The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street are furious with Microsoft as Vole started its new financial year.
The problem is Microsoft’s share price, which is more stagnant than the British government’s social policy.
You can pick up a low mileage share in Microsoft for $30 and it has been more or less like this for ages.
On Monday, Microsoft announced a $6.2 billion writedown of aQuantive , which was a 2007 Internet-advertising acquisition which to Wall Street means that Vole can’t really do anything other than make Windows or Office.
Vanity Fair blamed the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve “there’s a kind of hush” Ballmer’s “astonishingly foolish” leadership for a “lost decade”.
But according to Reuters, Wall Street thinks that the write off proves that Vanity Fair was right.
Highmark Capital fund manager Todd Lowenstein said that the write off was a stark reminder that Microsoft’s capital allocation policies in the past have not been ideal.
Vole is placing several several major bets over the next year. The first is Windows 8, the second is its tablets, the third is a new version of Office and finally there is its improved phone.
Lowenstein thinks Vole could still make a come back next year but there needs to be some reason to pay more than $30 for a stock that hasn’t traded above that for any extended period of time since 2000.
Rick Sherlund, an analyst at Nomura Securities International said he saw a potential for a renaissance.
But the aQuantive write down showed that Microsoft had no plan to deal with the Internet. In fact everything it touches that is net related seems to turn to something that doesn’t really glitter.
But it seems that any buck in Volish failure is being placed squarely on Ballmer.
Vanity Fair quotes one former Vole as saying that Microsoft had turned itself into “technology’s answer to Sears”.
The feeling is that Ballmer cannot manage creative talent, although there are also mutterings that Redmond has been balkinised between competing management fiefdoms which are constantly at war.
It looks like 2013 will either be the turning point for Microsoft, or the year that it turns into a RIM.