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Photo: Associated Press
MSFT Up Strong With Market
Stocks are climbing today on news of better-than-expected retail sales. Shares of Microsoft are up nearly 1.5% with the rest of the tech sector also trading in the positive. Upcoming catalysts include second calendar quarter results to be released in July followed by the company’s annual Analyst Day; 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 (retooling the Bing / Yahoo! partnership or just buying them outright); and continued evolution of Kinect and the next generation Xbox console. The stock currently trades at 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Microsoft Xbox Shines In Declining Gaming Industry Trend (Bloomberg)
According to NPD Group, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the top-selling video-game console in the U.S. in April, bucking a software-led decline that saw industry sales slump to their lowest levels since October 2006. Xbox 360 sales increased 39% to 270,000 units from a year earlier and gained 7-percentage points of market share. In comparison, Sony saw hardware sales increase 14% while the overall industry hardware sales dropped 5% and software declined 19%.
Xbox Live To Be Built Into PCs (Gizmodo)
Microsoft is looking to make the user interface on its Windows Phones, Windows 8 PCs/tablets and Xbox console more similar in appearance, as Windows executive Paul Thurrott noted at E3 last week. But it seems Microsoft’s plan goes beyond just the user interface and will involve the company’s growing family of Xbox Live entertainment properties, as well. Firstly, Xbox Live “will be built into the PC”. Secondly, Zune will cease living on as the “entertainment brand” for Microsoft. Hopefully its pretty interface will get a re-brand.
Comcast Bringing Skype (Microsoft) To Subscribers (All Things Digital)
Comcast plans to let some of its customers use Skype on their TV sets. The two companies say equipped Comcast subscribers will be able to use the Web video messaging service on their HD sets in the near future. And by equipped I mean subscribers will need a camera, adaptor box and special remote control to use the service. Neither company has provided many details about the plan; like how much it will cost. Comcast has about 23 million customers in the U.S.
Microsoft Says PCs To Remain Relevant For Content Production (Bloomberg)
Orlando Ayala, a senior vice president at Microsoft, says the PC will remain relevant even with the growth in sales of tablet devices and mobile phones. He encourages naysayers to focus less on the device and more on the scenario saying, ”tablets are good for consuming content, not for producing content. PCs are actually good for mostly producing content. The fact that Windows 7 already has 350 million users in less than a year speaks to the fact that the PC will continue to be very relevant.” Take that!
Google Retails Search Share In May, Microsoft Stalls (comScore)
According to comScore, Google retained its seemingly locked in 65% U.S. search share through May, notching 65.5% in May compared to 65.4% for April. Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing search engines maintained their exact same search share from April, posting 15.9% and 14.1%, respectively. After seeing nine months of growth in the U.S. search market, Microsoft’s Bing fell flat. It was fun while it lasted.
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