While I would normally expect the share buy back strategy for MSFT, you failed to address two important issues in the case for a special dividend. Tax policy change and low borrowing cost are driving over 100 companies to issue special or accelerated dividend payments.
this is a good one. cash now at hand is about $8 per share. not sure of 8 $, but certainy they are able to do $4 if they chose to. However, I think it is way smater to do buybacks, effectibvely cutting share counts by 10-20%, and incresing EPS by 10-20%!!!