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From: zax3/21/2024 11:21:30 AM
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From: zax3/21/2024 12:00:11 PM
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Pictured below is "lost decade" that Microsoft shareholders experienced after DOJ initiated anti-trust against Microsoft.

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To: zax who wrote (32555)3/21/2024 12:39:17 PM
From: Zen Dollar Round
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LOL, you mean the fall that began with the dotcom bubble crash, included the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-10, and Steve Ballmer's terrible mismanagement as Microsoft's CEO for that decade?

I think you need to reexamine your Microsoft history!

Your chart nicely mirrors Ballmer's time as CEO at Microsoft and the many dumb moves he made then. It's no coincidence MSFT began to recover when Satya Nadella was merely announced as the new CEO before taking over in February of 2014.

Microsoft got basically a slap on the wrist for that antitrust lawsuit.

Here is Steve Ballmer laughing at the introduction of the iPhone and touting the Zune. Hilarious in retrospect, eh Steve? "I like our strategy, I like it a lot..."

Bahahahaha! What a buffoon.

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To: Zen Dollar Round who wrote (32556)3/21/2024 1:42:26 PM
From: John Koligman
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The ironic thing is that every day this guy wakes up (7 days a week <ggg>), Microsoft puts approx 2.7 MILLION in his bank account. Unbelievable. An argument for higher taxes on these clowns if I ever saw one.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is on pace to earn $1 billion in dividends annually from his massive stake in the software company

  • Steve Ballmer is on pace to collect annual dividend payments of $1 billion from Microsoft.

  • He is the former CEO of Microsoft and is the largest individual shareholder of the software giant.

  • Ballmer's Microsoft stake has surged to a value of $128 billion this year following Microsoft's 55% stock rally.

Microsoft is on track to pay former CEO Steve Ballmer about $1 billion in annual dividend payments.

Ballmer, who is currently the sixth richest person in the world, is the largest individual shareholder in Microsoft. As of his last ownership disclosure in 2014, Ballmer owned 333.2 million shares of Microsoft, representing about 4% of the company.

Ballmer's stake is worth about $130 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, after gaining $44 billion in wealth this year thanks to a 56% rally in Microsoft's stock price.

Ballmer amassed his stake over the course of his 34-year career at Microsoft, having joined the company in 1980 as employee number 30. He went on to become CEO of Microsoft in 2000, near the peak of the dot-com bubble, and stepped down in 2014 when current CEO Satya Nadella took over the top role.

Microsoft paid $2.79 in dividends per share in 2023, which equates to an annual dividend payment of about $930 million to Ballmer based on his stake in the company.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
That payout is set to increase in 2024, as Microsoft lifted its dividend 10% recently to pay $3 per share a year. That would equate to an annual dividend payment of $999.6 million to Ballmer in 2024, and it could be even higher assuming Microsoft continues its trend of hiking its dividend payment every year.

Microsoft has increased its dividend payment for 18 consecutive years, so its likely that Ballmer's annual dividend payout will top $1 billion in 2024 and continue to grow in the coming years.

Ballmer's massive stake in Microsoft has put him within spitting distance of becoming the fourth richest person in the world, as he's just a few billion dollars behind Larry Ellison and his former boss, Bill Gates.

Gates has significantly diversified his wealth away from Microsoft and towards cash and other public equities since he stepped down from the company. In fact, in 2014, Gates also owned about 4% of Microsoft, having a 330 million share stake in the company. But multiple divestitures over the years has led Gates to owning just over 1% of the software giant.

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To: John Koligman who wrote (32557)3/21/2024 1:56:17 PM
From: Zen Dollar Round
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When I was looking for the video of Ballmer laughing at the iPhone, one of the related videos highlighted him as the "world's luckiest billionaire." It shows the same chart zax posted regarding MSFT stock performance during his tenure:

It's telling that he and Gates are no longer friendly with each other last I read. Gates was apparently unhappy with the way he ran Microsoft, though I suppose it's possible they've mended fences since then.

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From: zax3/21/2024 5:42:13 PM
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From: Thomas M.4/5/2024 11:19:33 AM
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'Green bubble shaming' at play in DOJ suit against Apple

Michael Anderson, a tech consultant in San Francisco, considers himself an unapologetic Android user. It's something that would come up quite a bit in his love life.

When he was single and using dating apps, discussing the color of his messages with potential dates who had iPhones became a familiar and irksome ritual.

"We get off the app and take the big step of getting into the text messages, and the first text I would get, not all the time, but certainly numerous times was, 'Oh, your bubble,'" said 33-year-old Anderson, referring to the green bubble texts that iPhone users see when messaging his Android.

For some singles, Anderson points out, green bubbles are a deal breaker.

"I have heard of friends who actually got ghosted because of that," he said. "And you wouldn't want to go on a date with those type of people anyway, but it's really pervasive."

Anderson is now engaged. His fiancée is, despite it all, an iPhone user.

As anyone who has experienced the blue-green divide knows, the bubble culture wars involve more than just a carping over color differences.

When someone with an Android texts an iMessage user, the quality of photos and videos is shoddy; you can't do live location tracking; you can't react to texts the same way; those suspense-building bouncing ellipses indicating someone is writing do not exist; and the conversation is less secure. To top it off, green bubbles lead to mockery.

Some have dubbed this phenomenon "green bubble shaming."

And while it might seem frivolous, the bubble issue became much more serious last week, when it was cited by the Justice Department as an example of how Apple allegedly abuses its power.

DOJ says green bubbles are tied to anti-competitive behavior

U.S. authorities claim Apple deliberately makes texting on iMessage frustrating for Android users in an effort to nudge people to buy iPhones. Apple denies this claim.

