THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Microsoft May Finally Be Getting The Hang Of Design

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Apple vs. Microsoft Store

Photo: Matt Rosoff Business Insider

MSFT Up With Tech 
Stocks are booming in early trading on European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s comments to preserve the euro. Shares of MSFT are up with the rest of tech. Catalysts for the stock include Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Office 15 and Windows Phone 8; expansion in the smartphone and tablet markets; strides in cloud computing; profitability in the online business; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 6.5x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Microsoft Surface To Take On iPad’s 2/3rds Market Share… (iDownloadBlog)
The iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, accounting for more than two out of three tablets sold during the second quarter of this year, according to Strategy Analytics. Specifically, the iPad rose from 62% in the year-ago quarter to 68% global market share. Global tablet shipments reached 25 million units, a 67% increase over the 14.9 million tablet units in the year-ago quarter. This means all of Apple’s competitors combined sold eight million tablets. Android captured 29% and Windows tablets just 1%, though Microsoft is betting that the upcoming release of Windows 8 and its own Surface tablet will put it back in the game.

…By Going After The Enterprise (ReadWriteWeb)
Apple blindsided Microsoft with the phenomenal success of the iPad. That success is now eating away at Windows PC sales. To turn the tide, Microsoft is counting on business users, a market where Apple remains relatively weak and CEO Steve Ballmer’s crew retains several critical advantages. Microsoft’s counter-punches will include Windows 8 and Office 13, a combination Apple can’t match in the business world. “This is Microsoft’s edge and either through policy or actual purchases businesses have the capability of being kingmakers here and could cause Apple to be eclipsed again,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group.

LinkedIn To Integrate With Next Version Of Office (Business Insider)
LinkedIn announced on its blog this evening that Microsoft will support integration with the social network in the upcoming version of Office. Users will be able to log in with their LinkedIn credentials in Outlook and see profile information like photos and status updates for anyone who emails them. LinkedIn data will also be added to contact cards in Outlook. Microsoft Office is available as a free consumer preview now and is expected to formally launch early next year.

Could Microsoft Finally Be Getting The Hang Of Design? (Design Shack)
Could it be that the king of clutter is finally beginning to grasp the concept of basic layout principles and consistent branding? For all its capital and software talent, Microsoft is a company that consistently misses the mark in the visual design department. Historically, the only thing consistent about their visual identity is that it’s completely inconsistent. The good news: they’re beginning to attack this issue head on. The first noticeable point where Microsoft finally decided to step up and make a bold design statement was with Windows 8 and the new “Metro” UI. Hats off to the hardworking folks behind these changes.

Microsoft Continues To Get Companies To Pay For Non-Microsoft Software (TechDirt)
Microsoft has convinced Amdocs to fork over some cash for running a Linux-based service. While details are sparse, Microsoft made sure in the press release that it was clear that the licence was for “Amdocs’ use of Linux-based servers in its data centres.” This really does seem somewhat offensive. Microsoft is getting other companies to pay it for software that it had absolutely nothing to do with (and which many people use, in part, because it keeps them away from having to pay Microsoft).

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