Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The users’ point of view on Microsoft and Yahoo « Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger

Posted as a comment at target blog:

Personally think MS has been obscuring a decline in growth of new Windows licenses for several years, even if you exclude piracy. Volume Purchase Agreements (VPAs) give MS the ability to not only estimate the license picture but transfer those numbers from one quarter to another to paint a desirable picture.

This only works for a while though and eventually a company has to resort to more drastic measures to impress Wall Street. The monetary failures of Live, Zune, Xbox and other things actually help to make the cash cows look better than they actually are. Failures in those other area are often accompanied by complaints (mostly in anonymous blogs) about failing areas being starved of resources in favor of the monopoly products.

If the Yahoo deal goes through I expect a whole lot of obfuscation to go on, or a bit less obfuscation if synergies actually kick in as only Ballmer seems to think they will.

If the synergies DON'T kick in, then "unfortunate and unforeseen" merger costs will be the culprit and stockholders will be asked to be patient for a bit longer.

I don't normally hawk my blog here, but I'm a couple of hours away from a longer post on VPAs and how they adversely affect some, if not most MS customers and how they allow MS to regularly surprise the market with more "sales" than were expected based on growth in related markets.

No matter what happens with Yahoo the chickens are coming home to roost.

PS: Didn't Yahoo spin off Messenger work to a third party today? They (Yahoo) are playing their own games with user counts and the more they do this sort of thing the more confused and unverifiable the quarterly reports get, not to mention the more difficult it makes things for MS if the merger goes through. But that also neutralizes you point about user satisfaction. I think that is an item fairly low on both companies priority lists.

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