Only Fortune magazine running a “Microsoft is Doomed !!” cover next week could make things any cheerier for Bill Gates and his Washington-based software company. After all, this week we have a contrarian two-fer, with both BusinessWeek (“I’m Outta Here!: Why Microsoft is Losing Key Talent”) and Forbes (“Microsoft’s Mid-life crisis”) running downbeat cover articles about the company.
As the market wisdom goes, however, you fade the consensus, especially when it hits extremes. And the current consensus is awfully negative about Microsoft, despite the company heading, in 2006, into its busiest product cycle in recent memory.
Granted, Microsoft is long past its go-go days, and secular growth prospects in the PC software industry are low teens at best, but a cyclical upturn in the company’s fortunes next year seems unavoidable — except, of course, to the fine folks at Forbes and BusinessWeek.