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MSFT Bobbing Along Break Even
The markets are sliding in early trading as sluggish growth in Germany renews fears that the global economy continues to be in the toilet. Shares of MSFT are sideways, trying to find footing as the remainder of tech sells off. 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 (see below); 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 7.2x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.The Google / Motorola Acquisition: How Does It Affect Microsoft? (Business Insider)
Well, a few ways:
- Google Just Sandbagged Its Rivals: The whole thing was a rope-a-dope manoeuvre. Google never cared about the Nortel patents. It just wanted to drive up the price so that Apple and Microsoft would overpay. With the Motorola deal, Google picks up nearly 3x as many patents and more important, they just raised the stakes in a huge way for anyone who wants to stay in the smartphone market.
- Google’s OEM Partners Won’t Be Pleased: Google just pissed off all of its partners in the hardware business. It creates major channel conflicts which will likely help Microsoft with Windows Phone.
- Google Search Could Slow: Google is going to have a huge integration challenge on its hands. There’s a slim chance it affects the search business, which would help Bing.
- Microsoft Wanted Motorola: Or more likely, Microsoft was close to settling its patent dispute with Motorola, and signing a cross-licensing deal like it’s done with HTC and other companies.
None of this has stopped Windows Phone chief Andy Lees from running his mouth. Microsoft provides an “equal opportunity for all partners.” Really, Nokia?
Nokia To Launch Windows Phone On China Mobile (PC World)
Nokia plans on launching Windows Phone 7 handsets through China’s largest mobile phone carrier as the handset maker tries to fend off competition from Android devices (Motorola) and Apple’s iPhone. The smartphones would operate on China Mobile’s 3G network using the TD-SCDMA standard and bring life to Microsoft’s mobile platform. Nokia’s shares rocketed yesterday on take-out speculation. Didn’t Microsoft essentially already buy them? Ballmer’s going to have to write a bigger check.
Microsoft Discontinues E-Reader (CrunchGear)
Microsoft is officially putting their MS Reader system to bed. First made available in 2000, before e-readers were more than a twinkle in some researcher’s eye, the application was intended for the consumption of e-books on LCD screens. It was never much more than a hobby for Microsoft. But like so many Microsoft projects, it was ahead of its time.