BI Intelligence Express: Microsoft's 2012 Focus: Windows Phone, Windows 8 & Xbox

Microsoft’s strategic areas of focus in 2012 are going to be Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Xbox. The company gave a widely attended keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday where it outlined its consumer strategy for 2012. 

Some key takeaways:

  • Nokia, HTC and AT&T will all push Windows Phone hard in 2012. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off Windows phones at the event and unveiled a partnership with AT&T to push the HTC Titan 2 and the Nokia Lumia 800, both highly regarded Windows phone, to consumers in 2012. 
  • Windows 8 is going to work on every platform and will support HTML5. Microsoft showed off Windows 8 optimised for tablets and optimised for ARM chips (even though the main Windows operating systems had always been optimised for Intel’s x86 architecture), and HTML5 apps including the popular game Cut the Rope. (Click here for our report on HTML5.)
  • Microsoft unveiled media partnerships to make the Xbox a connected TV and media device. A partnership with News Corporation will bring Fox News, Fox, IGN, and Wall Street Journal to the Xbox.

Click here to read the SAI liveblog of Microsoft’s CES keynote →

In other news…

BoAML downgrades Netflix and maintains its $85 price target. It thinks its 45% rise is unwarranted and so is downgrading the stock.

iOS market share surged in October and November on the back of huge iPhone 4S sales, according to data from market research firm NDP Group. This is probably a fluke—Android’s market share had been skyrocketing up until then. Multiple carriers and the iPhone 4S release have leveled the playing field somewhat, however.

Project crowdfunding startup Kickstarter raised a stunning $100 million for businesses last year. Kickstarter is a part of a new trend that is changing the way companies are financed, as we explain in this note →

Microsoft has released an HTML5 version of the popular iPhone game Cut the Rope, to show off Internet Explorer. This is a sign that HTML5 is getting to be as rich as native apps. We believe HTML5 will eventually replace apps, as we argue in our special report →

Apple’s enterprise sales in 2012 will be $19 billion, Forrester says. This would be huge growth for Apple, though still small relative to the overall market.

American media consumption is still dominated by traditional live television according to Nielsen’s annual State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report. Americans spend about 131 hours a month watching live TV versus a combined 27 hours spent web browsing, watching recorded TV, or viewing video on the internet or a mobile device. While the number of users accessing alternative sources of video is rising, live TV is still king of the hill for now and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for a while.

AOL didn’t have a single Project Devil ad on its homepage in the fourth quarter, according to a survey put out this morning by Macquarie Capital. Project Devil is AOL’s push to have one giant, splashy ad on a page instead of several smaller ads. Advertisers seem wary to invest in something expensive that only appears on one page. One positive: Macquarie says AOL had the highest percentage of ads from retailers among the sites it analysed.

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