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[News] [Rival] Gates Dumps More MSFT Shares, Claims Weak-Performing Division is the "Top Priority"

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Roy Schestowitz

May 9, 2007, 4:55:33 AM5/9/07
Bill Gates Sells Some Microsoft Shares

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates sold 3,995,300 shares of
| common stock, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has made a concerted effort in recent years to gain a larger
| share of the online-services and advertising market, while going head
| to head with companies including Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. That effort
| has included a roughly $2.7 billion increase in operating expenses
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| for Microsoft in its current fiscal year.

aQuantive's Web Work Wows

,----[ Quote ]
| But here's why I love aQuantive: It has an obviously great and
| growing business in Web development.
| [...]
| Even if it doesn't, there's a huge economic incentive for
| Microsoft and others to not allow Google any further
| dominance of digital marketing.


Gates sells more Microsoft stock, filings show

,----[ Quote ]
| Bill Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., sold 4 million
| shares of the software giant's stock over the last three days of
| February, bringing his total sales for the month to 20 million,
| according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Anonymous sent me this: "I decided not to post this on the 'net, because I am
not familiar with US law in regards to information that although public
accessible, could be considered a breech of privacy. Perhaps UK law is more
kind. I don't know.

Out of curiosity, I took the Yahoo stock link that John Bailo posted a few
messages back, then clicked on Gate's name. It gave link:

This is two years worth of transactions by Mr. Gates. One is a Statement of
Ownership (11 May 2006). Rest are sales. I took the html table and dumped
it to a spreadsheet. After massaging, I came up with the following numbers:

For sale transactions from 04 May 2005 to 22 Feb 2007, 136,003,100 shares
were sold at an approximate value of $3,639,031,883 USD or
£1,857,580,215 GBP or
?2,756,603,042 EUR or
$4,249,261,139 CAD or
¥430,941,433,649 JPY.

Average price per share was $26.76 USD.

In essence according to Yahoo! Finance Edgar Online, sale was about $3.6
billion for 136 million shares. Declared holdings as of 22 Feb 07 are
922,499,336 Direct, 425,066 Indirect for a total of 922,924,402 shares."

,----[ Quote ]
| "There can be no more eloquent statement that Microsoft is growing
| irrelevant than Bill Gates' announcement on 15 June 2006 that he is
| stepping down from daily operations. Ray Ozzie has already taken over
| as Chief Software Architect.
| "One of the most eloquent dispositions on how badly things have gone
| wrong within Microsoft was by a Windows group insider (3). It
| describes the state of paralysis within the company caused by the
| horrifying complexity of monolithic integration, and persistent denial
| of reality by Microsoft's development management."
| "So what did Bill Gates see?"

Understanding Open Source technology

,----[ Quote ]
| Already industrial watchers are pointing to a serious showdown,
| which in the meantime, the Chief Executive of Microsoft Corporation,
| Steve Ballmer did not rule out in a recent interview in which he
| also explained why Microsoft announced a sweeping reorganisation
| of its Windows division.
| "We have to outrun this phenomenon [OSS]" he was quoted as saying, and "
| ...if we let up for a minute... then that other stuff will gain"
| attraction.

Niall Sez Microsoft is Too Big and Paralyzed

,----[ Quote ]
| Lots of echoes in the chamber rolled up at TechMeme. Rumblings of
| cut-backs and paralysis and Microsoft being the new IBM. I certainlya
| gree with the desire for Microsoft to be a way smaller company (thoughI
| think every time I say that, or ring a bell, 100 more people get hired).
| I'm not bought into the split-up, except for the sobering benefit of
| cutting off the cash-cow money flow that allows an abundance of waste
| and bad decisions elsewhere in the company.

Allchin's 'Buy a Mac' E-Mail Exposed

,----[ Quote ]
| "I must tell you everything in my soul tells me that we should do
| what I called plan (b) yesterday. We need a simple fast storage
| system. LH [Longhorn] is a pig and I don't see any solution to this
| problem. If we are to rise to the challenge of Linux and Apple, we
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| need to start taking the lessons of 'scenario, simple, fast' to
| heart. Jim"

,----[ Quote ]
| "Up to 60% of the code in the new consumer version of Microsoft new Vista
| operating system is set to be rewritten as the Company 'scrambles' to fix
| internal problems a Microsoft insider has confirmed to SHN... Microsoft has
| also admitted that it has major problems in it's Windows division and has
| has immediately initiated a total restructure of the division..."

A Dozen Stocks For '07

,----[ Quote ]
| Millen also thinks $36 billion in planned share buybacks
| will help the stock.

Microsoft's past stock options practice poses questions

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft in 1999 announced that it would end a policy of awarding
| options at monthly lows and said it would take a $217 million charge,
| though many details of that discontinued practice haven't been widely
| known, The Wall Street Journal said Friday.
| Those details raise questions about how Microsoft began the practice,
| what prompted the company to end it and whether the way the options
| were dated--at 30-day lows the month after they were
| granted--influenced other companies, it said.

