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Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
MSFT Sideways With Market
Stocks are seesawing today on reports of Greece reaching a debt deal. Shares of MSFT are currently off as the rest of tech is recovering. 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 8.2x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Nokia’s Putting All Its Eggs In The Microsoft Basket (SlashGear)
Nokia may be putting all of its weight into Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, according to the company’s European manager, Victor Saeijs. The executive told the Swedish news outlet Dagens Industri that the handset maker’s Windows Phone investments must prove successful, as there is no back-up plan. He says, “Plan B is that Plan A is to succeed.” Lumia handsets are some of the best-selling smartphones in Sweden, though performance in the U.S. market remains to be seen.
Guess Who Leads The World In Mobile Web Browsing? (Engadget)
Nokia sits atop the world’s market when it comes to mobile phone shipments and market share. But as it turns out, the Finnish manufacturer leads the way in terms of mobile web browsing, too. That’s according to the latest report from StatCounter, which found that Nokia handsets account for about 40% of the world’s mobile browsing, followed by Apple at around 29% and Samsung at 14%. Nokia’s global dominance is due to high penetration in emerging markets like India.
Facebook Has Microsoft As Ally To Battle Google (eWeek)
Microsoft is leveraging its minority stake in Facebook in many ways: the search engine bakes the social network’s “Like” button into its results, presents Facebook information on the results page and incorporates initiatives such as Docs.com. Combined, that gives Microsoft and Facebook a search engine, social network and cloud-productivity hub to battle Google’s assets in those areas. Granted, Bing trails Google in search-engine market share, and Docs.com is unlikely to run roughshod over Google Apps. However, Facebook won’t have to fight Google entirely alone.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview To Be Released At The End Of The Month (ZDNet)
Microsoft’s long-awaited Windows 8 release for public testing will likely be unveiled at a press event in Barcelona on February 29, occurring at the same time as the Mobile World Congress. Originally referred to as the Windows 8 Beta, the release will instead be called the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. That gives one a pretty good idea as to the target audience. The word Beta now generally means something is not finished with bugs and fixes. Microsoft is positioning this as more of a preview of what’s to come.
Microsoft Readies Windows 8 For App Store Games (The Verge)
Microsoft is preparing a line up of games for the Windows 8 operating system that consumers will be able to purchase on the upcoming Windows Store. The games will be part of a new app-like experience for Windows users, making it easier to download apps for a Windows PC. Microsoft will take 30% of the proceeds, the same percentage taken by Facebook and Apple. But Microsoft will reduce its take to 20% after an app reaches $25,000 in sales. The preview version of the store is expected in late February (likely the same event as above).
Google Picking Up Yahoo Search Share (Business Insider)
For the second month in a row, Yahoo lost significant share of U.S. searches, according to ComScore, falling 0.4 points to 14.1%. Google seems to have picked up most of its losses, and is now at 66.2% while Bing has been on a slow but upward trend and stands at 15.2%. Although Bing powers Yahoo’s search, Microsoft keeps all the money from search advertising on Bing, while Yahoo takes close to 90% of the ad money from searches on Yahoo. So this is bad news for Yahoo. Also, the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo has done nothing to stop Google.
The Post-PC Era Is Upon Us (Various via Scoople)
There’s been a debate lately as to whether the iPad can fit into the so-called PC category. Or is there room for a third category in the middle of a smartphone and a PC. Given the copious amounts of data released last week detailing the rise of the tablet and smartphones outpacing PC sales, there has been much debate about what the post-PC era is, when it will arrive, or whether it’s already here. We likely crossed the imaginary line from the “PC” era to the “post-PC” era at the end of 2011.
Microsoft Adds Another OEM To The Game, LG Launching Windows Phone (PocketNow)
LG is planning to introduce a mid-range Windows Phone. An image of the device has surfaced and it’s reportedly the same handset as the LG Fantasy that was revealed in a leaked roadmap in December. The smartphone is expected to sport a 4-inch super-bright NOVA display, 1GHz Snapdragon single-core processor, 8GB of internal storage, front-facing VGA camera, and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of 720p video capture. The device will likely be unveiled at Mobile World Congress later this month.