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MSFT Up With Markets
Markets are up as retail sales smash expectations. Shares of MSFT are up with technology. 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.Meet Microsoft’s Next CEO, Steven Sinofsky (Business Insider)
Steven Sinofsky is known for delivering exactly what he promises, and always on time. He’s an extremely polarising figure. Stubborn. Secretive. Dictatorial. But even his biggest detractors admit he’s brilliant when it comes to shipping complicated, high-quality software on a regular, predictable schedule. This has earned him the trust and respect of both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Love him or hate him, most people who know Microsoft agree. Unless Windows 8 is a failure, Steven Sinofsky will be the next CEO of the company. Do you think Steve Ballmer’s tenure has been successful thus far?
Windows 8 Coming To A Tablet Near You (Bloomberg)
Microsoft released the first broadly available test version (Consumer Preview) of the Windows 8 operating system, giving consumers an early peek at software designed to rival the iPad. At the MWC, the company demonstrated the software, which lets users store applications in the Internet-based cloud in order to easily switch between computers and Windows Phones. Revenue from Windows, has missed analysts’ estimates in four of the past five quarters, in part because some consumers are defecting from laptops with Windows to tablets. This will hopefully stop the bleeding. David Pogue seems to like it. Will you download Windows 8?
Microsoft To Increase Windows Phone Advertising To Set It Apart (Bloomberg)
Microsoft said it will increase advertising spending to build market share for Windows Phone as it drives into new regions. “The next year to 18 months is really about seeing a significant uptake in market share,” said Aaron Woodman, the director of Windows Phone. Microsoft’s rallying cry will be that Windows Phone helps users do what they want to do faster than handsets with other operating systems. Over the next six months, Microsoft company will expand its “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign.
Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Platform Has A Meltdown (The Register)
Microsoft Azure went down Monday night and stayed down for about 12 hours. This of course comes as Microsoft is trying to pitch two-year-old Azure as a safe and reliable platform for consumer and business applications. Windows Azure has been down before, collapsing for 22 hours back in 2009 when was still in its test phase and going down briefly in various areas at other times over the last three years.
Smartphone Sales To Reach 1.5 Billion Units By 2016 (BI Intelligence)
Smartphone sales blew past the number of PCs sold last year, and they’ll be nearly twice PC sales this year, analyst Alex Cocotas of BI Intelligence predicts. More startling, smartphone sales will exceed 1.5 billion units per year by 2016. This compares to about 350 million PCs and 1.7 billion mobile handsets sold globally last year. Smartphone sales will be driven by two main factors: replacement of “dumbphones” and price declines. This will obviously have a huge impact on the mobile Internet economy, which is already exploding from the growth of smartphone penetration in the past few years.
Google Joins Apple And Microsoft For Most Popular Hedge Fund Stocks (Insider Monkey)
Hedge funds are known to be short-term oriented but when we look at the most popular stocks among hedge funds we see that they are focused on the long-term more than expected. Apple and Microsoft have been among the top three most popular stocks since at least the end of 2010. This is consistency and both stocks outperformed the market over the last year.