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Five billion dollars are an amazing figure. Of course, after a point its stock market value is none other than a nominal one. It is something like an honorary distinction awarded by investors to a company that has the ability to produce future wealth. There’s actually no practical value to it. It may be a symbol of power and achievement but that does not prevent it from being a pile of thread marked paper. Only if Mr. Gates (who possesses 13% of the company) would decide, for example, to sell up his property, the value of the Microsoft company share would collapse and the 500 billion dollars would turn out to be…God knows how much. Such an occurrence of course, would sweep along the shares of all the Internet companies, which nowadays are considered to be the driving force lying behind the stock market boost in the United States of America. That would mean serious trouble for the economy of the United States, not to mention the economies of all the countries throughout the world. If, in other words, Gates were to make his intention to “sell up” known to the public, the after-effects of such a statement would affect even the remotest villages in Greece.
Be it either symbolic or not, the stock market value of the Microsoft bears nothing else than a social reward for an organization for everything it has accomplished so far, along with all that is to be achieved by it in the years to come. There’s nothing to blame up to now. Yet, there is an awkward situation at hand if one looks into the history of technology, aiming at all the things Microsoft has contributed to the so called era of informatics; if its products are to be weighed against those produced by its competitors, some of which had to be wiped out under its colossal weight.
With regards to the first aspect, the half trillion-dollar company does not have much to vaunt for. Its contribution to the revolution in technology is practically not worth mentioning. Even the first product, manufactured by the company, the MS-DOS operational system that made Microsoft well-known to the public, had been created by people who were not part of the company. The only thing the shrewd businessman Bill Gates had to do was to sell it.
As for the quality of its products, Microsoft has never been at the top of the list. Many of its competitors had-throughout the short history of the personal computer-and still have better products to show.
Then why is it that Microsoft keeps selling? The apotheosis of marketing can be found in the background of the company along with the rest of the modern enterprises. Bill Gates has never been a guru of informatics; he has always been a sales Almighty.
Therefore, the dark side of the history of the computer lies in the fact that economy does not reward those who handle the best product, but those who are able to sell better even the worst program. In other words, it rewards appearances rather than reality, and that means a lot…
By Pashos Mandravelis.
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