NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When it comes to software giant Microsoft (MSFT) and its status among the ranks of current technology powers, it has become a case of either you like the company or you hate it. There seems to be no in-between.
The company is often loathed for the fact that it is not Apple (AAPL) and praised for not free-falling in the manner of Research in Motion (RIMM). However, it appears that Wall Street has already made up its mind about which camp it falls under and cares very little if anyone has taken notice.
It is clear that in order for Microsoft to earn any respect, it has to be exceptional going forward in its execution. Not only has Wall Street demonstrated a gross dislike for the company's management, but it appears incessantly unimpressed and ready to issue a thumbs down at a moment's notice for things that would otherwise generate standing ovations for lesser-known companies.
Be that as it may, this is the company's new reality and as it prepares to launch its highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. I think that it understands what it needs to do.For that reason, its life now depends on its success, because I don't envision a scenario where it can screw this up and expect to live to talk about it -- particularly in a market that is ready to punish anything with signs of slowing growth. However, investors continue to discount that the company understands where it is today and appreciates what is at stake. Although Apple and Google (GOOG) continue to get all of the press coverage, Microsoft has been working hard to expand Windows outside the chassis of the traditional PC and into the realm of mobility which includes tablets and smartphones. To that end, it has partnered with ARM Holdings (ARMH) to employ its chip technology in Windows 8 -- a product it's betting will bring back its lost consumer market share in the realm of mobile devices and restore its innovative prowess. In typical Wall Street fashion, analysts have decided to take a "wait and see" attitude, which is understandable considering the lackluster results of previous OS launches. For that matter, Microsoft is still battling demons from its Vista launch. However, it appears that Apple is not taking this lightly and has countered with its own announcement of OSX Mountain Lion that is due out this summer.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV