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MSFT Falling In A Down Market
Markets are falling after PMI falls to lowest levels in a year and initial jobless claims miss expectations. Shares of MSFT are opened in the positive on recent announcements, but is now falling the rest of tech in the negative. 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 7.8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Microsoft Screwing Windows Phone Users Is The Right Thing To Do (Gizmodo)
Microsoft isn’t going to let current Windows Phone customers upgrade to Windows Phone 8 (WP8), meaning they just told you not to buy a Windows Phone until later this year. What Microsoft is doing with Windows Phone 8 is what it has to do: laying cement for an OS that will last deep into the future (or at least as long as you’ll own your phone). WP8 will now share common code with the impending desktop and tablet versions of Windows 8. If this sounds complicated, it shouldn’t: by next year, every new Windows computer, slate, and phone will have the same modern software DNA.
Surface Is Already Crushing Dreams Of Windows Hardware Makers… (Read Write Web)
Microsoft Surface tablets are already causing problems for other companies who make tablets and raising questions about how Microsoft is treating the companies that build computers and mobile devices based on its software. LG just announced that it was discontinuing its tablet product line. The move gave instant credence to worries that Microsoft was screwing its hardware partners. Perhaps Microsoft believes that the OEMs have no other computer operating system options. Linux never got going, and Apple owns iOS and Google’s Android hasn’t set the tablet world on fire. This wake up call is supposed to get HP and Acer building Microsoft tablets, just like the Nexus phone got Android partners to build better smartphones.
…Including Acer: It’s Just A Ploy To Drive Windows 8 Adoption (iDownloadBlog)
Acer founder Stan Shih warns that the Surface is just a ploy to drum up excitement and drive Windows 8 adoption. This makes a lot of sense. Windows 8 is a major release that has the potential to alter the computing landscape substantially. For that to happen, Microsoft must prove that the software, based on the Windows NT kernel, can run smoothly on the tiniest smartphone screens to tablets to desktops. Therefore, the company would shoot itself in the foot by letting OEMs create sub-par Windows 8 experiences on tablets by compromising on features in order to trim down costs.
Beneath The Surface, Microsoft Is A Company In Transition (PandoDaily)
For everything that the Surface tablet does right, Microsoft seems determined to not take a stance on the future of computing. Sure, the Surface tablet shows that Microsoft is ready to enter a post-PC world, but the company is still trying to reconcile its PC background and its post-PC future. Today’s event seemed to be saying, “Look. We know you want a tablet, and we’re going to give you one; but, in case you want a PC-like experience, you can have that too.” Transition one. Transition two is the balancing act that Microsoft needs to perform between taking control of the hardware experience and pleasing its hardware partners.
Making A Play For The Wallet (WSJ)
Microsoft;s new WP8 software will support near-field communications, or NFC, a wireless technology used for digital-payments systems. It’s also including a new wallet program that will rely upon mobile operators for information such as credit and debit cards and loyalty and membership cards. “The goal is to replace the physical wallet in your pocket,” said Joe Belfiore, a manager in the Windows Phone team. “It’s the most complete wallet experience.” It’s a Google Wallet killer and much like the iPhone.
Forecast: Sunny With A Chance of Thunderstorms (TechCrunch)
The past few years haven’t been kind to Microsoft. But somehow that’s all changed in the past few days. Surface and WP8, along with Windows 8 and Xbox prove there’s still some fight left in the old dog. It’s a bit premature to say that the company is back and that the decades long string of mediocrity is over, but the company is clearly focused and we haven’t seen that from Microsoft in a long, long time. It also highlights how vulnerable they’ve made themselves by setting such high expectations. Can they deliver? We’ll see.
Microsoft Might Not Care If Surface Doesn’t Post Monster Sales (Wired)
Unlike Google, Microsoft has had plenty of experience making and selling hardware. But their core business remains licensing software to partners who make the machines that run it. Which raises the question: Does Microsoft even care if the Surface sells? Some analysts don’t think so. “I don’t think that they are positioning this as a big marketshare driver,” says Carolina Milanese, who monitors the tablet market for Gartner. “I think these products are more to showcase their OS and revamp their brand.