Goldman downgrades Microsoft, blames iPad

“We believe the intrinsic value of shares cannot be unlocked if the status quo remains, and we have increased caution near term on a more elongated PC refresh cycle, combined with the newer threat of notebook cannibalization from tablets, where Windows does not yet have a presence,” write Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar and associates in the introduction to the report.

More advice about what to do about this in the linked article: Goldman downgrades Microsoft, makes case for major overhaul.

I’d skip over the recommendation to break up the company but the observation that Microsoft might face earnings threat from iPad is provocative. Usually it takes a few years for the incumbent to feel pain and react. The pain might be sooner than expected though the reaction might still take some time as the Windows Phone response to iPhone is taking its sweet time.