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Photo: Associated Press
MSFT Moves With Market
Markets were up on an upbeat earnings announcement by JP Morgan, which beat Street estimates, but by midday stocks took a tumble after Bernanke’s comments about no plans for a third round of stimulus. Shares of MSFT are flat while the rest of technology dove in the negative. Upcoming catalysts include second calendar quarter results to be released on Thursday, July 21 at 5:30pm E.T.; the company’s Analyst Day at its new developer conference (BUILD) on September 14; 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 8.5x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Location-Based Technology Likely Included In Future Windows-Based Phones (TechCrunch)
Microsoft has licensed augmented reality technology from specialist GeoVector, potentially opening the door to “pointing-based local search” being included in future mobile devices like Windows Phone handsets. Current patent applications from the company include an object-recognition system, similar to Google Goggles, in which a mobile device can identify an object shown to it.
Bing’s Market Share Up 41% From Last Year, But Flat Month-To-Month (comScore)
Bing’s market share remained flat in June, along with Google and everyone else. Bing now commands a whooping 14.4% of the search market, according to comScore. When combined with search partner Yahoo, that number jumps to 30.2%, still less than half of Google’s 65.5%. The promising news for Bing is it has grown nearly 41% year-over-year, while Google and Yahoo have remained relatively stagnant at 6.4% and 2.2%, respectively. Check out CHART OF THE DAY to see what Microsoft’s investment in Bing is actually getting them.
Kinect Could Turn Smartphones Into Robots (GigaOM)
Microsoft’s Robotics Developer Studio, a software platform for programming robots, gained support for the company’s popular Xbox Kinect accessory through a free download. Adding Kinect service support allows developers to create and program robots that use Kinect to see and hear. This type of technology could allow smartphones to power robots if Microsoft can shrink the system down. In the future, one may carry a smartphone during the day, but dock it in a mobile robot for use at home at night.
Microsoft Plans Retail Expansion To Help Move Consumer Products (Various via techDygest)
Microsoft plans to open 75 new Microsoft stores in the next two to three years. Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO and Walmart veteran, said the company also plans to open Microsoft Stores internationally. Microsoft currently operates 11 stores. That’s a massive expansion for a company that abandoned this strategy a decade ago. But it’s a really smart move, particularly to help Microsoft sell more Windows Phones. The company has had problems getting mobile carriers to push its phones over the iPhone and Android models.
Microsoft Continues To Go Downstream For Small Businesses (eWeek)
Western Digital plans to combine its storage technologies with Microsoft’s operating system to deliver a storage solution for the small business market to simplify connection, protection and online collaboration. The small and medium business (SMB) storage market is set to grow faster than the general IT market and Microsoft wants to grow its piece of that pie (at the expense of Google).
Windows Phone 7 Will Not Run On Any Tablet Device (TechCrunch)
Microsoft’s Windows Phone president Andy Lees said that Windows Phone 7 (or any other version of Windows Phone) would not land on tablets any time soon. And any computer running Windows 7 will be upgradable to Windows 8, pledging to keep hardware requirements level or even lower when the next version of Windows comes out. It sounds like Windows 8 (probably released in 2012) will start the clock ticking on the end of the Windows Phone 7 platform.