We also know that personal computers were high-margin businesses and the new, smaller form factors ("ultra mobile" as Intel calls them) are the bane of the existence to a company such Intel that has spent so much capital on other larger form factors, and, I might add, its stock, where it bought back $3 billion worth. What's it done for the company? I don't know, I have to tell you, though Intel missed the Internet backbone business, which it then ceded to Cisco (CSCO). It missed the mobile business, which is dominated by Qualcomm (QCOM), and it missed the tablet business, which is dominated by ARM Holdings (ARMH). It's sad that this company's not growing at all. Yep, flat revenues.
But it beats the declining revenues that IBM's got as it wrestles with both macro fears and the possibility that its software isn't going to be as profitable given cloud inroads. At least SAP didn't talk about declining revenues. There though, the cloud, as fast as it moves toward it, ends up hurting as much as helping the whole company's sales and margins.
In the end the real winner here may be the company that tech enthusiasts love to hate right now because of its high price-to-earnings ratio: Salesforce.com. It is based on the fastest-growing trends out there in social, mobile and the cloud. You will never hear CEO Mark Benioff say he didn't hear it coming. His whole company is built on the premise that the holy grail of social, mobile and cloud is the only way to go. No wonder the P/E is high. It's deserved.
Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long CSCO.