THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Windows Phone Making Strides, Gets Third Marketing Manager

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MSFT Off With Markets  
The market is in the negative on a big downward revision in the housing index as well as ongoing slowing growth fears for China. Shares of MSFT are off near the flatline while the rest of tech is tanking. Upcoming catalysts 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 8.6x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.

Microsoft Says Windows Phone Will Pass Apple In China (BusinessWeek)
Microsoft said its Windows Phone operating system will propel it past Apple’s iPhone in China’s smartphone market as its partners release devices costing as little as $158. Passing Apple is an “interim goal” as the company’s longer-term objective is to displace Android as the local market leader, Simon Leung, Microsoft’s chairman and chief executive officer for the Greater China region. No time frame was given. China is poised to become the world’s biggest smartphone market in 2012.

Microsoft Attempts To Win iPad Developers To Windows 8 (ZDNet)
In an attempt to attract iPad developers, Microsoft has posted a case study comparing iPad app development to Windows 8 Metro-style tablet development. The case study isn’t a how-to. It is more of a visual comparison, showing how an iOS-based photo journal app works and looks on the iPad as compared to a Windows 8 tablet. The brief article focuses on the differences in layout and navigation; commands and actions; orientation and views; notifications; and touch gestures.

Microsoft Puts The Kabosh On Buying Apple Products With Firm Money (Various via Scoople)
Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, Operations Group (SMSG) may be enforcing a new policy to prevent employees from using corporate funds to buy Apple products. In an alleged email from SMSG CFO Alain Crozier, he says that “within SMSG we are putting in place a new policy that says that Apple products should not be purchased with company funds.” Microsoft’s SMSG is comprised of more than 46,000 employees worldwide and includes the company’s front-line consumer and business sales, service and support staff. Why that would have ever be allowed is a mystery.

Microsoft Taps McCann Manager To Head Windows Phone Marketing (BusinessWeek)
Microsoft named Thom Gruhler, who oversaw advertising campaigns for telecom and technology clients at McCann Worldgroup, to run Windows Phone marketing. Gruhler, 42, was global managing partner of telecom and technology at the agency and before that he ran the Verizon Wireless account. He becomes the third marketing vice president to try selling Microsoft’s revamped Windows Phone software.

Windows Phone Outsells Symbian in U.K. Handsets (BusinessWeek)
Nokia’s new smartphone platform, Microsoft;s Windows Phone 7, outsold its older smartphone system in the U.K. this year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. About 2.5% of U.K. phone buyers chose a Windows Phone compared with 2.4% for Espoo, Nokia’s older Symbian line. Nokia’s Lumia 800 accounted for 87% of Windows Phone 7 sales in Europe. Android phones and the iPhone remained the top selling smartphone systems in the U.K.

The Best Thing That’s Happened To Microsoft Is Android’s Tablet Failure (Business Insider)
The best thing that’s happened to Microsoft in the last twelve months has been Google’s complete and utter failure in the tablet market. If Android had been able to gain even the slightest bit of traction, it would have been really bad news for Microsoft. As it is, Microsoft will be able to enter the tablet market (for real this time) with Windows 8, and it will only have to compete with Apple. Fighting Apple is better for Microsoft than fighting Google.

Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer Worldwide For A Day (PCWorld)
Google’s Chrome browser overtook Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, all versions combined, to become the number one browser for a single day last weekend, according to StatCounter. Chrome was the most-used browser in Brazil, India and Russia on Sunday, enough to put it top of StatCounter’s worldwide browser ranking, although it remained in second or third place in China, Germany and the U.S. By Monday, when many Internet users returned to work, it had slipped back behind Internet Explorer again. In a recent Scoople survey, 77% of respondents said they don’t use IE with any regularity.

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