The following report regarding Microsoft’s financial practices is the most widely read report on my website since 1999. Numerous major news stories have appeared based upon the report titled Microsoft Financial Pyramid Summary.
In late 2002 Barrons requested a 1,200 word article about Microsoft and I chose the topic of why Microsoft should pay a dividend. It was to be a point counterpoint piece. Subsequent to reviewing the draft, Microsoft declared its first ever dividend. I then changed the topic to a discussion regarding its over issuance of stock options. Today even Bill Gates has publicly noted they issued far too many options, essentially dilluting the value of the stock. The month after this article appeared in Barrons titled Taking a Closer Look at Microsoft. Microsoft terminated its stock option program and instead began issuing restricted stock with a vesting schedule.
Many ask, Bill, why don’t you write about Microsoft anymore? The reason is that it seems rather sad, how an organization with so much promise fell so far, blinded by short term greed. Regarding technology and innovation, Microsoft is simply no longer relevant. Sadly, Microsoft’s legacy may indeed be its crushing of so many promising young companies here in the US, only to force such growth to instead occur in other nations.