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MSFT Up In Down Market
Stocks are off as the Philly Fed manufacturing numbers look bad and initial jobless claims miss estimates. Shares of MSFT are up despite a down tech tape. 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.
Baidu Wants A Platform On Top Of All Mobile Operating Systems (TechCrunch)
Baidu wants to see Baidu Cloud make an appearance on all major mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone and iOS. Baidu Cloud is a suite of apps tied into Baidu’s storage, music, and search offerings. The company is interested in eventually producing a Windows Phone with Baidu Cloud, as well as an iOS device, although how the latter would be accomplished is unknown given Apple’s controlling attitude toward its devices. The Baidu Cloud which launched yesterday operates atop a forked version of Android 2.3.
Steve Ballmer Should Have Been Fired (Forbes)
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer is the worst CEO of any large publicly traded American company. Not only has he single handedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets but in the process he has sacrificed the growth and profits of not only his company but “ecosystem” companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and even Nokia. Microsoft peaked at $60 per share in 2000, just as Mr. Ballmer took the reins, it is now in the low $30s, fighting back from recent $20s. Best he be retired to enjoy his fortune rather than deprive investors and employees of building theirs. Ouch. Do you agree that Steve Ballmer is one of the worst CEOs?
Just When You Think Microsoft’s Mobile Share Can’t Get Worse, It Does (Information Week)
In the latest sign that Microsoft’s high-stakes bet the Windows mobile platform isn’t paying off, numbers from Gartner show that company’s overall share of the wireless operating system market fell 27% in the first quarter, to a meager 1.9%. Its partner Nokia also saw significant market erosion. Samsung led the mobile hardware market, with a 20.7% share, while Google’s Android OS was the top mobile OS, with a share of 56.1%. Apple, third in hardware with a share of 7.9%, was the second leading mobile OS developer, with iOS capturing 22.9% of the market, up from 16.9% last year.
Comcast Rolling Out Nationwide Skype Video-Calling Service (Bloomberg)
Comcast is introducing a Skype video-calling service to various metro areas in the U.S. this week, the start of a nationwide rollout The Skype on Xfinity feature will cost $9.95 a month for Triple Play users, which get Internet, television and voice service from the company. The service will let users make video calls from their televisions, as well as send instant messages via Skype, while watching TV programming. Wonder what the economic split on that is for Microsoft?
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