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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

Evil Empire’s New Motto: “We’ll Pay You to Like Us”

Microsoft hopes to make gains on Google in the lucrative business of Internet search through a new service that pays consumers who buy items they find through the software company’s search service, according to people familiar with the company’s plan. The software maker is rolling out a service called “Live Search cashback” that gives consumers money back on certain purchases of products found through Microsoft’s Web search service, the people said. —The Wall Street Journal So what happens at Microsoft Board of Directors meetings, anyway?

Does Steve Ballmer PowerPoint them to death? Do they keep a dozen Glade air fresheners on the table to mask the stench of dead products?

Or do they just lace the ice water with long-term memory loss drugs to keep directors from wondering out loud about the repeated failure of whatever new products are not sufficiently lashed to its aging operating system monopoly to keep Microsoft users just that—Microsoft users?

How else to explain the latest idea—which we are not making up—to pay cash to people not to do a search on Google?

Does anybody on Microsoft’s Board remember the “Dot-Net” initiative—the last time Microsoft was going to revolutionize the Internet?

Gates, in his role as Microsoft’s chief software architect, rolled out a retooled company strategy that would integrate its software with the Internet and make it easier to swap information between computing devices.

Among the prototypes were computers that recognize voice and can answer back, a digital book and notepad that can recognize natural handwriting and connect to the Web, and cell phones that let users dictate email.

“The Internet is the starting point,” said Gates, and the Web browser is the “universal canvas” upon which the information landscape will be painted.

“It’s a bet-the-company thing,” Gates said, speaking to several hundred analysts at the…briefing in describing the “dot-net” initiative. That “bet-the-company thing” happened eight years ago, and as far as I can tell, my Dell noteback does not “recognize” my voice and “answer back” when Microsoft Word mysteriously freezes and I curse it. Maybe Carl Icahn is trying to shake up the wrong company.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2008 Not Making This Up LLC

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. The commentary in this blog in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. In fact, it should not be relied upon in making investment decisions, ever. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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