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MSFT Up With The Markets
Stocks are rebounding a bit in early trading as unemployment numbers fell below 400K for the first time in four months. Shares of MSFT are up with the rest of technology. Upcoming catalysts include the company’s Analyst Day at its new developer conference (BUILD) on September 14; Windows Phone 7 / Mango rollout and adoption with hardware partner Nokia; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; any entrance in the tablet market; making money in the online business, including integration of Skype and improving the search / display business; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox console. The stock currently trades at 6.8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.
Motorola Wants To Use Windows Phone Too (FierceWireless)
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha says that his company is open to building smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. That’s quite the flip flop. First, the company was on board with Microsoft and then shunned it for an Android-only approach to now reconsidering using Windows Phone. Who wouldn’t reconsider if they could get the deal Nokia got? Could also be coming from concerns regarding the patent struggle facing many OEMs using Android. Motorola apparently has a lot in store for the second half of the year.
Nokia To Exit Symbian-Based Mobile Phones In North America (All Things Digital)
According to reports, Nokia is planning to end sales of its Symbian-based smartphones and feature phones in North America, effectively doubling down on its bet that Microsoft’s Windows Phone will reverse its recent market-share declines. They are banking that the new smartphones will offer a superior user interface and a better, cloud-enabled experience than its chief competitors. Then they’d better release Windows phones in many forms at lots of price points.
Microsoft Slowly Chipping Away At Google’s Search Share (comScore)
Bing did not gain any market share between June and July (14.4%), according to the latest numbers from comScore. But Yahoo was up a notch (from 15.9% to 16.1%), which amounts for a gain for Microsoft and a slight loss for Google (from 65.5% to 65.1%). While the month-to-month numbers don’t mean much, the trend is there: Microsoft is slowly chipping away at Google’s share. That said, those slight gains come at a huge cost with Microsoft’s Online group losing $2.6 billion on revenue of only $2.5 billion.
Skype Wants To Get To One Billion Users (Fortune)
Skype wants one billion users. Its partnership with Facebook will roll out fully over the next few weeks and could give Skype a big boost. But Facebook may not be enough to push Skype, which says it has 175 million active users of its own, to the billion mark. That’s one reason why Skype is eager to work with more mobile operators and the company already has some big carrier alliances like Verizon. This is where Nokia and Windows Phone and Xbox can come in handy.
New Mango Launch To Have Improved Voice Control To Help Catch Up In Tech Race (GigaOM)
Microsoft’s leaders have high hopes for the upcoming Mango software update and in particular, are looking to the improved speech technology (remember TellMe?) in the update to help Windows Phone claw back into the game. Microsoft integrated speech into the mobile operating system at its launch and is upping the ante with Mango improvements including voice-to-text messaging, map navigation, application launches and turning on the speakerphone with voice commands.