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Photo: Associated Press
MSFT Down As Market Tumbles
The market is off triple digits in early trading as conflict between North and South Korea escalates to artillery fire. Shares of MSFT are down over 2%. Upcoming catalysts include continued upgrade cycles of Office 2010 and Windows 7; any entrance into the tablet market (even just as an operating system); Windows Phone 7 adoption; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; and holiday sales of Kinect. The stock currently trades at 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Microsoft Has Thought About Going Private (Seattle Times)
Brier Dudley at the Seattle Times asked Microsoft about going private. After all, at under $30, the stock is at the same place it was 10 years ago. “Sure, in the back of people’s minds. We’ve thought about it,” admitted Bill Koefoed, Microsoft’s general manager of investor relations. And going private isn’t that far-fetched. But it’s apparently not something the board is interested in pursuing. For the deal to work, it would need the two largest shareholders (Gates and Ballmer) to hang on to their stakes and go for it, and lately they’ve been selling millions of shares.
Microsoft Gains Patents On Sale Of Novell (InfoWorld)
A holding company called CPTN (a consortium organised by Microsoft) has handed over $450 million for hundreds of Novell patents. Microsoft may have grabbed patents related to directory servers, network-management technologies and Mono, open source runtime for deploying .Net apps on Linux. Technology aside, Microsoft has made a couple of other gains thanks to Attachmate’s acquisition of Novell: 1) Novell might have landed in the hands of major competitor such as VMware and 2) access to Novell’s patents and, perhaps, client list, means Microsoft might be able to lure Linux-using holdouts to the Redmond side. Read more from Business Insider’s Microsoft expert, Matt Rosoff.
Silverlight On Xbox Could Be Microsoft’s Answer To Google TV And Apple TV (CNet)
Good news for Silverlight. Microsoft is looking to hire additional Silverlight engineers, as well as bring the technology to more of its devices which could include the Xbox. The idea of Silverlight coming to the Xbox is not so far-fetched. It would make development for the platform more cohesive with some of Microsoft’s other developer tools and position the next Xbox to play within its app ecosystem. It would also include a Web browser as part of the Xbox’s system software.
Yahoo Hopes Yahoo Japan Will Ditch Google And Come Back To Microsoft (The Wall Street Journal)
Yahoo hopes its online search partnership with Microsoft can benefit Yahoo Japan, even though Yahoo Japan plans to use Google technology to run its Internet searches. Yahoo’s senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, Rose Tsou said “We certainly hope that Yahoo Japan will come back to the Yahoo search alliances, but this is not something, you know, we will be able to control.” That seems like wishful thinking.