A massive downturn in PC sales and decades of failures in the consumer electronics market is starting to have an impact on Microsoft with the Company forced to write down another $900 million due to the failure of their the Surface RT tablet.
Brokers who took the stock down 11% on Saturday claim that the write-down is a symbol of how Microsoft has missed the mobile revolution.
Shares of Microsoft have been hammered due in part to the Companies poor performance in the consumer electronics, retail and smartphone markets.
Microsoft shares dropped 11.4% to close at $31.40 after the company showed it couldn’t outrun a long falloff in personal-computer sales.
This represents a collective $34 billion in a single day.
Failure in the consumer electronics appear to be a regular pattern for the US Company whose Windows 8 and Office products are under pressure as consumers flock to non-Microsoft devices.
They are also struggling in the Windows smartphone market.
The Wall Street Journal said that Microsoft has lost almost as much value as all of LinkedIn and Nokia combined, ‘Can you remember the last time you saw somebody using a Surface?’ the publication asked.
This is not the first time that Microsoft has been forced to take write downs in the consumer electronics market, I remember writing about problems with the Companies Xbox gaming console back in 2005.
We alleged at the time that the Company was facing major problems with what was called the “Red Ring of Death”, consumers in Australia were flocking to retailers claiming that their gaming console was refusing to boot. EB Games stopped selling the device claiming that returns were over 20%.
Microsoft Australia management blatantly lied to ChannelNews claiming that there was no problem.
We exposed how a large number of Xbox 360 consoles broke down due to overheating, leading to an error message that become known to gamers at the “Red Ring of Death.”
Shortly afterwards Microsoft global announced a $1.15 billion charge to fund the fixing of the problem.
They also extend the Xbox 360 warranty for consumers after experiencing an “unacceptable” number of repairs to Xbox 360s already sold.
At the time Microsoft Australia executives dived behind a wall of silence and when one did break cover and talk to ChannelNews executives from Pulse Communications an Ogilvy & Mather subsidiary begged us to pull the story down.
The Zune music player was another Microsoft failure, designed to compete with the iPod the device failed to attract consumer interest.
In mid-2001, Microsoft announced a $3.9 billion write-down in the value of its portfolio of technology investments, which just months earlier was worth $17.5 billion.