MSFT: Don't forget the $47b bid for Yahoo! It was by sheer luckthat shareholders were spared. And Skype was not only a costlyacquisition, but also a shot in the foot for Microsoft as it ishurting relation to carriers/operators.First come the innovators, then come the imitators, last come theidiots. Microsoft managed for decades to thrive in the secondgroup. They typically didn't get it right the first time. But bythe second or third attempt they managed to elbow out theircompetitors.This time around, Apple landed in the first group, andGoogle/Samsung are squarely in the second. What about Microsoft?The jury is still out on Windows Phone, but they've got a toughjob and can't rely on leverage from their dominant position inWindows the way they used to.STX: Great discussion recently and compelling arguments! Here's asmall detail that makes a question raised by khrushchv -- whetherthey can continue making boatloads of money with the expansionfrom retail to enterprise clients -- a very valid one:dbAccess 2012 Technology ConferenceDarren Thomas, Dell VP, Enterprise StorageSeptember 13, 2012"...I think the closer you get to the hardware, the IP; it'sprobably going to come from established players today. Andwe're okay. I think if you look there's a model that says theIP that touches the customer is the IP the customer cares themost about. The IP that's buried in the machine -- just takea hard drive. The IP buried in a hard drive is unbelievable.I mean, they're flying heads using aerodynamics andhalo-effect transistors and stuff that most people don'tknow anything about. And these guys are brilliant scientists,but I'll guarantee you I make more profit off a hard drivethan Seagate does. And the reason is because I'm closer to thecustomer and that has always been the case. I'm not tellingyou guys anything you don't already know, the closer you areto the integrator that hands it to the customer the moreprofitability you're going to make."...It seems all bits of storage are not created equal. With theexpansion coming from the enterprise sector and Seagatepredominantly in retail, is it really clear they can keep makingthe proportional share of profits from the switch?HPQ: Unlike Dell, which are very clear what they aim to and havean owner-operator, HPQ is still tottering and soul-searching aftertheir 3rd CEO in the last 10 years. The Autonomy deal and biddingwar with Dell for 3Par (Dell wisely backed away) under theprevious CEO tell me they're worse capital allocators.And Dell, the discrepancy between what they're saying in theirreports, presentations, conference calls and conferencetranscripts and their perception in media and among investors isamazing. That by itself might hint at opportunity. I guess bothsides can't be right here and lately FWIW management did came outas somewhat promotional on at least one occasion.
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