13:54 21 July 2012
Since Microsoft joined the stock market in 1986, it has never posted a loss. Until now.
The result of a single bad bet has broken the computing giant's 25-year plus streak of gains.
The backstory is that Microsoft shelled out a huge $6.3 billion to buy out aQuantive in 2007 in direct opposition of Google's dominant position in web advertising.
Microsoft hoped to create a separate online advertising arm away from internet search which would challenge Google's entire code of practice.
With Microsoft’s $6.2 billion write-down pushing them into the red for the first time and Google's stocks on the up and up, it appears that plan failed.
That led to a $492m loss in the three months to the end of June, compared with a profit of $5.9bn a year ago.
For a company that has held huge market shares since conmputing and the internet took off, Microsoft has been slow to adapt to new technology. Their Windows Mobile has struggled against Apple, their Bing search is small against Google's near monopoly, Internet Explorer is fading against Firefox and other competitors and they're only just getting started in the tablet market with their Surface device.
But this downturn, this appears to be changing already. Windows 8 powered devices are expected in the coming months and their Office packages are still a huge seller, while the company's general profits actually beat most estimates. One bad decision aside, Bill Gates' Microsoft are on the up.
Also seen as a potential upswing for the company, Microsoft have recently bought Yammer to provide businesses with social network integration and also Skype to bolster their communications arm.
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