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MSFT Up In Shaky Market
Stocks took a dip in response to news that the Consumer Confidence Index for August came in at a two-year low, and Case-Shiller numbers confirmed that the housing double dip trajectory continues. Shares of MSFT are bucking the trend, up as the rest of tech wavers. 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 7.4x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Nokia’s Comeback Plan Has Microsoft All Over It (The Wall Street Journal)
With the release of its first Windows-based smartphone coming soon, Nokia is making a big bet: that the innovative design of its new phone will help it stand out and draw attention away from software problems the company has faced as it struggles to compete in the lucrative market. The company is due to launch its first Nokia handset based on the Mango version of the Windows Phone in the fourth quarter. Nokia hopes the phone will mark the start of its comeback and help it to regain market share. And, so does Microsoft.
Can Windows Phone Become Microsoft’s Next Billion Dollar Business? (Forbes)
With webOS dead (essentially) and the future of Research In Motion’s QNX looking bleak, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 remains one of the most promising alternatives to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms. Windows Phone 7 could turn out to be Microsoft’s next billion dollar business and gaining a significant share of the tablet market with Windows 8 (tablet) could boost revenues for Windows business even more.
Microsoft Is Putting That Cash To Use By Buying Users… (ReadWriteWeb)
Microsoft rolled out a special deal (and new spoof video) for its cloud Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service, in an effort to compete with Salesforce, Oracle and SAP. Microsoft will pay $150 in cash per user seat (for companies between 50-500 seats) for customers that switch to its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service. Customers must agree to two-year commitments.
…And Giving Things Away To Lure Developers (Twitter)
In response to HP’s decision to pull out of webOS hardware, Windows Phone director Brandon Watson has made a plea for developers working on the platform to jump ship to Microsoft’s OS: Microsoft would be willing to offer studios all the support they need to adopt Windows Phone. He tweeted “To any published webOS devs: we’ll give you what you need to be successful on Windows Phone,” Watson began, “Including free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.” The interest level has shocked even Microsoft.
Moving East, Microsoft Looks To Open A Store In D.C. (TechFlash)
Microsoft is opening a new retail store in suburban Washington, D.C., as the software giant makes a move to compete with Apple and penetrate the Eastern Seaboard, an area where Microsoft says it plans to make a big push with stores. The shop will be conspicuously placed in the Tysons Corner centre, the same place as one of Apple’s two original Apple stores. Microsoft plans to add 75 more stores over the next two to three years.