Quick—what company just reported a decline in internet revenues last quarter?
If you guessed “Microsoft,” you would be a winner.
That's right: of all the businesses at Microsoft, from video game boxes to operating systems, the one business that actually saw its revenues decline was that which serves the future of Western, and Eastern, Civilization.
How did they do that?, you might ask.
How, indeed, did the world's largest, most successful, most cash-rich software company manage to get lower revenues this year than last year out of a business whose inherent growth rate is higher than the year-to-year increase in the New York Yankees' payroll?
The answer lies in Hotmail and the fast-aging internet access business whose bleeding Microsoft has been no more able to staunch than AOL.
Long-time readers know I’ve groused about Microsoft’s Hotmail product for some time—at least until Google Mail came along. After hesitating like Alex Rodriguez staring at called third strike with two outs and the bases loaded, I finally switched.
The good news is that by switching to Google Mail I now avoid the near-daily aggravation that came with being a Hotmail user. The bad news is I eliminated good material for some posts here.
And that’s why I’m happy to report the receipt of an email, forwarded by a friend at a New England-based company still clinging to Hotmail.
The email in question alerts the company's employees that some tweaks to the Hotmail system by the folks in Redmond is causing emails sent from one Hotmail user to another Hotmail user to suffer the same fate as dissidents under Salvador Allende.
Which is to say, they are disappeared.
That is, as anybody who runs a business might gather, a problem. Readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear that, thus far, it appears the Hotmail folks haven’t come up with a solution, let alone respond to the poor company’s calls for help.
In the meantime, the 'workaround,' as IT guys like to say, is that anybody in the company who needs to send an email to a Hotmail account is advised to use a non-Hotmail account to send it.
Otherwise, the email will get disappeared.
Just like the users of Hotmail have been disappearing lately.
I Am Not Making This Up
© 2006 Jeff Matthews
The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.