THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Microsoft Surface Questions That Need To Be Answered

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Steve Ballmer Microsoft CEO

Dan Frommer, Business Insider

MSFT Up Big On Tablet  
The markets are blazing despite a big miss in job openings. Shares of MSFT are up nearly 4% on the heals of its tablet announcement. Catalysts for the stock include Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Office 15 and Windows Phone 8; expansion in the smartphone market with primary hardware partner Nokia; strides in cloud computing; profitability in the online business, including integration of Skype; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 7.5x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Analyst Revises Earnings On Windows 7 PC Deal (Credit Suisse via Business Insider)
Credit Suisse analyst Philip Winslow is revising up earnings estimates for Microsoft this year after the company announced an offer in which anyone who buys a Windows 7 PC before the end of the year will be able to get a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $14.99. Winslow says that “based on a more tablet-friendly UI, improved power consumption, Instant-On, and other capabilities, we believe that Windows 8 will have a more meaningful position in tablets than the market appreciates, which we believe will serve as a catalyst for the stock.”

Microsoft’s New Tablet: The Round Up (Business Insider)
Microsoft announced its new tablet yesterday and Business Insider was on had to live blog the event. It really highlighted that Ballmer was so obsessed over Google that now he’s trying to catch up to Apple. Here are the photos of the new tablet along with specs and a flashy new video. Some are calling it a game-changer, at least for Microsoft.

The Surface Won’t Stop The iPad (Topeka Capital Markets via Business Insider)
Microsoft’s new Surface tablet will do nothing to slow down the iPad, says Apple analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets. “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the compliments from Microsoft poured down like a torrential storm on Apple last night. At the same time, this event indicates to us that Microsoft is still searching for its own identity in the post-PC era, something that has come naturally for Apple with the rise of the mobile Internet.” He says Microsoft’s tablet is a bigger threat to Android than Apple. He also says Microsoft might be able to carve out a spot for itself in the enterprise world.

Surface Questions That Still Need To Be Answered (Gizmodo)
Microsoft Surface devices could be one of the biggest jumps forward in product design in recent memory. Could, because there’s still so much we don’t know:

  1. Is mobile data built in?
  2. What about the specs that matter?
  3. How much does it cost?
  4. When is it available?
  5. Does that keyboard-case even work?

The Surface has a boatload of promise. But that’s a far cry from living up to expectations.

Windows 8 Preview Release Slow To Gain Traction (Chitika)
A new study looks at the adoption rate for the recently launched Windows 8 Release Preview and Microsoft is seeing less than stellar numbers. The figures for the latest OS market share for Windows shows Windows 8 is seeing only 0.11%, down 0.02% since April. One of the potential reasons could be that some of the traffic came from reviewers who were loaned Windows 8 tablets by Microsoft for the purpose of this review. Another reason could be that Windows 8’s metro interface looks good on the tablets but when it comes to laptop or desktop, the users could be left confused.

Xbox 720 Slated To Roll Out Next Year According To Leaks (The Register)
An allegedly leaked Microsoft presentation which details next-gen Xbox plans claims the next Xbox will feature a Blu-ray Disc optical drive, support for augmented reality glasses and the second-generation of Kinect, all for a retail price of $300. If the plans are true, the ‘Xbox 720’ will roll out in 2013. The 56-page document dated August 2010, also says the console will feature graphic capability 4-6x better than the current hardware and goes on to detail tech such as Smart Glass, which was announced by Microsoft at E3, long after this particular document first surfaced.

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