Microsoft disclosed in an SEC filing last week that it has sold
its entire 7.3% stake in Comcast. The company held nearly 151 million non-voting Class A shares of the cable operator as of last March, which Microsoft acquired seven years ago as part of an effort to become a player in interactive television and have yielded the software giant poor results.
As part of the deal, Comcast got a license to use an interactive programming guide developed by Microsoft in up to 5 million homes, but by 2007 was only using it in the Seattle area, and later on the cable operator pulled the plug on the system altogether to use its own home-grown guide instead. Today’s news of Microsoft unloading its Comcast stake come as the Redmond company weighs a range of cuts, including its first round of layoffs in 34 years of operation, as it deals with the weak economy.