Microsoft manna from heaven

Microsoft manna from heaven

: Mark Cuban writes an interesting post (via his pal Jason Calacanis) praising Microsoft for its special dividend and calculating that at $300 per American household, it could have an impact on the economy (if the money doesn’t mostly end up in funds).

Fred Wilson thinks it’s a good move.

Hey, I’ll take the money. But I actually find it depressing that Microsoft could not find aggressive ways to invest and grow that money. It says to me that the era of tech hypergrowth is over. Microsoft is now officially the next IBM. And Google is no Microsoft.

: UPDATE: Fred Wilson responds and reassures.

  • Doug Lay

    Of course Google is no Microsoft. Google is building their business and brand on technology that simply blows the doors off the competition. Would anyone seriously say the same about Microsoft, especially MS in its prime growth years in the 80’s and 90’s?

  • Michael Zimmer

    $300 per household? Talk about spin. Yeah, my dry cleaner was real excited about this news. And so was my cab driver. I wonder how many thousands of shares Cuban owns. No wonder he’s so happy.

  • thibaud

    Doesn’t mean no more “tech hypergrowth”; it merely puts in doubt _Microsoft’s_ ability to find, successfully acquire and then manage and grow profitably the next big thing.
    First of all, they have far more cash than anyone could profitably invest. Second, they haven’t made money in their online business; hotmail is barely profitable; the DOJ won’t let them expand into large enterprise software; and in general, they’re far too bureaucratic and process-obsessed to be able to integrate their acquisitions successfully.
    The key to the latter is retaining top talent, which is increasingly difficult for MSFT. I can understand wanting to sell out to Microsoft. But since any well-crafted purchase agreement would stipulate earnouts that require the acquired company’s execs to stay with MSFT for 2-3 years, who in a reviving IPO market would choose to sell a multi-billion $ company to MSFT?

  • daudder

    Gates gets $3Billion of it; Ballmer and Paul Allen probably another Billion. Most fo the rst will go into mutual funds/401k’s NOT into consumer spending. It is still a very impressive, but this is not a trickle down initiative.

  • anne.elk

    Uh it was sitting in their bank before the dividend. It’s been clear that they haven’t known how to invest their bazillions for years. This is actually one of my biggest peeves with Gates and Microsoft, but arguably with Gates.
    He’s got the bazillions that he could do something really interesting with his money and still be feelthy rich.
    Ellison has taken a big leap from software to medical technologies.
    Gates could fund the space elevator, or the grey goopon, or something. But he just sits on it. Silly Robber Baron.