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MSFT Sideways In Positive Market
The market is rebounding as inflation stays flat and retail sales come in line. Shares of MSFT are up with tech. 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 Ups Social Search With New Design (GigaOM Pro)
Last week, Microsoft showed off what it called the biggest redesign of its Bing search engine in its three-year history, featuring a results page loaded with social features. The company seems to have achieved its stated goal to balance social signals and an easy way to ask friends for advice “without compromising the core search experience.” Basically, Microsoft just blew away Google in terms of social search, adding a new Sidebar that shows your contacts and activity on all your social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Skype For Windows Phone Should Have Stayed In Beta (PC Mag)
Microsoft-owned Skype is the oldest and most popular way to make and receive free video calls, talk long-distance for cheap, and exchange free IMs. Unfortunately the awesomeness didn’t migrate to Skype’s app for Windows Phone. Skype 1.0 for Windows Phone is a slick app that has been completely undermined by its inability to run in the background as you use your phone for other purposes because “Mango” lacks the ability to run a long-term network connection in the background. Releasing a communications app without multitasking support is bizarre, especially coming from the company that makes both the OS and the app.
Microsoft Executive Explains Why Zune Sucked, Blames Apple (GeekWire)
Robbie Bach admitted that Microsoft’s music player Zune was a mistake. “The portable music market is gone and it was already leaving when we started,” he says. Apple already had its hands around the music industry’s neck with the iPod and iTunes. There was just no room for something like the Zune. The Zune was never a core business for Microsoft, but the company is coming from a similar position with Windows Phone today, so hopefully they’ve learned their lessons.
Get Ready For More Than A Dozen Windows Tablets For The Holidays (CNet)
The first wave of Intel-based Windows 8 tablets are expected to land in retail stores in November, according to a source. “The schedule is tight. Looking at what Windows is trying to achieve not only with a new OS, but a new OS that needs to run four to five architectures — three ARM, Intel, and AMD,” according to the source. And don’t expect just tablets. “More than 50 per cent” of the “more than a dozen” designs will be hybrids, aka convertibles. Those designs combine aspects of a traditional physical keyboard-based laptop and tablet. Even HP is back in the game.