With over 7.00 a share in cash it's difficult to believe MSFT is not considering a special dividend. Granted, most of the cash is overseas and they would be taxed the differential between countries if they repatriated the money. With interest rates so low why doesn't MSFT borrow billions to finance a dividend? They could borrow an awful lot at very low rates and still cover the interest with their incredible cash generation machine.
Furthermore, if Obama wins the election MSFT might be "forced" to issue a special dividend if higher dividend taxes are expected. I'm sure Bill and Steve would rather pay a 15% tax rate vs. a 33+% tax rate?
If Romney wins we could see incentives that allow corporations to repatirate at lower rates which could be an inducement for MSFT to increase their dividend significantly?
Bottomline, MSFT can do a lot to unlock shareholder value in a very short period of time.