"...With that line-up and the fact you can't be on two calls at
once Wall Street watchers had to rate Microsoft in terms of its
technological edge and entertainment factor. Do you listen to
Microsoft's slowing revenue growth outlook, with the usual caution
thrown in? Or do you pay attention to other tech companies? Simply
put, does Microsoft matter anymore?"
"Those questions wouldn't have been asked just a few quarters
ago. Missing a Microsoft earnings call would have been heresy. If
you missed last night's conference call, you didn't miss a lot.
Here's the recap: earnings were better than expected, growth was
sluggish and Windows 2000 will save the day -- eventually. Blah.
"Microsoft these days is a lot like network television -- it
looks a lot less appealing when there are a lot of choices."
"Now Microsoft is on the back burner because it's not driving
the tech sector as much as it used to. It remains an important
player, but it's not the star. Product delays and a pesky antitrust
trial has Microsoft playing catch-up on many fronts. Sure
Windows 2000 may be the next big thing -- and sales should ramp up
shortly -- but Sun Microsystems and Red Hat are powering much of
the Internet these days."
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