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No. of Recommendations: 9
MSFT: Don't forget the $47b bid for Yahoo! It was by sheer luck
that shareholders were spared. And Skype was not only a costly
acquisition, but also a shot in the foot for Microsoft as it is
hurting relation to carriers/operators.

First come the innovators, then come the imitators, last come the
idiots. Microsoft managed for decades to thrive in the second
group. They typically didn't get it right the first time. But by
the second or third attempt they managed to elbow out their

This time around, Apple landed in the first group, and
Google/Samsung are squarely in the second. What about Microsoft?
The jury is still out on Windows Phone, but they've got a tough
job and can't rely on leverage from their dominant position in
Windows the way they used to.

STX: Great discussion recently and compelling arguments! Here's a
small detail that makes a question raised by khrushchv -- whether
they can continue making boatloads of money with the expansion
from retail to enterprise clients -- a very valid one:

dbAccess 2012 Technology Conference
Darren Thomas, Dell VP, Enterprise Storage
September 13, 2012
"...I think the closer you get to the hardware, the IP; it's
probably going to come from established players today. And
we're okay. I think if you look there's a model that says the
IP that touches the customer is the IP the customer cares the
most about. The IP that's buried in the machine -- just take
a hard drive. The IP buried in a hard drive is unbelievable.
I mean, they're flying heads using aerodynamics and
halo-effect transistors and stuff that most people don't
know anything about. And these guys are brilliant scientists,
but I'll guarantee you I make more profit off a hard drive
than Seagate does. And the reason is because I'm closer to the
customer and that has always been the case. I'm not telling
you guys anything you don't already know, the closer you are
to the integrator that hands it to the customer the more
profitability you're going to make.

It seems all bits of storage are not created equal. With the
expansion coming from the enterprise sector and Seagate
predominantly in retail, is it really clear they can keep making
the proportional share of profits from the switch?

HPQ: Unlike Dell, which are very clear what they aim to and have
an owner-operator, HPQ is still tottering and soul-searching after
their 3rd CEO in the last 10 years. The Autonomy deal and bidding
war with Dell for 3Par (Dell wisely backed away) under the
previous CEO tell me they're worse capital allocators.

And Dell, the discrepancy between what they're saying in their
reports, presentations, conference calls and conference
transcripts and their perception in media and among investors is
amazing. That by itself might hint at opportunity. I guess both
sides can't be right here and lately FWIW management did came out
as somewhat promotional on at least one occasion.
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