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MSFT Off With Market
Factory orders on the rise, however less than expected, and the auto industry is looking to smash estimates. Shares of MSFT are in the negative. 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 8.7x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Kinect Hacks Get Their Due, Microsoft Picks The Top 11 (VentureBeat)
Microsoft is announced eleven finalists in the ultimate Kinect hacking showdown: a spot in a TechStars-backed accelerator just for Kinect-based ideas. Kinect hacks have been something many been keeping an eye on for a while, and it turns out Microsoft has been equally interested. The founders getting ready for an intensive program that includes a $20,000 investment to kick off development, an Xbox development kit, a Kinect for Windows sensor plus the accompanying SDK, and office space and training. Click to see the list of finalists.
Will Yahoo Torch The Microsoft Deal, Move To Google Or Die Completely? (Search Engine Watch)
The two big rumours keep swirling: Yahoo is discussing a renegotiation of its search and advertising deals with Microsoft, and Yahoo is “in active discussions” with Google about Google taking over Yahoo’s search business. Yahoo and Google have history dating back to 2000 and as recently as 2008. One of the rumours has Yahoo leaving search completely. Nothing is set in stone at this point. Perhaps we’ll learn more on the restructuring next week.
Facebook Going After Internal Search, But Not Likely Using Bing (Bloomberg)
A former Google engineer is leading a team that’s working to improve Facebook’s search engine. Lars Rasmussen, formerly of Google Wave and Google Maps, understands the changing face of search. The blue links aren’t quite the whole picture of what you want on the web anymore. More relevant is what your friends are uploading. Currently, Facebook is leaving that billion dollar market on the table. Could Bing help? Probably, but Bing searches the Web and Facebook wants to do something more specific, but they shouldn’t rule it out. Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider has a strong opinion about Facebook search.
Motorola Wants $4 Billion A Year From Microsoft For Xbox Patents (Bloomberg)
Microsoft said Motorola (aka Google) demanded $4 billion a year in patent royalties for use of technology critical to functioning of the Xbox video-gaming system. According to them, “Motorola’s demand was so over-reaching that no rational company could ever have accepted it or even viewed it as a legitimate offer.” The case is part of a broader dispute in which Motorola is seeking to block sales of the Xbox, and Microsoft wants a ban on U.S. imports of Motorola phones that run on Android. Microsoft only generated $8.9 billion in sales last year on the entertainment division, Motorola’s demands would be nearly half.
Will Institutional Investors Dump Large-Cap Tech Going Into Summer? (Seeking Alpha)
Large-cap tech has outperformed the S&P 500 by about 15% during the past several months of the now nearly six-month rally. Since the Nasdaq has heavily outperformed most of the other major U.S. stock indexes since January by double digits, it is likely that many institutions will need to rebalance their portfolios. Additionally, given that technology stocks tend to outperform in the winter months and the summer tends to be a slow season for retail, it makes sense for institutions to trim or reduce the weighting to large-cap tech.