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Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
MSFT Rising With Tech
Markets are up after the long weekend but these next four days are going to be huge. Shares of MSFT are on the rise with technology. 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 7.2x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Microsoft Will Sell An 80-Inch Tablet, One That Ballmer Uses As His Primary Device (Wired)
“Steve Ballmer has an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet in his office. He’s got rid of his phone, he’s got rid of his note paper. It’s touch-enabled and it’s hung on his wall,” says Microsoft VP Frank Shaw. “It’s his whiteboard, his email machine,” Shaw said, “and it’s a device we’re going to sell.” Microsoft’s previous attempt at a similarly large display came with Microsoft Surface, touch-enabled tabletop that, hasn’t quite hit the mainstream consumer yet. The company believes everything should have a touchscreen. That means you’re going to a see a lot of crazy form factors, not just massive displays, but also hybrid laptop/tablets.
Windows Phone Now Accounts For A Tiny Amount Of Mobile Traffic (Chitika via All Things Digital)
That’s not saying much. Mobile Web browsing continues to take off, with smartphones and tablets accounting for 20% of online traffic in the U.S. and Canada, according to Chitika. Smartphones account for 14.6% and tablets make up 5.6%. Of note, Windows Phone now accounts for a third as much traffic as BlackBerry devices. Undoubtedly its market share is far less than that, but its more powerful browser and larger screen likely make it more conducive to Web surfing.
Nokia’s SmartStart Another Reason Why The Carriers Are Pushing The Lumia (WP Central)
By now Nokia’s commitment to the Windows Phone OS should be well established. The company is supporting the platform from all directions. One of the ways is the SmartStart program. Basically, Nokia has gone to the carriers and basically told them “we’ll handle product support for our devices, don’t worry about it.” It’s no wonder the carriers have been a fan of the Lumia series. Will it win over converts and make the difference in the long run? Probably not. Ever heard of AppleCare?
Comcast In Talks To Buy Microsoft Out Of MSNBC.com Stake (Reuters)
NBCUniversal is in talks to buy out Microsoft’s 50% stake in joint venture MSNBC.com (not MSNBC the cable channel which Microsoft no longer has a stake in). NBCU parent Comcast (NBCU’s parent company) is conducting due diligence and the partnership with NBC News could be unwound by this summer “Discussions are taking place,” according to Amy Lynn, director of communications at NBC News. NBC and Microsoft joined forces in 1996 to create a cable news channel and online news operation that melded broadcasting with then-emerging internet technology.
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