Apple "awash in cash" as Microsoft offers "buckets" to Zune developers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
As debt-free Apple has accrued a massive $31.1 billion in cash and investments, Microsoft allegedly recently offered one developer "a bucket of money" to write software for the new Zune HD.



Apple's massive cash flow is a number up 27 percent from a year prior and the largest net-cash sum of any technology company. Highlighted in a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the total, as of June 27, is lower than tech rivals Microsoft and Cisco Systems, but both of those companies have debt that brings them below Apple's total.



Bolstering Apple's financial fortune more than anything has been the iPhone. As has been reported numerous times, the profit margins on the device have greatly increased the handset-maker's revenue, even allowing it to lower its prices on MacBook Pros without affecting the company's bottom line.



In addition, the Journal notes that Apple is not as dependent upon business customers as its rival to the north, Microsoft. Since the recession has had a major impact on corporate spending, the Windows maker has felt a greater impact than Apple.



"Apple has stated a preference for holding on to its money, which allows it to invest in the business in ways such as making acquisitions (though the company seems less inclined than Microsoft to pursue big buyouts," the report states. "It has also stated, however, that its board of directors regularly considers dividends, share buybacks and other options that would return cash to shareholders."



While Apple would rather invest in its cash as the company continues to grow, Microsoft, experiencing a growth slowdown since 2004, has taken a different approach to attract investors. Last year, Microsoft made a one-time $32 billion payment to its shareholders and doubled the payout of its annual dividends.



Similarly, Microsoft has reportedly also offered cash to developers in hopes of courting them to the Zune HD, to be released Sept. 15. According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, a developer was offered a "bucket of money" to port a Twitter client from the iPhone to the Zune.



The news is noteworthy because Microsoft has not yet announced any plans for an App Store-like offering on the upcoming Zune HD, or any ability for third-party software to run.



"My source is certain the offer was for the Zune, but because he turned it down early on, he doesn’t know the details regarding the OS or SDK," Gruber wrote. If true, the news could mean the Zune is more than just a media player and Web browser, as has already been revealed.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    I wonder how much a bucket is. Is it 2k? 10k? A free Zune Pass?
  • Reply 2 of 54
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    MS is so desperate for mindshare. It almost hurts to watch them try to buy their way into things they really don't know anything about and then just fumble it.



    What MS did essentially is to come up with an iPod Touch duplicate (that fails to duplicate the Touch's current key strengths), 2+ years after the iPod Touch, and put a Zune logo on it, hoping we'll all think it's September 13, 2007.



    They did this exact thing with the original Zune (vs. the iPod Classic.)



    Except now the iPod market is slowly dying, eclipsed by the iPhone. The way to play thr game now is to converge devices into a single, well-executed unit: the iPhone.



    But THIS TIME around, MS thinks they'll get a different result! Meanwhile Apple is about to render MS' entire effort into an non-event come the new iPod release in September.



    The real question is . . . why miss the boat AGAIN? Why not release something truly compelling and desirable BEFORE Apple? That's kinda the whole point. Good Lord, even when Apple arrives LATE to the game, they still redefine the market completely (smartphones.) That's a rarity and Apple might be a special case. Not everyone can pull it off. But at the very least, Windows sufferers should be able to expect MS to use all that R&D money (apparently they have far, far more than Apple) to once in a blue moon upstage a company that is half their size, with half their workforce, with half their global reach.



    Something is definitely wrong in Redmond. it's getting to the point where I don't really hate MS anymore, I just pity them. You have to feel sorry for an operation like that. It's being run by the WRONG PEOPLE. Probably a case of lions led by donkeys. The first to go should be Ballmer, regardless of how successful Windows 7 will be. It's a little late to be overjoyed by something that should have been out in 2004, or at least perfected by 2007, but wasn't.



    No John, he turned down the offer because he didn't think it would really go anywhere and couldnt be bothered to learn to code for and support a platform that comamnds virtually ZERO mindshare, and which is likely to stay that way. And as long as Apple exists, there's a good chance it'll stay that way!

    __________________
  • Reply 3 of 54
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    Ever hear of fucking proof-reading? This site has SERIOUSLY gone downhill over the past year. You guys need to step it up or you're going to start losing viewers. That "MS in the red" article was inexcusable for a "news" website.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I wonder how much a bucket is. Is it 2k? 10k? A free Zune Pass?



    it's a subjective term so who knows what the developer meant by that.



