency? If they pull off this takeover, what is going to be the priority at Microsoft? How are they going to integrate Yahoo with the rest of Microsoft? Will they shut down similar operations or will they start to compete against themselves? For the shareholders, the biggest question should be: Where is the top brass going to focus? How are they going to protect their 'Golden Goose' 'cause they can't really afford another Vista nor do they want to turn a $44B purchase into the next plays-for-sure.

Silverlight and NotPDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235928)

These, as someone else said, may be the reason for MS wanting Yahoo. Google would cost too much as would AOL, and Google would NOT use MS tech in Youtube.

But Yahoo could get millions of users using silverlight and other new tech and could allow leveraging their Windows monopoly into a Yahoo/Silverlight one.

Chaired !!!! (1)

Axe4ever (1155411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235606)

I think the sales guy who had predicted this downfall was thrown with a chair .. !!!

Gay Nigger Association of America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235680)

gnaa.us [goatse.ch]

Microsoft stock is a pyramid scam for the gullible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235796)

Until recently they didn't pay dividends.

I would stay far away from psychopaths [wikipedia.org] like Bill Gates [edge-op.org] .

Bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235798)

Falling Microsoft Income Endangers Yahoo Bid
You say that as if it's a bad thing.

OT: Dionysius, God Of Wine And Leaf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235898)

While the aforementioned user makes great contributions to /. on a regular basis (so much more in the recent few weeks than before), the hyperlink under that user name points to a private company.

If anyone remembers the "Great Slashdot Revolt" in 2007 (or 2006?, don't remember, but it was that thing with ), I tought we agreed to remove hyperlinks under submitter's names to avoid Google bombing... what gives?!

I think the rel="nofollow" covers that, no? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236006)

If I am not mistaken, the fact that the "a" tag includes rel="nofollow" means that the link destination won't get any extra Google-karma...

Re:I think the rel="nofollow" covers that, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236056)

Oops. My bad. You're right, nofollow handles that. Case closed!

Just the excuse they need (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235914)

This is it, Steve, take the bone that's been thrown to you, and use it as an excuse to call the whole thing off.

I know...go buy Comcast!  That would be cool.  I think I would actually like you better as my ISP.  And that's saying something.

Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (2)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235994)

Colour me surprised, I thought with customers buying Vista AND XP; Windows revenue should've gone up actually. Even in Vista, the numerous versions out there seem specifically designed to confuse, and increase revenues.

24% decline in revenues could mean that people are either:

1. Pirating Windows XP very easily or
2. Corporate customers buying PCs with no OS, and installing Corporate licensed XP or
3. People switching over to Macs and Linux.

I think it could be a bit of all the above. In 3 years time, if Microsoft does not release a really good successor to Vista, it could be Curtains for Windows! (TM). Will it happen?

Re:Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23236092)

Doesn't a lot of windows revenue come from OEM pre-installation licenses?

Perhaps they had to lower their prices some to get Vista going. Or maybe people aren't upgrading to newer machines as fast as they used to.

Re:Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236464)

Or probably, they are late with Windows Server 2008, which is an expected fat cow.

Maybe also because they invested a lot in advertising Vista. This will pay in a couple of years.

Another problem is that the OEM version of Vista is about the same price as XP, and since its development took a lot of resources, Microsoft is losing money comparatively.

Re:Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236490)

It can't be Windows Server2008, because Server Revenues are shown separately, and they were up since 2007.

Advertising in Vista has no relations to revenues, only expenses.

As far as identical OEM pricing is concerned, I think unless Corporate customers buy PCs with NO OS at all; MS would atleast be getting the same revenue as previous years? The PC market is still growing, so a 24% drop in revenues should be really alarming for Microsoft.

Re:Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (2, Informative)

iamthelaw (784705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236494)

No drop. It's an illusion. This quarter last year MS recognized revenue from upgrade sales of Vista that had not yet been realized. The amount of growth was normal and expected; MS met earnings expectations which accounted for the difference.

Re:Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (3, Insightful)

Zigurd (3528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236588)

This is the first indication of Microsoft actually feeling a bit of pain due to Vista.

Microsoft could afford to misspend the money it took to develop Vista. But Microsoft cannot afford to allow Windows share in the installed base to erode 10 points from the current level. Apple has already taken advantage of that opening, and Linux, mainly Ubuntu, is growing even faster, though from a such a tiny base that the statistics are iffy.

How bad would a 10% decline be? It would leave Microsoft with 80% of all personal computers that access Web sites. That doesn't seem irreversible. But it is worse than it looks for two reasons:

1. That 10% contains a large number of opinion leaders.

2. The momentum would be hard to reverse.

If a 10% decline happens in the next 18 months, before Microsoft has a response, then Microsoft will be in serious trouble.

3 years is far too long for Microsoft not to have a response. Well within 3 years we will know if we have a long-term competitive environment for personal computer OSs, possibly with new entrants other than Mac OS X and Linux.

It's a bit more ugly than that, methinks (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236828)

1. MS management sees this figures early. This decline must have been known for months, we just get the bit they can no longer hide. So there may be more we (and shareholders) don't know about.

2. This decline has been registered despite extra sales of Windows XP that people bought before MS "fixed" the issue by allowing XP licenses in parallel with Vista (only Pro versions). To clarify, Many new PCs have forced us to pay the Vista tax, and early adopters/sufferers paid for an XP license on top. Sales, however, are still down - which makes me wonder how much of that loss is due to Office.

3. The shareholders have picked up on it as the share price has dropped.

IMHO this would be an EXCELLENT time for the EU to reveal a new prosecution. With nervous shareholders this could trigger problems for MS market value..

Re:It's a bit more ugly than that, methinks (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236884)

Meanwhile I had some more coffee and got back to the original article.

I don't know how they can clock up a 24% loss with Windows, which is much more "automatically" sold than Office. Something doesn't add up here (pardon the pun).. Maybe using those flawed OOXML math interpretations on an old system with the Intel FPU bug?

I bet it said "Vista capable" :-).

Apple sales are up (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236734)

Apple sales are up and Asus alone, sells more Linux machines than Apple sells Macs. So clearly the Linux desktop market is booming. I won't be surprised if Apple and Linux combined has 30% of world desktop sales this year.

However, in North America technology is always lagging the rest of the world, so you likely won't notice anything there for the next 5 years.

Re:Windows revenue dropped 24% ??!?!!! (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236748)

1. Pirating Windows XP very easily or
2. Corporate customers buying PCs with no OS, and installing Corporate licensed XP or
3. People switching over to Macs and Linux.

I think it could be a bit of all the above. In 3 years time, if Microsoft does not release a really good successor to Vista, it could be Curtains for Windows! (TM). Will it happen?
Certainly not the second one. Corporate Windows licenses are upgrade-only - you still need either a retail or an OEM license on the hardware.

I'd imagine it's a combination of a two main things:

1. Vista has few, if any, compelling features.
2. The economy isn't exactly in the healthiest of states.

This combination has businesses and individuals alike asking the question "What benefit is there to buying a [business: whole lot of] new PCs rather than just adopting a policy of replace when broken and not before?". And the answer coming back is "Errr.... none".

Revenue from Windows down? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236094)

Why isn't this a news article by itself?

Why is Windows revenue down? What was the official reason, and official response?

Is this a normal dip that happens this time of year? Are they blaming the recession? Are they expecting an upswing in the next quarter?

Re:Revenue from Windows down? (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236430)

Why isn't this a news article by itself?

Why is Windows revenue down? What was the official reason, and official response?

Is this a normal dip that happens this time of year? Are they blaming the recession? Are they expecting an upswing in the next quarter?

Are you serious? Or have you missed the many articles ridiculing Windows Vista?

This ain't news, it's common knowledge.

Protip: Google Search [google.com] .

Re:Revenue from Windows down? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236770)

I'm serious. It's one thing for us to say that Vista doesn't sell, another thing for Dell to say that they are offering WinXP on many systems.

It's another thing entirely for Microsoft to say that OS sales (presumably XP+Vista+CE) are down.

My guess is recession + mature market where users don't have the push to upgrade systems, but I was wondering if there are other insights into what's going on.

A company name right on the mark: (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236316)

... I guess "Yahoo" never imagined that their name would once be yelled out so loud, when the hostile bid by MS on their company failed...

Yaaaaaaahoooooooooooooo!

Revised Figures (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236424)

...and in late breaking news, Microsoft has reexamined their P/L Excel Spreadsheet and announced that the averaged annual profit level of $771M across their 85 Group Companies may actually be overstated at $100000M and should be nearer $65535M

You know the economy is bad... (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236686)

The economy must be bad if this story doesn't even get a "haha" tag.

Falling income, heh? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23236982)

Now here's a twist.

Yahoo offers to buy Microsoft! :D
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