After launching three crucial products that will define Microsoft's future, you would think investor confidence in the company would be high going into the holiday season. Unfortunately for Ballmer and crew, this is not the case.
Microsoft's stock is approaching its 52-week low with a closing price today of $26.43; the stock's 52-week low is $25.29. For those of you who have watched Microsoft stock over the past few years, you will know that it typically travels a tight range of 25-32 dollars per share. Seeing as the stock is approaching that lower threshold, investors are likely becoming worried over Microsoft's future.
But, is this concern warranted? The stock drop is likely related to the question around the sales of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. While Microsoft has proudly proclaimed that they sold 40 million licenses for the platform, it is believed that many of these sales were to OEMs and not consumers. Additionally, with 40 million sales at an upgrade friendly price of $40.00, Microsoft's revenue is likely to be less than that of Windows 7 during the same launch period as Windows 7 commanded a significantly higher premium.
Then there are the sales of Windows Phone 8. Microsoft has only provided the useless statistic of Windows Phone 8 sales being four times the previous sales of Windows Phone 7. Having no hard numbers to go on, our guess is that the numbers while better than last time, are still not phenomenal. If the sales of the platform were spectuatualr, you can bet that Microsoft would have shouted that from the rooftop.
Finally there is the Surface, which Microsoft has provided no guidance on the sales of that platform. Again, if the sales were spectacular, they would have likely announced the figures.
Are investor fears warranted? Well, you have to consider that the market is only worried about the short term and Microsoft's Windows 8 may not fully materialize for several more years as the form-factor war ignites. From the short term, investors may be worried, but the longer-term approach for Microsoft appears to be coming together.