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MSFT Rising With Tech
Markets are wavering as China’s slowdown is staggeringly bad despite sinking initial jobless claims. Shares of MSFT are up with tech. Catalysts for the stock include the BUILD developer conference starting October 30; Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Office 15 and Windows Phone 8; expansion in the smartphone and tablet markets; strides in cloud computing; profitability in the online business; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 6.8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.
Surface Tablet to Come With Stripped-Down Office Suite (Wired)
Microsoft is planning to ship a stripped-down, Preview version of Office 2013 on its Windows RT devices. Office Home and Student 2013 RT won’t come with some staple features, including macros, third-party add-ins or VBA (visual basic for applications) support. And Microsoft will reportedly remove other smaller features as well. Microsoft is choosing to slim Office RT down to make sure that the apps are more reliable and don’t have a significant impact on the battery life of the devices. Microsoft’s decision could hurt the deployment of Windows RT tablets in enterprise situations, where users depend on full-featured Office functions.
Microsoft Already Plans For Next Surface Tablet (TechRadar)
The Surface tablets that Microsoft will start selling in October are only the first of a planned family of Windows devices and Surface 2.0 is already under development. The Surface team is “currently building the next generation devices that fully express the Windows vision, ” according to more than a dozen job adverts posted on the Microsoft Careers site this summer. Microsoft is expected to keep the details of what’s in the second-generation Surface a secret, but we are likely to see the result of those “fast-paced product development cycles” sooner rather than later. There’s been a new iPad every year; it wouldn’t be surprising to see a new Surface, with a Windows RT update, just as often.
Why Google And Microsoft Will Beat Apple In The Tablet Market (Forbes)
Microsoft and Google are latecomers in a brutal industry that has already taken casualties (Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Research In Motion). But, perhaps, they have learned a thing or two from the mistakes of those that came before it. Instead of taking Apple head on, each has decided to target its own specific niche within the tablet industry. With its Windows 8/RT operating systems, Office Suite and built-in keyboard, the Microsoft Surface has bridged the gap between laptop and tablet, appealing to users who seek the full functionality of a laptop rather than a smartphone in a tablet. What does this mean for investors? Microsoft should be able to take away market share in the tablet industry from Apple.
Acer Is Pissed Microsoft Is Not Only Competing With Them, But Didn’t Tell Them (Financial Times via Business Insider)
It was only a matter of time before one of Microsoft’s manufacturing partners spoke up about the company’s decision to go it alone in producing a tablet. Acer’s chairman and CEO J.T. Wang thinks Microsoft’s Surface tablet will be “negative for the worldwide ecosystem” in computing. Acer, in particular, appears to be angry not just at the extra competition, but at being kept so completely out of the loop. Microsoft didn’t tell Acer about the Surface until just before the public announcement and the company still hasn’t let Acer know how much the tablet will sell for.