A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. Attributed to Senator Dirksen is a great quote for today now that we know that Microsoft has pulled out its investment in Comcast
which has yielded a doubling of its billion dollars invested in 1997.
Back then the goal was Microsoft set top boxes, but the investment did not yield a contract. It did not yield the intended result. That's a big issue when investment strategy is tied to specific intentions, will the monies be a good investment independent of specific project.
For example, speaking of billions, the Clearwire write-down has been hard to watch at both Intel and Time Warner, but these were paper write downs may yield the same results as Microsoft in the end.
Intel's Mobile Internet Device vision is having problems becoming the experience of the WiMAX user. Until the iPhone, Blackberry's were more impressive then dongles while traveling, but the Wireless Internet was actually a dongle dominated domain.
Now the promise of applications that take advantage of the device is the testament as to what we should expect for the future.
Clearwire's 3 Billion in WiMAX is dwarfed by either China's 20 Billion or Verizon's 9 Billion commitment to LTE. But if the consumer is going to drive demand, I am not clear the story is making sense in relation to consumer demand. Clearwire's pricing sounds amazing, but can the build out drive a market that may be slow to adopt at this point.
So with the billions in commitment the real story has yet to be delivered.