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Network World - It’s been a tough week for Window 8 and Microsoft Surface tablets, highlighted in this discovery by DoMiN8ToR on the MyCE Web site : The best liked tip in the Windows
8 section of Microsoft Community is “How do I downgrade to Windows XP? – Windows 8 Sucks bad."
Number 2? “I hate windows 8. How can I deinstall it and load windows 7.”
More significant to Microsoft’s bottom line: Goldman Sachs projects the company will sell fewer Surface tablets in all of its 2014 fiscal year than it did in the 10 months between October 2012 and June 31 of this year.
Goldman Sachs’s projection for Fiscal 2014 is now 1.6 million, down from an earlier estimate of 3.5 million, according to a Dividend.com report. It sold 1.9 million Surface tablets, both Surface Pro and Surface RT, in the October to June timeframe.
Surface RT lawsuit
Meanwhile investors are angry about the rosy picture Microsoft painted about Surface RT sales even as they were tanking, a lawsuit charges.
Microsoft lied about the success of its Surface RT tablet kept its stock price artificially high, which caused real economic harm to investors who bought stock between the end of April 18 and July 18 when the company announced it was taking a $900 million hit for Surface RT inventory, the lawsuit says.
Disclosure of the $900 million charge resulted in an immediate $4.04 drop in price per share – which translates into $34 billion in company value coming out of investors’ holdings.
The lawsuit filed U.S. District Court for Massachusetts names Microsoft and top executives as the ones to blame for inflating the stock price. It is filed by Gail Fialkov, but part of the suit seeks to include other plaintiffs numbering in the hundreds or thousands to form a class action.
The suit names Microsoft, but also individually CEO Steve Ballmer, then-CFO Peter Klein (no longer with the company), Chief Accounting Officer Frank Brod, and CMO Tami Reller.
The language in the court filing is pretty harsh: “What Defendants knew, but failed
to disclose to investors, however, was that Microsoft’s foray into the tablet
market was an unmitigated disaster, which left it with a large accumulation of
excess, over-valued Surface RT inventory.”
“Defendants’ materially false and misleading conduct enabled Microsoft to forestall Surface RT’s day of reckoning and delay what would be tantamount to an admission by the Company that its all-important entry into the tablet market had been a failure.”
“…Defendants acted with [intent or knowledge of wrongdoing] in that Defendants knew, or recklessly disregarded, that the public documents and statements they issued and disseminated to the investing public in the name of the company or in their own name during the Class Period were materially false and misleading.”
“Defendants, by virtue of their receipt of information reflecting the true facts regarding Microsoft, their control over,
and/or receipt and/or modification of Microsoft’s allegedly
materially misleading misstatements, were active and culpable participants in the fraudulent scheme alleged herein.”