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MSFT Climbing Up In Strong Market
Despite Walmart’s big miss, stocks are advancing in early trading as euro zone finance ministers secured a deal for Greece over the weekend. After last week’s surge, shares of MSFT erased early morning losses and are currently climbing up in the positive. 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 8.4x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Microsoft Working On Competing Product To iCloud (AppleInsider)
Microsoft is readying a significant update to SkyDrive in Windows 8. Leaked screenshots of the revamped file syncing and cloud storage service show that a Mac OS X client could be poised to compete with Apple’s iCloud. SkyDrive images show demo downloads for Windows or Mac apps that will allow for automatic syncing, storage and remote access to files from the cloud. The Metro-style cloud-based Windows 8 app will share characteristics with Dropbox in that users can sync and backup certain files automatically, though SkyDrive allows limited remote access to files not synced to the cloud.
Microsoft Adds Former Symantec And IBM Executive To Board (TechCrunch)
Microsoft has added John W. Thompson to its board of directors, bringing the board to 10 members. Thompson currently serves as CEO of Virtual Instruments, which offers products that ensure the performance and availability of applications deployed in virtualized and private cloud computing environments. Thompson also served as chairman and CEO of Symantec from 1999 to 2009 and held executive positions at IBM. Good move in terms of advising on the cloud computing front.
Microsoft Will Win The Tablet War In The Enterprise (Business Insider)
I don’t buy it. More enterprises are switching to the iPhone and Mac. Others believe that while the iPad may continue to win in the consumer market, but Windows 8 tablets may do better in enterprises (that haven’t already converted because Microsoft is so late to the party). That’s because they will help meet rising demand from employees to use a tablet at work, while still pleasing IT directors worried about security and management, and purchasing directors worried about cost. Specifically, Windows 8 tablets will over more control with easier management, better security as well as be cheaper on the hardware front.
Microsoft Isn’t Giving Up On Music Service Strategy (Electronista)
Microsoft has had trouble getting traction for its attempts at music services, but that’s not stopping the company from looking to redo its music service strategy. Those said close to major label discussions say that Microsoft is aiming for a mix of streaming and downloads with the focus on the Xbox and an unnamed Windows Phone (most likely Nokia). Both the service and the phone could be ready by the end of the year. It’s not clear how this would differ from the Zune Marketplace and the Zune Pass, both of which didn’t fare so well.
Windows Blowing Past Office As The Most Important Business Line (Business Insider)
For the longest time, Windows was the most important part of Microsoft’s business. Turns out that’s changing. The Business Division, which is home to Office group, has blown past the Windows division as growing percentage of the company’s operating profit. The two are symbiotic. The more people using Windows, the more people will use Office. However, the Windows business is in decline as mobile gadgets like the iPad and iPhone and Android phones become more and more popular. This is why Microsoft should put Office on every platform.
Age And Income Play A Major Role In Smartphone Penetration (Nielsen)
While overall smartphone penetration stood at 48% in January, those in the 24-34 age group showed the greatest proportion of smartphone ownership, with 66% saying they had a smartphone. In the same age group, 8 of 10 of those that had received a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone. Income also plays a significant role. Older subscribers with higher incomes are more likely to have a smartphone. For example, those 55-64 making over $100K a year are almost as likely to have a smartphone as those in the 35-44 age bracket making $35-75K per year.