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Why Microsoft Corp deserves a second chance

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has given Microsoft a forceful push in the right direction, improving the company's image in the process, and demonstrating an ability to make difficult decisions.

Microsoft Corp. may not be your dog by traditional investing measures. In the end, it generated more than US$22 billion in revenues in the second quarter, returned US$6.7 billion to shareholders, pays a couple.6 percent dividend, and it has a ton of cash on the balance sheet. But that certainly doesn’t make it a winner either.

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After dominating the once high-growth PC market during the technology sector’s heyday and unable to do wrong within the market’s eye, the stock really hasn’t done much for over a decade.

The problem was simple, and something many industry leaders with near-monopoly positions face: it became complacent even though its key markets started to shift, and it lost focus.

In particular, Microsoft has never really made the transition from desktop computers to mobility and also the cloud. The organization has a presence, but it’s no match for several more agile competitors like Apple Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc.

As a result, many investors and consumers now consider this former tech darling a dull company that\’s quickly fading into irrelevance. But perhaps this still-giant player merits a second look, because it will take Satya Nadella, who took control of the helm from Steve Ballmer in February 2014, a little time to right the ship.

Ballmer simply wasn’t in tune with, or didn’t understand, how the industry was changing. It’s not a secret that the PC market is shrinking due to the popularity of smaller-form cellular devices and Microsoft isn\’t the go-to operating system on these units, with users preferring Android, Safari and, obviously, Apple iOS.

But Nadella, with a background in cloud and enterprise technologies, has given Microsoft a forceful push in the right direction, increasing the company’s image in the process, and demonstrating the capability to make difficult decisions.

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