David Talley from The Motley Fool has a mostly positive outlook for Microsoft in 2012:
Remember Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), that great growth company that created enormous wealth for its shareholders in the 90’s? Remember the innovations that came from that company? Fortunately for you (because it creates an investing opportunity), most people have forgotten that Microsoft, instead focusing on a company that has struggled to innovate and whose stock price has reflected that fact. However, there is much to get excited about for Microsoft.
I suppose the “innovations” Talley is referring to include Windows 95 and Internet Explorer, but his point about crazy profits and value to the shareholder is valid. I agree that Microsoft’s stock price has been in the dumps for the last decade, despite the fact that they still rake in piles of cash with Windows and Office. The real action and growth potential is in the mobile market, so their deal to partner with Nokia could be seen as a brilliant move to inject Windows Phone into a market pretty much locked up by Apple and Google.