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MSFT Up In Red Tech Tape
Markets are up slightly in early trading on decent economic data including housing starts, initial jobless claims (last week) as well as Core PPI figures. Shares of MSFT are strong versus a down tech tape. Upcoming catalysts 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 8.0x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Windows Phone A Tiny 1.9% Market Share In Terms Of Sales (Gartner)
Android charges on as Google’s mobile OS reached a market share of more than 50% in the last quarter of 2011. With 75.9 million Android devices flying off the shelf during the holidays meant a share of 50.9%, with iOS coming in second with 23.8% (35.4 million) followed by Symbian with an 11.7% (17.4 million) and BlackBerry fourth at 8.8% (13.1 million). Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform was behind even Samsung’s Bada, with a tiny 1.9% market share. Hopefully Nokia’s Lumia U.S. launch will help solve that problem.
Cisco Challenging Microsoft’s Acquisition Of Skype In Europe (Electronista)
Cisco has posted a formal appeal of the EU approval for Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. The networking giant accepted the merger on a basic level, but it wanted the European Commission to have imposed interoperability requirements. Ensuring Microsoft adhere to standards would prevent it from trying to “control the future of video communications.” Cisco has a vested interest in keeping Skype on other platforms or of guaranteeing that its own option won’t be excluded from Windows or Windows Phone.
The Next Xbox Could Have 3D Based On Job Listing (BGR)
Microsoft is working to bring exciting new 3D features to future generations its Xbox gaming and media console. A new job listing doesn’t go into specifics, but the description makes it clear that Microsoft is taking 3D seriously. 3D gaming is growing in popularity thanks to the advent of more capable 3D HDTVs, but the video game industry has not even begun to scratch the surface when it comes to optimising content for 3D.
Good News For Developers, Porting From Windows 7 To 8 Might Actually Be Easy (VentureBeat)
Microsoft is aiming to make developing apps across Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 dead simple. That’s great and all, but it’s another thing entirely to see that in action. One developer reports that he was able to use 90% of his original code when porting to Windows 8 and it took only 2 weeks. That said, it’s still “buggy and incomplete.”
Tango Could Lead To Windows Phone Fragmentation, Or Longer Wait For Apollo (WP Central)
Tango, the upcoming version of Windows Phone for emerging markets, has been in the spotlight for some time. Microsoft will will lower the minimum RAM requirements to just 256MB, which could lead to some degree of fragmentation and will prevent users on low-end hardware being able to run certain apps. Camera hardware will be dropped to just 3MP as well. Because Tango is to target emerging markets, this could potentially mean the rest of the Windows Phone user base may not be receiving Tango as an update, and may experience a longer wait until Apollo is rolled out.