Compare the PPS performance of MSFT compared to Nasdaq or YHOO since the offer. MSFT pps has suffered as the market realizes MSFT needs to succeed online and without YHOO that is much much more difficult if not impossible.
The executive departure may be underscoring that reality. Either the deal is dead and this departure is admission that there is no chance to win or this is in preparation for a deal because it's clear that MSFT needs YHOO. It's hard to say which is the case today without sone insider knowledge. I would not be surprised to see the deal dead only to resurface once YHOO with Icahn's help has removed the poison pill of employee compensation in case of take over. This would only be possible with no proxy fight, i.e. Icahn deal, and no outstanding takeover offer, i.e. no deal with MSFT.
IMO, Go long YHOO and MSFT on any serious weakness. Both companies are worth a lot more in a year together or by themselves.
On a valuation level, MSFT is the cheapest it has been in my lifetime right now and the company just finished its highest growth year in a decade. Some of the people who post here need to get in touch with reality. There is nothing wrong with MSFT. This company is a cash cow that will produce $20B in profits next year. A MSFT Yahoo marriage might be good for MSFT, but without such a marriage MSFT will continue to do just fine. And Keven Johnson, the executive that just left, did not get the boot, He is leaving to become the CEO of Juniper!
You are and idiot for posting a comparison chart of last 2 years to support such s foolish claim. Try the same chart since the offer earlier this year and you'll see the market and YHOO are roughly even while MSFT is down about 20%. That'll tell you the message sent by the market about MSFT.
By the way, as for MSFT being cash cow as you put it, it's true. But history is full of technology cash cows that become irrelevant as the technological evolution moves out of their sweet spot. MSFT is under attack in every business. In the mobile space, where there will be huge growth, Google will be competing head on and offering its wares for free. AAPL is there too and because they offer the hardware, they can compete with Google. On the OS side, Vista is a flop for the corporate world and probably wont see adoption enmass..most will wait for the next OS in 2010. AAPL is also looking to go after the enterprise and Vista's failure has given them the opportunity to go after the enterprise with a good chance to replace MSFT and win market share and continue that over the next 5 years. I can write a whole paper on the reasons why MSFT needs to hit google hard or lose the battle for its future success. Nobody would have thought that MSFT or INTC could have taken over the PC industry from the giant IBM, but they did and IBM could not compete with them with its own lightning (actually better processors) and OS/2 (argueably a better OS). Or IBM vs. Compaq. or so many other examples. Have you heard of Digital Equipment corporation? used to be huge in the 80s.
If you want to disagree with logic and reason, do it in your head and avoid making a fool of yourself publicly. And by the way, learn to read.