back to article Investors on Microsoft: What, Ballmer, leaving? Hand me my wallet

Two Microsoft investors have upped their stakes in the firm ahead of the exit of chief executive Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement a few months ago. Highfields Capital said in a regulatory filing first spotted by Reuters that it now holds six times the number of shares it used to, having increased its stake during Q3 …


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  1. Phil W

    Sell! Sell! Sell!

    Now is the time to sell MSFT shares, while the value is up.

    If Elop gets the job the shares will be worthless inside 1 - 2 years.

    Note: I am not a financial advisor.

    1. Levente Szileszky

      Re: Sell! Sell! Sell!

      I doubt "Trojan" Elop will get the job - Ballmer is totally toxic now and he was Ballmer's implant, not to mention his lack of expertise in most of what MSFT is doing and shareholders are very strong now.

      Even if Old Bill would push for it he would have a handy shareholder revolt on his hand - which is probably the last thing he want to deal with right after he was forced to let his oldest buddy's hand go (I hope you don't think there was anything else behind Ballmer's sudden disposal - it was clearly Old Bill and his chunk of shares that kept that arrogant, loudmouthed yet utterly incompetent bald fat chair-throwing clown at the helm so long despite his horrible performance.)

      I hope for someone from the outside, who might keep Elop at hand and give him the Windows Phone division - Belfiore must go, no question about it, along with all the other incompetent Ballmerian golden boys - but makes sure MSFT turns its focus back to its core business: enterprise software and services and stops wasting BILLIONS on Bing, Xbox and all that stupidly distracting-disruptive consumer-space hobby etc.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Sell! Sell! Sell!

      But if Nadella gets the nod the value of that company will treble.

  2. Wang N Staines

    He must be very sad to see his share options going up.


    1. Shagbag

      That depends...

      ...on what were they worth before he took the job.

  3. T. F. M. Reader

    They had some cash to invest...

    ...after shorting the stock of office furniture companies.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    return the firm to the golden days

    That is not possible, because the "golden days" were the days when nobody knew what a PC was, nobody understood just how important it could be, and Microsoft was the only game on the market.

    Those days were golden because the market was in constant expansion, the hardware was constantly improving, and people were constantly in awe of the possibilities. Microsoft deserves recognition for having wrote the book on how to create and maintain a monopoly position in an emerging market.

    Today the market is pretty much saturated, user are much more computer-literate and have become jaded, and the competition is there (and fiercly there where the desktop is not concerned). Now that the market has matured, Microsoft doesn't have a hope in Hell of maintaining its dominant position no matter what CEO they choose. The manipulations and lies that MS has been consistantly trying to pass on Open Source and its own sales figures do not wash anymore, and its image is now becoming that of a company that people should be wary of. And pissing on Joe User - which has become the norm for MS since Vista - is not going to improve things.

    So Microsoft is not going to return to the glory days, those days are gone. The only thing the CEO can hope to achieve is delay the now inevitable slide into irrelevance - slide which will not be short due to the immense mattress of cash that is still maintaining the company afloat.

    But killing Technet and all but forcing users to online subscription models have the potential of poking leaks in said mattress, and we all know that a leak in a dam is a sure harbringer of doom.

    1. stephajn

      Re: return the firm to the golden days

      " user are much more computer-literate"

      On the contrary, I find that they are getting dumber by the day. Gone are the days when you could tell someone to go to a website and they would just type it in the address bar and go. Now they google a website address and then wonder which one to click on.

      The list could go on....but I almost feel that it is the computer support people who are the ones becoming jaded and the onslaught of tablets becoming the primary computing device for so many people has made the average computer user much more computer-dumb than they used to be.

      I could be wrong, but that is just what I am seeing.

    2. Doug 3

      Re: return the firm to the golden days

      yes but if the new CEO dumps all the business divisions and products which are costing the company 10s of billions annually( BING for one ) then they will get a big boost in profits short term. That will equate to a boost in stock prices as the naive suck it up while the smart ones start dumping it.