    IMO though 10,000 hasn't been anything one could consider "a bucket of money" for a long time.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by l008com View Post


    Ever hear of fucking proof-reading? This site has SERIOUSLY gone downhill over the past year. You guys need to step it up or you're going to start losing viewers. That "MS in the red" article was inexcusable for a "news" website.



    Ever hear of not using foul language and not advertising all over the forum?
  • Reply 6 of 54
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Such a grab-bag article. What does Microsoft bribing developers have to do with Apple's cash position?
  • Reply 7 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's massive cash flow is a number up 27 percent from a year prior and the largest net-cash sum of any technology company. Highlighted in a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the total, as of June 27, is lower than tech rivals Microsoft and Cisco Systems, but both of those companies have debt that brings them below Apple's total.



    In my best irrational MS-supporter voice: "But Microsoft dwarfs Apple in marketshare!"
  • Reply 8 of 54
    Wait... Apple has more money than HP? or Google? That's bewildering!
  • Reply 9 of 54
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    I bet it was a "big ass" bucket.



  • Reply 10 of 54
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,607member
    Wonder if Apple has any real ideas on what to do with the cash. There were a few acquisitions that I thought made sense-- maybe the OOo franchise from Sun although that isn't their style; I would like to see them get in the business appliance market, but that might not be the most strategic vision. Roku or Slingbox? Closer...?



    I keep expecting a dramatic change in the way TV content is offered up-- kind of the produce your own show model where you can pick camera angles, stats, etc to fill the screen. Something to make it interactive but still multi-user.



    But hey... 20% of their market cap in cash... maybe I should just buy some more options and let them do the thinking...
  • Reply 11 of 54
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Apple "awash in cash" as Microsoft offers "buckets" to Zune developers



    Better title.....



    Apple is LOADED, while Microsoft Sucks.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    We are talking about Microsoft here, you can't think about Microsoft with thinking 'hole'



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=yD-ffhvefsw



    I just wish Microsoft the best of luck continuing down the path they have been on for the past decade. More power to Ballmer's elbow. They do seem to be doing very well, accelerating in fact, of course that's easy when going downhill.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by l008com View Post


    Ever hear of fucking proof-reading?



    Can't say I have. I have heard of regular proof reading though.

    Does that count?
  • Reply 14 of 54
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,018member
    Quote:

    As debt-free Apple has accrued a massive $31.1 billion in cash and investments,



    I can hear the tort and patent troll lawyers now... "I'm gonna get me some of that."
  • Reply 15 of 54
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    That's the Microsoft way. No innovation, just copy what others invented. No research, just buy others out. No culture, just drive them out of business.



    Just a few among many business practices of Microsoft. What a shame!
  • Reply 16 of 54
    Can anyone here ever a tually report a fact about Apple without turning it into a dig at Microsoft? Get a grip, it's meant to be a news site.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    So not only are apple shafting buyers with massive profit margins, but they are also holding out on us shareholders.

    Let's celebrate on being shanked two ways!
  • Reply 18 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Similarly, Microsoft has reportedly also offered cash to developers in hopes of courting them to the Zune HD, to be released Sept. 15. According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, a developer was offered a "bucket of money" to port a Twitter client from the iPhone to the Zune.



    The news is noteworthy because Microsoft has not yet announced any plans for an App Store-like offering on the upcoming Zune HD, or any ability for third-party software to run.



    "My source is certain the offer was for the Zune, but because he turned it down early on, he doesn’t know the details regarding the OS or SDK," Gruber wrote. If true, the news could mean the Zune is more than just a media player and Web browser, as has already been revealed.



    What is Gruber's overall track record with respect to unnamed, unverifiable sources? I realize he's an insightful pundit but my memory is blanking on other instances like this where he quotes unnamed sources and whether they panned out.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I wonder how much a bucket is. Is it 2k? 10k? A free Zune Pass?



    To port an app to a new portable media player platform? Especially one of a questionable future, with in device market that's flat or possibly declining? I think he'd want to have all his costs paid for up front.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by l008com View Post


    Ever hear of fucking proof-reading? This site has SERIOUSLY gone downhill over the past year. You guys need to step it up or you're going to start losing viewers. That "MS in the red" article was inexcusable for a "news" website.



    Got MS long? Poor dear.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    owlowl Posts: 14member
    I'd bet this twitter client is Twitterific. There's no doubt Microsoft will try again.. on another victim.
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