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Forbes/Computing: Microsoft's Midlife Crisis

Sep 14, 2005, 15:15 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Victoria Murphy)

"The crowd at the Georgia Dome loves it, but even Ballmer's booming voice can't mask the disturbing truth: Microsoft is slowing down. It is bigger, more lumbering and less profitable than it was five years ago. Its sales are up 73% in five years, but profits are up only 30%. Payroll has doubled in the last six years. In the fiscal year just ended, sales rose only 8%, the first time the company has ever reported less than double-digit growth.

"In the dog years of Silicon Valley, Microsoft, at 30, is in advanced middle age. The company relies on Windows and a suite of desktop applications--products released a decade ago--for 80% of sales and 140% of profits. Newer products--the Xbox videogame machine, the MSN online service, the wireless and small-business software--collectively have racked up $7 billion in losses in four years..."

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