Commentary: Microsoft needs more than just buybacks to lift its shares

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft shares, which have been dormant for the last few years,
| have been looking up over the last couple months. The Dow industrials
| component has gained about 20% since hitting a 4-year low of $21.46 o
| June 13.
| To help move things along, Microsoft not only launched a $40 billion
| stock repurchase program that lasts through 2011, the company also said
| its previously announced 4-year, $30 billion stock buyback program was
| completed in just 2 years.

Ego-crazed Scoble burns MS bridges

,----[ Quote ]
| The post here entitled "Why Wall Street didn't believe Steve Ballmer
| (and what he can do about it)" hit new heights of self-aggrandising
| and must have made grisly reading for Microsoft's PR.

Microsoft counts on Vista to recharge stagnant stock

,----[ Quote ]
| There was a time in the 1990s when shares of Microsoft stock seemed to
| double every couple of years. 1996: college for the kids. 1998: a place
| on Whidbey. 1999: early retirement.
| Times have changed.

Ballmer delivers sobering message at Microsoft event

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer tempered the
| expectations of analysts at an event Thursday, telling them
| their predictions for sales of the company's new operating
| system are too high, while those for its operating expenses
| may be too low.

Microsoft profit on slide

,----[ Quote ]
| Some analysts are looking for any signs of improvement from
| Microsoft's internet division, which continues to lose market
| share in web search to Google.
| Microsoft's online services group saw revenue fall for the last
| four quarters and posted a loss in the past three quarters while
| it shifted to a new internet advertising platform and overhauled
| the company's web properties.

Will Berkowitz keep Windows Live?

,----[ Quote ]
| At the risk of moving this article over to the opinion blog, many
| of the problems Berkowitz faces were caused not by too much focus
| on technical wizardry, but by a lack of clear direction, both fo
| MSN and for Windows Live.

Sources: Several Windows Live Projects Halted

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft's Windows Live desktop search project has been
| shelved "indefinitely," although not much reasoning has been
| given as to the reason for its demise.

Ozzie: Vista, Office must adapt to Web era

,----[ Quote ]
| Ozzie said that the transition to integrate online services into Microsoft
| products has been a challenge but that changes within the company are
| happening.

Will Web 2.0 ultimately kill Windows?

,----[ Quote ]
| Allchin shared his thoughts on Windows Live (which, along with Windows and
| developer tools also falls under his organization); competition with Google
| and Apple; and why a client-based version of Windows won?t ever completely
| disappear, regardless of how successful Web services become.

MSN Still Going Nowhere Fast

,----[ Quote ]
| It is worth noting that Microsoft still hasn't made any headway
| in the search-and-portal game and, in fact, is falling farther andf
| arther behind. As a result, it is not surprising that Steve Ballmer
| is now warning media companies that Google is the Evil Empire --
| because no other competitive tactic has worked.

Can Google trump Microsoft?

,----[ Quote ]
| Google's "frontal assault" to Microsoft Office is Google Apps
| Enterprise Edition and Google is indeed waging warfare against Microsoft.

November 25 - Microsoft Dies

,----[ Quote ]
| This is the day. The demise of Microsoft. The day of reckoning has
| come at last. Friday 23rd November 2006. Google had seen it's profits
| soar massively. Microsoft on the other hand have had an awful year.
| Low profits, internal scandals, a lowered reputation and a lowered
| customer satisfaction rate have left the company in tatters.

Desperate Acts (of Microsoft)

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is expected to spend $650 million next year to let the world
| know it has a shiny new search service and Web advertising network.
| That money is more than double the amount Microsoft will spend rolling
| out Vista, the new operating system that will contribute vastly more to
| its revenues.
| Microsoft's two-year catch-up effort in search has yielded only
| middling results. This year it dropped from 11% to 9% of all searches.
| Google handled 61% of the 204 billion searches worldwide in the past1
| 2 months.
| "We're late to the game. We admit it," confesses a full-page Microsoft
| ad in national papers, begging the world to try out its new Live
| search service. You almost want to hand Chief Executive Steven Ballmer
| a cup of cocoa.
| [...]
| Think of this fight as determining a few decabillion dollars of market
| value circa 2010. The current figures are $147 billion for Google and $284
| billion for Microsoft.

Google, Ask Gain Search Share; Yahoo, Microsoft Lose Ground

Google vs. Microsoft Market Cap Game

,----[ Quote ]
| Interesting seeing how Google's market capitalization has chased
| Microsoft's since Google's IPO. We have seemingly plateaued at a
| little under 60% for a year now, but any takers on bets with
| respect to how long that holds?

ComScore: Google Leads Again In Search

,----[ Quote ]
| Yahoo reversed a slide that lowered them to 28.1 percent in September.
| They gained slightly to 28.2 in October. Microsoft gave up 0.2 percent
| to decline to 11.7 percent, after falling 0.6 percent in September to
| 11.9.

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