The 80s/90s were wonderful with MSFT with good spurt in stock value. For the last decade, it is stuck in a $22-32 range with the stock treated like a "bond" for its yield and not as a growth stock. The word "mature stock"as is applied to a large company (like MSFT) with less growth potential is a kiss of death, the latest victim is CSCO. Balmer has to go even though he is Bill Gates buddy with billions of MSFT shares. JMO
bear in mind, 70% of MSFT, servers and tools as well as Offcie, are still gowing twice of world GDP, and these are the only games in the town.
MSFT has just started gettting into play for tablets and hybrids, and they are looking good because these are the products the market wants.
Windows phones started some 2 years ago,, from 0%, not they are reaching 5%. Give it another couple of years, we are eaisly looking at 10-25% market share. MSft surly will have multiple Surface smartphones coming out soon, so we are looking at harware sales in the many billions over coming years.
Yes, MSFt is gettgin its acts togather,and we shall start to see juicey fruits in the near future.
Android already dominates the smartphone market with nearly 75% share and still rising. Give it another couple of years, and it should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 90%. Microsoft is just too late to the party.
I agree with your assessment that MSFT has a lot of in-depth value but without an effective and an eloquent CEO,to state its value and its vision with clarity, the stock is going to suffer. Steve Jobs as CEO did an excellent job of doing the same for Apple, agreed it is difficult to find some one of equal excellence but the balding, boring, loud and obnoxious Balmer, give me a break!,
I think it's pretty clear that Microsoft is never coming back. It probably won't go bankrupt soon, but its day in the sun is past.
Incidentally, the other day, author Steven Johnson (Future Perfect and others) was being interviewed on Book TV, and someone calling in asked him about this "open source" thing which had flourished back in the late 90's. Johnson said, correctly, that Open Source, with its poster child Linux, didn't go away. Quite the contrary, it's all around us. If magically it were to go away, the Internet would shut down, stock markets would shut down, airplanes would fall out of the sky, smartphones wouldn't work any more. Microsoft is belatedly warming up to Linux, but it's too late, Microsoft can't save itself that way.