Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The recent declaration of a $3 per share, $32 billion dividend to the shareholders of Microsoft has raised many a reader, observer and journalist to write that this is the beginning, middle and end of the company.

Pundits from across the political spectrum both hail and abhor this decision to infuse the public's coffers with over $32 billion greenbacks. For example, in an article in Forbes magazine, by Brier Dudley, Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Seattle, noted that "there's a tremendous amount of uncertainty about technology generally, and I think it reflects that."

Gates himself has said: "Microsoft's past innovations have created great success. A great illustration of that is the financial strength we have as a company that has allowed us now to return even more money to our shareholders than ever before. Looking forward, innovation will continue to be the engine that drives us. We're applying for a record number of patents, over 3,000 this year, and we see breakthroughs, whether it's simplicity, security, connectedness or new things that software's never done before.

I, on the other hand, see none of these problems, but a single act, based on this decision to dispose of "excess" cash.

The decision provides the founding member of Microsoft and its Chairman of the Board, Bill Gates, to take his split of the money and give it to his charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • 1