Whatever Happened to High-Price Microsoft Stock?

When Microsoft went public in 1986, the opening price was $21. Today the long-suffering stock is nearly back down to that level. But when Microsoft tried to buy back some $40 billion worth of shares, most owners refused to sell at low-ball prices. Perhaps there is life in these shares after all.

Oh, and those $21 shares? After splitting so many times, these original shares are very rich indeed. If you know how much a single original share would be worth today, clue us all in at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Windows Bundling Will Never Ever End
U.S. federal and state governments, along with governments around the world, have attacked Microsoft for bundling applications, Web browsers, search engines, media players and such with Windows. So what does Redmond do in the face of these lawsuits? Why it bundles even more, of course!

In the case of Vista, Microsoft plans to implant a bevy of Windows Live services, says Mary Jo Foley of Microsoft Watch (and Redmond magazine's back-page columnist; read her here). Mary Jo also has the skinny on the entire Live plans, which include dozens upon dozens of planned services.

I'm using Windows Live Mail, and I've got to tell you -- Hotmail is a million times faster (Live Mail takes 30 seconds to load and about 7 seconds to move from feature to feature -- and I have broadband)! It also has an awkward check system where you can accidentally delete the top message. On the plus side, it does have message preview and, let's not forget, ads for The Lending Tree.

Test Cheat Nailed?
The certification test prep market has always had an air of controversy. Most companies are upstanding, offering a much-needed service. But there has always been the sleazy side, with companies selling answers to the tests. Hiring someone who got their certs this way is like putting Beavis and Butthead in charge of IT -- funny for a while, but then it gets real irritating.

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Test King, apparently based in the U.K., is allegedly selling the actual exams -- with answers -- and now Microsoft is suing them. The company seemingly did nothing to hide what it was selling. Here is an excerpt from the description on its Web site:

"Test King Questions and Answers provide you the complete coverage of the certification exams. Our testing questions and answers have the most accurate and precise explanations as every training kit was prepared by veteran Certified Experts at Test King. Each preparation exam will make you feel like you're taking the actual exam!"

If I had something like this in high school, I could have graduated five years earlier -- or right on time!

McAfee Exec Batting for the Redmond Virus Team
Vincent Gulloto, the man who ran the Emergency Response Team at McAfee, is soon to be general manager of Security Research and Response at Microsoft. I can guess how McAfee top execs feel. The company builds software to plug the holes in Windows (the Swiss cheese of operating systems -- just add ham and bread and you've got lunch!). Then Microsoft figures out it can make money doing the same thing and tells its partners not to sell security wares from Symantec and McAfee. Then Redmond steals one of your top guys. I'd be more steamed than a New York City manhole.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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