I certainly don’t want to be the kind of person to say “I
told you so.”

Oh, wait, yes, I DO want to say that because it’s TRUE.

Just days after I asked whether Microsoft was in big trouble

the stock market discovered the same basic problems and cut the value of the

company by 30 Billion dollars in a single day.

Say what you will about the stock market (and this certainly

isn’t a stock advisory blog), when the big money boys cut the value even of a

company the size of Microsoft by $30B, they must see something they don’t like.

The specific trigger was Microsoft’s announcement that the

company was going to spend a lot of money in a game of catch up trying to pull

users away from Yahoo! and Google.

But the more general cause was the fact that Microsoft has

had a very poor track record when it tried to expand into new businesses beyond

the company’s OS and fat client model which was so successful.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Sure, Microsoft has a vast amount of cash to spend, but the

question is whether they CAN build a search engine the equal of Google or a

community as happy as Yahoo!’s loyal fans?

And, not only that, but can they develop search and

community/portal services which are so much BETTER than those already offered

by Google and Yahoo! that people will take the time and trouble to switch?

Personally I doubt it.

But Microsoft has no choice other than to try and battle

Google – Google is betting on the thin client which could kill Microsoft’s cash

cow permanently.