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Microsoft Announced 10-cent Dividend

Microsoft has announced it will pay out a 10-cent dividend to shareholders on June 14 (my one year wedding anniversary!), payable to all shareholders on May 17, 2007. Here you can see the history of Microsoft dividends, which began in early 2003:


As you can see, including this June’s 10 cents and the mega $3.08 dividend in late 2004, Microsoft has given back $4.29 to shareholders.

April 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Corporate | no comments

Windows Vista Selling Well

Microsoft issued a press release saying that Windows Vista is seeing strong early sales, with 20 million licenses sold between January 30 and February 28. They say that number is double the first two month’s pace of Windows XP, which isn’t entirely accurate, since they include free upgrades to Vista on PCs bought between 10/26/06 and 01/30/07, but one could at least argue that Vista is not being ignored by the marketplace, and will probably not be a failure (and in the land of 90% market share, that’s all you need).

The main thing: Vista is not a failure, not unimportant. It is moving into the marketplace as well as any successful Microsoft operating system has in the past (in other words, more like Windows 95 than Windows Me), so it can’t be ignored. In two years, Vista will be the status quo, so developers need to get more serious than they have been about taking advantage of the newer technologies in Vista. In two years, more computers will be capable of running Sidebar Gadgets, WPF applications and many other things, than not, so ignoring them is just plain wasteful.

Interestingly, while Vista Ultimate is not going to be the best-selling version of Vista, it is beating expectations. That’s pretty cool. I love the fact that I have Ultimate, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

All is not well for some aspects of Windows: HP is going to stop making dedicated Media Center set top box PCs, switching over to media streaming televisions. Oh, that’s brilliant: Put computer technology in a TV, so I can’t upgrade to a bigger set without losing those features, and am stuck with the same platform with all my devices, otherwise I become an idiot for ever investing in that in the first place.

I’ll never understand PC manufacturers who build the computer (or any aspect of it) into the screen. It’s a bonehead idea, one that become glaringly stupid the second the user wants to upgrade. My parents have used the same 17-inch monitor since Windows 95, and they love it, but if they bought a Mac today, they’d pretty much be stuck with changing the screen every time they wanted a new PC.

I gotta say, I’ve been asking myself lately if I want to get a Mac, figuring I could dual-boot Vista and Mac OS and have a pretty good system, but I can’t find one normal Mac on sale. Apple has three models, as far as I can tell: The underpowered un-upgradeable one, the one built into the screen, and the mega-expensive one. Where’s the normal Mac?

Oh, and just to get these in somewhere (and to go positive after that MacRant), here are two Microsoft-related April Fools items: Microsoft Penguin Adoption 2007, and Long Zheng’s site turns into a giant lovefest for MS’s Tjeerd Hoek.

April 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Apple, Humor, Windows | no comments