This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Microsoft Can Become Cool Again

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jim Cramer and I disagree on the notion that Microsoft (MSFT) should buy Netflix (NFLX). We don't see eye-to-eye on Reed Hastings' as a CEO. And we view the game of licensing streaming content from opposite ends of the table.

I get into this in Time Warner Punkslaps Netflix.

But at the heart of what really matters -- Microsoft becoming cool again and the future of how we consume content -- Cramer and I come together like two guys drinking a pint and watching the Leafs murder the Flyers after a long day on Wall Street.

On the Microsoft becoming cool again part, we agree completely. We just differ on how that will look within the context of television's future.

The business of licensing third-party content is a bad one to be in. It's expensive. And, no matter who you are, you really do not have an edge against big media conglomerates ranging from Time Warner (TWX) to Comcast (CMCSA) to Disney (DIS).

The brutal reality of this business has put Netflix into the financial mess it's in. Netflix should not be in the space. And it has basically tossed a "Hail Mary" pass with its feeble attempt to become anything that even resembles HBO.


The only reason why companies such as Google (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN) bother with any of this is to extend their ecosystems. And, unlike Netflix, they a.) have meaningful ecosystems to extend and b.) the cash and core revenue lines to support the venture.

For months, I have pummeled Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for bungling the obvious job of leveraging the wildly successful Xbox to take control of the living room.


It's not just gamers who own Xbox. Households comprised of individuals do. Families. It's Ballmer's fault for not branding Xbox as the all-in-one solution for living room and even whole-home entertainment for gaming, media consumption and an endless list of who knows what else. Blame Ballmer, not the consumer market, for pigeon-holing Xbox as nothing but a gamer's toy.

If Microsoft should buy anything to give Xbox and its living room ambitions a kick in the rear, it should buy an excellent and far less expensive company called Roku. Roku represents the future from a strategic standpoint a whole heck of a lot more than Netflix does -- Reed Hastings' best attempts at spin aside.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,067.56 -30.89 -0.18%
S&P 500 2,002.28 -1.09 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,598.1880 +17.9170 0.39%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs