NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's time to cease speculation over why Steve Sinofsky left Microsoft ( MSFT).It's even time to lay off jabs at Steve Ballmer and his company's less than desirable Surface tablet. Unless Sinofsky's exit was step one in a Bill Gates' master plan nobody knows about, Ballmer's not going anywhere, even if shareholders raise hell. With the stock unable to hold $30 when it had the chance on a slight whiff of Windows 8 euphoria, MSFT shareholders have a choice of three positions: Get out, be happy with an increasing dividend yield on a dying stock or put your faith in Ballmer. Loyalty vis-a-vis an investment is a dumb concept. Given the obstacles Microsoft faces, faith will not be rewarded.
These companies all have something Microsoft and its partners do not have -- unique retail experiences driven by atmosphere, exclusive and premium products, exceptional customer service or some powerful mix of one or more of the above. These points link together to tell a story of abuse: We're living through a vicious cycle where enablers help losers lose and losers help enablers enable. And nobody has the guts, the will or the capacity to make a true break from the pack like Apple did when Steve Jobs came back as CEO. Microsoft steps out with new products. It even builds one of its own. Intel meanders, supporting the "ultrabook" cause with money -- and more importantly -- attention that should be focused squarely on mobile technology. Partners such as Dell ( DELL) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) continue to suck the last few drops of gravy out of the train, while setting themselves up for failure in spaces dominated by behemoths such as IBM ( IBM). There's hardly a peep of innovation or risk-taking at companies holding themselves hostage to the PC space and other sectors' scraps. That spells to continued dominance, even for a slightly-weakened, Tim Cook-navigated Apple. At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL. Follow @rocco_thestreet