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MSFT Faring Better Than The Rest
Markets are selling off again despite a better than anticipated jobless claims report. Shares of MSFT are off only slightly. 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.Nokia Expanding Into Entry Level Smartphones As Well (BusinessWeek)
Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop is betting Nokia can sell Windows Phones fast enough to compensate for the Symbian line it’s phasing out. Nokia’s Lumia, which started selling in Europe and is expanding into markets such as India and China where the smartphone battle is its early stages, has sold more than 1 million units as of January. Nokia has plans to expand its handset lineup to attract hobby photographers and first-time smartphone. No word on what operating system those handsets would launch with.
Is Windows 8 Another Vista? (The Register)
Windows 8 threatens to re-open Pandora’s Box that was Vista: a memory and CPU hog that most PCs struggled to run on the latest client operating system. A lot of software and many peripherals also didn’t work. This time, it’s not whether PCs are able to run the operating system, it’s that there are now different platforms thanks to Windows on ARM (WOA) and WOA won’t run the same way as its x86 cousins, throwing out those just about familiar and comfortable with the Windows PC as it is. It would now serve Microsoft to think about how it’s going to communicate the differences in Windows 8 to consumers who just want Windows to work and don’t care about things like architecture.
Office On The iPad, Of Course It’s Coming (PCWorld)
Of course Microsoft’s going to sell Office on the iPad. All of the top execs are behind the effort and have been for years. Why? Because there’s a lot of money to be made. The big question right now is what kind of Office. Microsoft’s grand strategy is to sell more applications. iPad Office will no doubt have hooks into Office 365, SkyDrive, SharePoint, and Lync. Microsoft is gunning for the corporate market that has already defected to the iPad. The consumer market is just gravy. Matt Rosoff at Business Insider disagrees; doesn’t think it’s coming out soon, if at all. And if so, Microsoft doesn’t know what to do with it yet.
Microsoft And Facebook Integrated Linked Pages (ZDNet)
Microsoft rolled out a new Bing feature known as Linked Pages, which allows users to choose links related to them to appear in their search results. To start linking, users need to log in using their Facebook IDs. This integration isn’t the first. But how are these Facebook-Bing tie-ins different from what Google is doing with Search Plus Your World? So far, Microsoft, unlike Google, doesn’t seem to have set off the privacy / antitrust watchers with its approaches. Microsoft’s strategy definitely seems to me to be more sensitive to the idea of opt-in.
Microsoft Files EU Antitrust Complaint Against The Google / Motorola Deal (FOSS Patents)
First Apple, now Microsoft is waiving the antitrust flag as well, claiming that a Google / Motorola combination would reportedly abuse Microsoft’s standard-essential patents, impede fair access to patents that are fundamental to regular device function. More specifically, “Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products.” Microsoft claims that Motorola is also demanding an impossibly high royalty fee per laptop. There is some irony in Microsoft’s charge, as Microsoft allegedly asks for some pretty hefty licensing fees from Android resellers.