THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Microsoft Is Staging A Comeback!

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Steve Ballmer hugging Ryan Seacrest


MSFT Up Ahead Of Earnings Thursday
Markets are up, despite the industrial production miss, as Goldman Sachs beats expectations. Shares of MSFT are up with the rest of tech. Upcoming events include calendar first quarter earnings to be announced on Thursday, April 19 at 5:30pm ET. Catalysts for the stock include Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Office 15 and Windows Phone 8; expansion in the smartphone market with primary hardware partner Nokia; strides in cloud computing; profitability in the online business, including integration of Skype; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 8.4x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Microsoft’s Plan To Beat Apple And Google (CNNMoney)
Microsoft is staging a comeback and, unlikely as this sounds, it’s one Apple and Google should be worried about. The recipe relies on three key ingredients: Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. The secret sauce, which features a dash of Bing and SkyDrive, is still simmering. Here’s the big vision: Whether you’re using your TV, PC, tablet, phone, or almost any other device that comes along, you’ll be able to accomplish all the same tasks through all the same platform. The form factor will change, but the core experience won’t. Ummm, Isn’t that what Apple already did?

Microsoft’s Head of China Quits (Bloomberg)
Microsoft reshuffled top executives at its European and Chinese operations, after the company said Simon Leung quit as chief executive of the greater China region. Leung will be replaced by Ralph Haupter, currently vice-president at Microsoft Germany. Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft U.K., will take over as chief operating officer for greater China from Michel van der Bel, who is moving into Frazer’s U.K. role. Leung will leave his position at the end of the month, and will serve as an adviser until August.

A Look At The First Windows 8 Tablets (CNet)
Intel is dishing on Windows 8 tablets. The company expects the first crop to come in two different sizes, have 9 hours of battery life, and an 11-inch “convertible” that turns into a regular laptop computer with keyboard. This is all based on the notion that Windows 8 will be commercially released in the second half of the year. Now, it’s up to hardware makers to fulfil these goals, and create cool must-have designs that inspire people to buy them.

Samsung Waiting For WP8 To Launch Handsets (WPCentral)
Samsung is holding off on releasing new Windows Phones until Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” is released. They will launch a new handset running the next version of Windows Phone in the second half of 2012 (October at the earliest). Samsung, like most OEMs, are waiting for the market share to increase and for higher demand to be present for handsets using Microsoft’s operating system. That demand might just be starting as the Lumia 900 sells out at AT&T.

Nokia And Microsoft Get Slammed By Their Partners (Business Insider)
More bad news for Nokia and Microsoft. Their line up of Lumia smartphones are getting slammed by executives at mobile carriers in Europe in a spectacularly harsh article. Reuters isn’t known as some Apple / Android fanboy blog, so the critiques it unearthed are pretty shocking. The unfortunate part is that carriers want Nokia to succeed so they don’t have to bend to Android and Apple anymore. They need that third competitor and they just aren’t seeing it with Nokia and Microsoft.

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