Microsoft (MSFT) was once the king of the computing world. When the company released a new operating system its stock would typically flourish in the years following the launch. Times have changed, however, and it isn’t the 1990s anymore. A graph that put together by Thomas Reuters paints a troubling picture for the once-dominant software giant. A year after the release of Windows 3.0, Windows 95 and Windows 98, shares of Microsoft were up 45.4%, 27.9% and 79.5%, respectively. But then Bill Gates handed over leadership of the company to current CEO Steve Ballmer in January of 2000 and Microsoft hasn’t been the same since.
Following the release of Windows 2000 the month after Gates’ departure, Microsoft’s stock plummeted an astonishing 40.8% year-over-year. The company’s stock continued to fall in the years following the launch of Windows XP, Windows 7 and most recently Windows 8. Surprisingly, shares of Microsoft were up 7.6% year-over-year from 2007 to 2008 after the widely panned release of Windows Vista.
If it wants to continue to survive in a post-PC world, Microsoft must obviously find a way to reverse this trend.