The suit cited internal Apple emails showing that top executives at the company knew that allowing for seamless texting to competing devices might make consumers turn away from iPhones

An unnamed senior vice president of software engineering at Apple wrote in a 2013 email that allowing iMessage features to work for iPhone and non-Apple phones alike "would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones," according to the government's lawsuit.

Another Apple executive, according to the Justice Department, wrote that "moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us."

This led the Justice Department to allege that "Apple affirmatively undermines the quality of rival smartphones," states to the suit, which adds that the popularity of iPhones was fueled not just by the quality of the product "but because it has made communicating with other smartphones worse."

[continued ...]


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To: Thomas M. who wrote (32560)4/15/2024 12:03:55 PM
From: zax
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Apple loses mantle as world’s biggest phone seller to Samsung as China sales drop

Apple has lost its spot as the world’s biggest mobile phone seller after a steep sales drop as South Korean rival Samsung retook the lead in the global market share.

Samsung had been the biggest seller of mobile phones for 12 years until the end of 2023, when sales of Apple’s iPhone models overtook it.

Global smartphone shipments increased by 8% to 289.4m units during January-March, according to research firm IDC. Samsung won a 20.8% market share, beating Apple’s 17.3% share, which has been dented by slowing sales in China.


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From: zax4/25/2024 2:06:05 PM
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iPhone activation market share hits new low as Android dominates

2 out of 3 new smartphone activations in the US are Android devices. Per CIRP's data, Apple hasn't seen numbers that low since 2017.

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From: Jon Koplik6/20/2024 6:23:04 AM
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Daily Mail : Apple Crapple reportedly canceled work on (flop) Vomit Pro 2 VR model ..................................

Daily Mail

19 June 2024

Apple 'cancels' high-end device after current model is slammed by critics

By Nikki Main
Science Reporter For Dailymail.Com

Apple is famous for churning out life-changing iPhones -- but the tech giant seems to fall flat when it comes to other products.

The California-based company has reportedly canceled work on its next-generation Vision Pro due to critics slamming the current model.

Vision Pro 2 was poised to be a higher-end headset, but is now on the back burner while Apple works on a cheaper Vision Pro.

The original $3,500 headset received ample criticism earlier this year as unhappy customers rushed to return the Vision Pro complaining that the small display hurt their eyes, it was uncomfortable and the features weren't worth the hefty price tag.

Apple has suspended work on its Vision Pro 2 VR model, which was set to be unveiled next year, in favor of a cheaper alternative

Unhappy Vision Pro customers rushed to return the headset, complaining that the small display hurt their eyes, it was uncomfortable and the features weren't worth the hefty price tag

Apple initially had a sales target of three million Vision Pro headsets sold in its first year, but dropped that down to 900,000.

That is compared to the more than 200 million iPhones sold each year.

Apple is striving to create a more affordable headset for both the consumer and for production efforts, while also keeping the same high-end components from the Vision Pro, according to The Information.

Code-named N109, the cheaper headset will be ‘at least one-third lighter’ and remove some features while keeping the high-resolution display.

Apple had intended to launch both the Vision Pro 2 and N109, but ran into financial troubles -- and is now said to be ditching the pricier model.

Apple said last year that it aimed to align the N109’s price with a high-end iPhone, charging consumers between $1,500 and $2,500.

It will potentially be released in 2025 without several features, but Apple has not yet confirmed which ones will be missing from the new VR device.

The company is reportedly working with Seeya Technology, a Chinese-based company, to develop cheaper high-resolution displays.

But a person involved in its manufacturing told The Information that 'Seeya has so far struggled to meet Apple's standards and the effort might fail.'

The initial excitement surrounding the Vision Pro’s launch in February saw pre-orders sell out within 18 minutes and more than

Another user posted on X: 'Apple Vision Pro is great for some things, but there is not a single day that has gone by that I used it that it did not cause me eye strain and a headache.'

Apple has yet to put out an app that makes full use of the Vision Pro's capabilities, instead focusing on how it can insert more screens and displays into your environment.

'You kind of find yourself in this virtual environment and you're asking yourself what you're doing here,' Randy Chia, a product manager for a Los Angeles investment firm told Bloomberg.

He said the Vision Pro’s software had the most bugs of any first-generation product he’d used, adding that the ‘wow factor’ didn’t overcome the fact that ‘I’m wearing this big thing on my head.’

Many of the early reviews of the Vision Pro concluded that it was ambitious, but served little purpose. One critic described it as 'a high-tech solution in search of a problem'

Users reported the screen time lagged and it would occasionally freeze. One user said the Vision Pro’s software had the most bugs of any first-generation product he’d used, adding that the ‘wow factor’ didn’t overcome the fact that ‘I’m wearing this big thing on my head’

Yet another person compared Meta’s lighter Quest headset to the Vision Pro, saying the latter option was the worse alternative.

‘The thing is too [darn] heavy and everyone knows it, and I am used to wearing these things,’ the user told the outlet.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the company reduced its shipments by about half, decreasing from 700 to 800 units to just 400 to 450 units as its Vision Pro dropped in popularity.

‘The challenge for Vision Pro is to address the lack of key applications, price, and headset comfort without sacrificing the see-through user experience,’ Kuo wrote in an April report.

‘Apple is reviewing and adjusting its head-mounted display product roadmap, so there may be no new Vision Pro model in 2025,’ he continued.

‘Apple now expects Vision Pro shipments to decline [year-over-year] in 2025.’ has reached out to Apple for comment.

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