updated 04:45 pm EDT, Tue October 7, 2008
Investor on MS Distraction
Microsoft has distracted itself to where it's no longer a viable investment, Greenlight Capital investor David Einhorn says in a comment on the results of his company's summer quarter. He accuses the Windows developer of an "overaggressive and almost panicky" approach to competing with Google, at first launching an attempt to buy Yahoo only to overcompensate for its unsuccessful deal by spending large amounts of money on its own efforts to compete with Google in search and web ads.
Einhorn and Greenlight Capital have as a result "given up" on investing in Microsoft and see the latter's chief Steve Ballmer as preoccupied with Google to a point where Windows, Office and other established products are suffering and affecting the company's overall business.
"We doubt the opportunity is what they say it is and wish [Microsoft] focused on its core strength," Einhorn says. "We feel better investing in companies where management at least appears to be trying to work for shareholders."
The software firm in recent months has lately taken to trying to correct its perceived neglect of Windows by launching a $300 million ad to restore the operating system's image, which it believes has been turned into a stereotype by Apple and cost the company sales as customers become hesitant to upgrade from Windows XP.