I will be taking a few days off after the 4th, so posting will be light the rest of this week. Meanwhile, Microsoft must be hoping a lot of people will be out of the office this week, or at least not paying much attention. After garnishing some good notices for its SmartGlass and Surface announcements, Redmond let the bad news slip this week: a $6.2 billion write-off of aQuantitative, the ad-placement agency it bought in 2007 in a failed bid to compete with Google and DoubleClick in placing display ads online. The write-down will wipe out Microsoft’s profit for its fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30. The company is also about to get hit by an expose in Vanity Fair highlighting the gory details on why Microsoft for so long was institutionally incapable of competing with the likes of Apple and Google. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.