Black Days in Microsoft History

Today’s decline in Microsoft stock was nasty — around 11% — but it only just slips into the top ten one-day percentage declines in the company’s 20-year trading history. For fun and kicks, can anyone name the events associated with some of these other larger one-day declines?


  1. Just to make people work for their fame, I’ll take away the first two. They were both, obviously, driven by Black October — the market crash of October, 1987.

  2. Nearly all of these other one day events are market related, as opposed to being driven by the company itself: 4 days from 2000, which saw the Nasdaq crash, 2 in October 87 (ditto).
    April 2000 was also Judgment Day in the anti-trust case.
    Can’t recall what 1989 was about, (Visio purchase? Some Windows announcement?) nor does January 1987 ring a bell . . .

  3. The market had a mini-crash in October 1989. Something to do with United Airlines.

  4. Sorry, I was wrong. March of 89 ? I think it had to do with Apple suing Microsoft.

  5. Again, sorry. Should not be doing this on a Saturday night. Microsoft had a profit warning in March of 89. From the from Dec 2000:
    The warning — Microsoft’s first since March 1989 — was so unusual that a representative from the company’s outside public relations agency didn’t know about it Thursday afternoon when she called after the announcement.

  6. Ah, had forgotten about that one Larry. Good catch!

  7. Brent Buckner says:

    As long as we’re playing the mind-reading attribution game, I want to nominate the event associated with the decline on April 28, 2006, as being the _Infectious Greed_ blog entry “Microsoft’s Pig in a Poke Problem” on April 27, 2006!

  8. Nitin Gandhi says:

    Microsoft’s online strategy may be flawed, but they have a bunch of capital projects coming online shortly. SQL Server 2005, WinFX, Office System and Vista. That is pretty much all of the real Microsoft being recycled in two years. Every organization and home is holding out for Office System and Vista.
    Further, now that the real brains are getting free, they want to chase Google. How is this bad for Microsoft? It should have been Google falling? I don’t get it…