This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

Microsoft Stinks So Bad It Hurts

That made me understand something. If it hadn't been for the reaction I witnessed in Skid Row, I just would have walked by with a standard oh-ah and gone on with my life. Most of us have become desensitized to waste at any level. I mean I live near neighborhoods where people routinely spend seven figures on a home only to tear it down and build a bigger place. Talk about excess.

So when I see articles such as Microsoft is Getting Nokia's Phone Business for a Song, I laugh because ...

Spot on.

But also because a few years from now we'll look back and report on the $7 billion write-down Microsoft had to take because of what will, without doubt, end up a failed acquisition.

We'll casually add that write-down to the $6.2 billion one Ballmer had to take subsequent to the aQuantive debacle. And the nearly $1 billion write-down Ballmer had to take on unsold Surface tablets. Another incredibly expensive failure.

We'll treat $7.2 billion like it's not a lot of money because, relatively speaking in tech and big business, I guess it isn't. Just like the rendered-useless $65,000 Caddy, relatively speaking, doesn't disrupt my sense of money's value like it does a homeless and/or poor person in Skid Row.

And Steve Ballmer will just roll over and order another piña colada or whatever he plans to do in retirement. Same with everybody involved in this absolutely mindless decision.

Nokia brings nothing to the table except tens of thousands more employees to add even more bloat to an already overcrowded and aimless organization. Apple (AAPL - Get Report) sealed the fate of both companies when it moved on mobile devices as Blackberry (BBRY - Get Report) was fading. This deal amounts to little more than a gathering of losers. It's not as if Microsoft purchased a division in a company that has done anything different, better or more innovative than Microsoft has.

I could continue, but others have exposed this deal for the hollow joke it is.

Personally, at the risk of being naive, idealistic or whatever, I just can't get past the fact that one man and one company can blow so much cash -- irrespective of the fact that they both have plenty more -- and we chalk it up as the cost of doing business.

Wasn't there a better way for Microsoft to spend $7.2 billion of its hoard? From Apple's inane capital return to shareholders to this certifiably insane decision by Microsoft, it's clear that all of this money is merely burning holes in tech companies' pockets. They're wasting it. Spending on the hope that something good might come of it. That things just might work out.

At this point, Ballmer has set himself up to end up in the same category as James Balsillie. Maybe worse. At least the RIM co-founder can take credit for starting the smartphone craze. There's nothing Ballmer can -- or should have the nerve to -- take credit for at Microsoft other than its sad decline.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $117.81 -0.19%
BBRY $7.82 -1.14%
NOK $7.19 -0.83%
FB $105.45 0.04%
GOOG $750.26 0.28%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs