THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Ballmer rumoured To Step Down After Windows 8 Launch

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MSFT Up Strong Vs. The Market
The market is rallying on released economic metrics. The number of people signing up for jobless benefits fell last week, while housing starts and building permits rose last month. Shares of MSFT are up stronger than its peers. 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 7x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.

Ballmer rumoured To Step Down After Windows 8 Launch (InfoWorld)
That’s soon, all things considering. Steve Ballmer is rumoured to resign sometime after the launch of Windows 8. It is pure speculation, however, it could be right on the money. Ballmer may be stubborn and bombastic, but he’s not dumb. Nor must he be thrilled by Microsoft’s lackluster stock performance during his tenure. He also has to be aware of the monumental nature of his biggest failures; Vista, mobile and the cloud. It’s time to go. The key question is who will succeed him?

The Difference Between Apple And Microsoft Is Leadership (So Entrepreneurial via Business Insider)
Nick Hughes, who writes at So Entrepreneurial, would be thrilled about Ballmer’s stepping down. He says the difference between Apple’s success and Microsoft’s lackluster performance can be summed up in one word: Leadership. Steve Jobs understands leadership, vision, inspiration and branding are vital to business success. He gets it. Steve Ballmer is flat out not an inspirational leader nor a visionary.

Microsoft Sells A Copy Of Office Every Second (The Wall Street Journal)
In all the excitement and buzz that surrounds the cloud, it is worth stopping for a moment to consider one thing; Microsoft still makes a pretty decent business from selling products. Microsoft said they had been selling a copy of Office every second: that’s about 31.5 million copies. The number could be higher, assuming Microsoft is counting only Office 2010 sales and not Office for Mac 2011, which came out late last year.

Daily Trader: Microsoft Is A Cheap Stock To Own (Seeking Alpha)
Yes, the stock is boring. Why would you pay 80x for Amazon or 300x for when Microsoft does the same things these companies do, only much better and when you can buy the stock for 1/10 to 1/50th of the price? Buying undervalued growth works better over the longer term.

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