Microsoft is a difficult situation for me to evaluate. I think the company still has a lot of growth ahead in some areas. But, that depends on where management wants to take it.
There are three core businesses that are already well developed: Windows, Office, and Servers.
The moat in the first two are wide. The Windows moat is huge.
The business model in operating systems is great. You keep upgrading every few years; the hardware needn’t progress for you to find things to tweak and get people to buy the next step up. It’s insanely profitable.
I think the new launch (Vista) will be bigger than people expect (eventually) in how it allows for cross selling other Microsoft products (but we’ll see about that). I expect the press to be very negative at least until well after the launch, because there will always be some bugs and delays.
Eventually, video games will be a big business for Microsoft. I hate the economics of the console business, but love the economics of the publishing (and development) side of things.
I’m sorry to see that Microsoft didn’t use its cash pile to buy up an established...