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MSFT Off With The Markets
Stocks are bobbing along in early trading as European debt fears hang over the markets. Shares of MSFT are down with the rest of technology. Upcoming catalysts include second calendar quarter results to be released the third week in July; the company’s Analyst Day at its new developer conference (BUILD) on September 14th; Windows Phone 7 / Mango adoption with hardware partner Nokia; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; entrance in the tablet market at some point; making money in the online business, including integration of Skype and improving the search / display business; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox console. The stock currently trades at 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.The Two Sides Of Steve Ballmer (AllThingsDigital)
Whenever CEO Steve Ballmer is going to speak at a major public event, people have two simultaneous reactions; both excited anticipation and dread that chances are high that he’ll say something controversial. Which is what happened at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this week. Most effective was his acknowledgment of the “tiny” market share of Windows Phone 7. The most ineffective was pretending that Apple does not exist by belittling the competitor’s weakest point.
Inside The Skype Deal And Creating $6 Billion In Two Years (Fortune)
In September 2009, Silver Lake Partners and venture firm Andreessen-Horowitz bought Skype from eBay, where it had become a wildly popular yet deeply troubled tech company. The value of that deal was $2.75 billion. In May 2011 the new owners announced that they were selling the company to Microsoft for $8.5 billion. Six billion dollars in less than two years. The key to that success? Winning over the company’s mercurial founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, who owned the rights to the software underlying the service.
Microsoft Positioned As Online Gaming Leader With Xbox And Kinect (VentureBeat)
Consumers spent a total of $5.9 billion on both physical and digital online games in the first quarter, up 1.5% from a year ago, according to NPD. Consumers spent $2.03 billion in new video game console and PC software in the first quarter, compared to $2.26 billion a year ago. And it appears that the Xbox 360 is the console to go with if you want a huge online community; Microsoft moved roughly twice as many online-capable games as Sony’s PS3. And soon you’ll be able to play Xbox on your PC.
Bing Partners With U.K.-Based Classified Advertising Publisher (Bloomberg)
Yell Group, a U.K. classified advertising publisher, is partnering with Microsoft to provide online services. Yell will use Microsoft’s suite of cloud-computing tools, including Office 365, to create a market for small- and medium-sized businesses. Results from Yell’s online directory will appear on Bing. The tie-up with Microsoft is part of a strategy to expand Yell’s online operation as revenue from print advertising drops. Microsoft is amassing an awesome army of partners to take on Google Apps.
Mango Release Date Slips From Fall To Christmas (WP Central)
At the Imagine Cup 2011, Steve Ballmer gave his usual keynote speech where he finally gave a nod to the Windows Phone and dropped some info regarding the second generation Mango phones. Most notably that consumers should expect the phones to come out this Christmas. Some folks are interpreting his remarks as a sign of slippage on the release, noting how Christmas is more winter than fall.