Here's a update on a leftover from the telecom boom, otherwise known as the 1990s: Microsoft has sold all of its shares in cable TV giant Comcast, which it purchased for about $1 billion way back in 1997. That investment occurred during a stretch when cable TV companies ruled the embryonic broadband sector, when Bell Atlantic was in the process of acquiring Nynex, and just about everybody was flirting with Hollywood in one way or another. Back then, every week seemed pregnant with the possibility that one huge company would buy another, that the software industry would take over the telecom industry, or that the telecom industry would take over the content industry.
Many investments and takeovers that occurred during that period worked out well, but others went south or eventually were reversed or dissolved. It's actually somewhat interesting that Microsoft's stake in Comcast lasted this long without gaining more notice or changing in some way. It is not clear why Microsoft decided to sell now, but the software giant did just announce a plan to gradually cut about 5,000 jobs. Comcast remains a major broadband player, though has been hounded by criticism over traffic throttling.
- InformationWeek has this post
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