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March 17, 2006

Time for a Microsoft Live splinter?

Posted by David Hunter at 8:24 AM ET.

John Battelle intrigues the punters with Please, Give me LiveSoft (Or…Please Split Up Microsoft!):

Now, I know it’s Gates’ job to make the world of tech seem approachable and understandable to the typical MS Office user – the same person who apparently has a dinosaur for a head and stopped paying attention to technology somewhere back in 1997. But g’damn, we’ve been hearing this speech for more than ten years now, and if Microsoft ever wants to get back out in front of the pack in technology, if it really wants to lead again, as it did in the mid 1990s, it needs to do one simple thing: Split the company up.

He’s not really advocating splitting the company up, though. It’s more like a splinter:

But really, what it needs to do is spin out a Google/Yahoo killer. Take Search, Live, and a good chunk of MSR (research) and make it a separately traded division of MSFT. Take the damn thing public. Imagine that IPO!

There’s much more by following the link including some supportive comments. Heck, it’s a natural temptation for shareholders of a mature company like Microsoft when they finally realize the heady days are over (although I don’t think most Microsoft shareholders are there yet). Position the old company as a cash cow giving rich creamy dividends and create a sexy growth stock out of the new areas of the business. Battelle suggests that they put a wild man/woman in charge of the splinter, but I’m thinking more of the current Microsoft employees. Would there be a line outside the new company or not?

Filed under Employee Retention, Financial, General Business, Investor Relations, Microsoft

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