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An attendant checks a computer during the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system in Hong Kong in this October 26, 2012 file photo. Personal computer sales plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, as tablets continue to gain in popularity and buyers appear to be avoiding Microsoft Corp's new Windows 8 system, according to a leading tech tracking firm.
An attendant checks a computer during the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system in Hong Kong in this October 26, 2012 file photo. Personal computer sales plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, as tablets continue to gain in popularity and buyers appear to be avoiding Microsoft Corp's new Windows 8 system, according to a leading tech tracking firm.
(Bobby Yip/Reuters)

SCOTT BARLOW

Microsoft, the first technology utility stock

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Microsoft Corp.’s ham-handed history of product innovation, combined with a steadily-shrinking personal computer industry, means any investment in the company’s stock is likely to be dead money at best.