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Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
MSFT Down With Tech
Stocks are wavering today as GDP numbers were revised downward, European debt fears continue to rattle stocks and the U.S. debt committee’s failure to reach a deal. Shares of MSFT are off in a weak tech tape lead by Netflix (debt offering and will lose money next year). Upcoming catalysts include Windows 8 late next year; entrance into the tablet market; Windows Phone 7 / Mango rollout and adoption with hardware partner Nokia; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; making money in the online business, including integration of Skype and improving the search / display business; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 6.7x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Apple Winning PC War, Will Lose Windows War But Who Cares (TechCrunch)
Who cares what a computer looks like or what category it falls in? What matters is what it does and who is using it. Steve Ballmer agrees that tablets should be labelled at PCs. But Ballmer wants us to buy that so he has a justification for putting Windows on these machines. He doesn’t seem to realise and / or care that by helping to unify the personal computing space, he’s also eroding his company’s own dominance (sans a tablet presence). Apple is now set to become the top personal computer maker in the world. They’ll never win the desktop PC battle, but that fight hasn’t mattered for years.
Apple Owns The Developer, Not Likely Flocking To Other Mobile Platforms Anytime Soon (Fortune)
According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, Apple owns about 85-90% of current mobile app spending in terms of lifetime revenue. That provides Apple with a huge advantage over other development platforms. Munster suggests Apple will keep more than 70% of mobile app revenue share for the next three or four years. That alone will likely keep developers from flocking to Android or Windows and likely keep Apple from freaking out if other mobile OS operators move a few more devices per year (Nokia).
Xbox Interface Gets An Overhaul, New Content Coming (SlashGear)
Microsoft is giving Xbox 360 a new dashboard which integrates Kinect into navigation and brings the UI in line with Windows Phone and Windows 8 with promises of new multimedia content including music and movies, as well as live TV access. Gamers will be able to use their Kinect to control the Xbox via voice and gestures, as well as share content on Facebook. There’s also gaming cloud storage, a new social broadcasting feature called Beacons and integration of YouTube and Bing.
Microsoft Acquires Video Search Technology To Compete With Google (TechCrunch)
Microsoft has acquired video search technology company VideoSurf for approximately $70 million (not confirmed). VideoSurf has raised $28 million from a couple of tech heavyweights and former vice president Al Gore. The company’s technology is able to scan a wide range of video websites (Hulu, Dailymotion, Metacafe, etc.), enabling users to quickly find specific videos. The acquisition is likely meant to beef up Microsoft’s Bing service in the company’s undying pursuit to compete with Google.
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