NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- While Apple's (AAPL) stock grew hugely from 2003 to 2011, Microsoft (MSFT) continued to bumble its way through a mire of missed reinvention opportunities, bad CEO decisions, attempts to derail the dominance of Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN) and Apple, and acquisitions that either made no sense or that were put on a shelf and forgotten.
Can Microsoft learn from this story and reinvent itself? Let's consider the technicals and the fundamentals of the question.
In 2003, when the majority of market participants had given up on Apple as it spiraled toward bankruptcy, Steve Jobs returned as CEO. The rest is history.
While Apple made many investors millionaires over a decade of amazing growth in new mobile devices for consumers and businesses, Microsoft stock values settled into a long-term trading range approximately 20 points wide, well below its all-time high. Apple was the dream stock to own, while Microsoft was truly a dog of the Dow (INDU).
Now with a new CEO, Satya Nadella, Microsoft may take off. Its stock has risen up out of the prior trading range highs. Many market participants are predicting it will have strong growth with a new leader.
What will it take for Microsoft to really seize the opportunities present at this time? What can Nadella learn from Jobs' example? These are the questions investors and traders must ask as Microsoft stock sets up technically to break out to new highs.
But Microsoft is not guaranteed growth just because its new CEO is focusing on cloud technology.