Microsoft acknowledges what analysts have also been pointing out – that its growth will start to slow over the next few years. But Microsoft’s cash on hand is starting to raise some eyebrows. Cash and short-term investments are currently above forty billion dollars, and increasing by a billion dollars a month. As described in this article, “No other nonfinancial firm has more liquid money at its disposal, and only a handful of banks do. It’s more cash than Ford, ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart have combined, and nearly four times as much as Intel, the tech company with the next largest cash balance. It is enough to buy the entire airline industry — twice. Or all the gold in Fort Knox, four times over. It is enough to buy 23 space shuttles or every major professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey team in America.” Microsoft is now arguably as much an investment firm as a software manufacturer. An interesting question beginning to occupy the minds of the analysts is, why has Microsoft allowed so much cash to pile up? The answer may be a road map to the future of the company. Keep watching . . .