    3. Gray

      Re: return the firm to the golden days

      "Microsoft deserves recognition for having wrote the book on how to create and maintain a monopoly position in an emerging market."

      Right. In the same sense that Al Capone wrote the book on maintaining a monopoly position in an emerging market, later improved upon by the Mafia, and now being perfected by Mexican drug cartels expanding their monopoly position in an emerging market throughout the US: threats, bullying, extortion, deception, lies, and thuggery, with a product that threatens its users.

      MS: a role model for global business ethics.

      1. Hud Dunlap


        You mean like the old Star Trek episode "A piece of the action"?

        Sometimes fiction does mirror reality.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Heh, I never said the book would be a nice one.

        But you have to admit, the utter gall of MS lawyers and management in the DoD trials was a jaw-dropper. I still do not understand how it is that no judge sent Gates to jail for contempt of court.

        So yes, MS did write the book for global business ethics.

        And when you look at Ryan Air, Easy Jet, the late-but-still-twitching SCO and a few others, well one must admit that others are reading said book.

  5. Malagabay

    Re "user are much more computer-literate"

    Not so much a typo... more like wishful thinking... :-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a good idea. They still have Windows 8 and all of it's spawns. Something will have to be done with all those MS tablets that are not being sold. Xbox 1 just coming out, how will that fair this Xmas?

    I would in the least wait to see what decisions this new overlord will offer before blindly buying.

    How does the song go, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"


    Just when you thought it was safe......

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    In other words

    Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

  8. Bladeforce

    Good riddance Ballsup

    Enjoy your new role as furniture CEO for IKEA you utter thief (from a line of thieves)

  9. FourYorkshiremen

    Microsoft has missed two boats. The shift of the consumer to smartphones and tablets. The shift of the enterprise to the cloud. All of the top management staff have been appointed under Steve Ballmers' reign. Unless they get someone totally new in who will do a root and branch cleanup then the place will continue to be run by career politicians and continue it's downward slope. I can't see them getting out of this one easily.

    1. Silverburn

      Enterprises going to the cloud?

      Not all of them btw.

      The ones with any sense (or deal with client data or client funds) are steering well clear.

  10. Splodger

    MS/Windows is at a turning point:

    It's either going forward, and is going to be a serious OS or,

    It's MS's naked attempt to lock people in to bitch/gimp business model.

    Win8, XboxOne, Office 365, etc.

    You decide.

  11. Mikel


    Some feel the company will gain market cap. Others that it will lose it. Both may be right. If you know how, you can bet both ways and maybe win twice.

  12. Levente Szileszky

    Again, Ballmer should be barred from even entering the building...

    ...immediately, not letting him rolling his fat head around there as a decision-maker, forget letting him using the title CEO - he and his entire team of incompetent, worse-than-mediocre "yes men" lieutenants should be escorted out of the building with security and a new CEO should bring in a brand new mgmt the first day he arrives.

    The utterly INCOMPETENT, CLUELESS Ballmerian super troupe of idiots squandered ALMOST EVERY OPPORTUNITY in the past decade to turn MSFT into a future-proof technology investment - thanks God engineers have saved the day with some clever new stuff. I think the Ballmerian track record is pretty much unmatched even if we consider the value destruction TOP10 among the stupidest, most incompetent Wall St-facing CEO clowns eg Fiorina, Whitman or Apotheker or Elop, seriously - Ballmer missed pretty much everything or royally *&^%^$ up the planning, execution everything.

    The sooner the Ballmerian gang is out the door the better the company (thus the share as well) will do.

    And YES, his key henchmen, his incompetent golden boys, they ALL MUST GO TOO, no exceptions.

  13. Julian Taylor

    Can I point out a mistake in your 'Check Spelling As You Type" WYSIWYG editor?

    "Incumbent chief exec Steve Ballmer "

    Should be

    "Incompetent chief exec Steve Ballmer"

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