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MSFT Rises With The Market
Stocks are going bonkers after European leaders agreed to boost the region’s bailout fund and struck a deal with banks and the U.S. GDP met analyst expectations. Shares of MSFT are up, less so, however, than the rest of tech. Upcoming catalysts include Windows 8 and 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 console. The stock currently trades at 7.2x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Everything You Need To Know About Nokia’s Windows UK Launch Today (Business Insider)
This morning at the Nokia World event in London, the company revealed its new Windows Phones:
- The Lumia 800 is Nokia’s new flagship Windows Phone, coming next month to Europe and early 2012 in the States.
- The device runs the brand new version of Windows Phone, 7.5 Mango.
- The Nokia Lumia 710 is Nokia’s mid-range Windows Phone device.
Microsoft Wants XP To Die, Driving Upgrades (PC World)
Microsoft is eager for Windows XP, its 10-year-old operating system, to go the way of the typewriter. The secret to XP’s longevity was the hostile response to its successor, Windows Vista, especially within the enterprise. Windows XP finished the quarter with a 50.5% share of all desktop operating systems, a drop of nearly 10% from the start of the year, according to Net Applications. Windows 7 currently has more than 32% of the desktop operating system market which is steadily increasing.
Dell Launching Windows-Based Tablet For Enterprise Use (PC World)
Dell will sell a new Latitude tablet for businesses with Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system as well as bring the OS’s successor, Windows 8, to tablets whenever that gets released. The Latitude ST has a 10.1-inch screen and is designed for use in enterprises. Dell is said to be working with Microsoft on application development. The company will compete in the enterprise space with Hewlett-Packard (Windows 7-based Slate 500) and Cisco (Android-based Cius). The iPad, of course, is the top enterprise tablet.
Mozilla Packages Bing With Firefox (Read Write Web)
Mozilla has released Firefox with Microsoft, a customised version of the browser that makes Bing the default homepage and search engine. This is a win for Microsoft, much like an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deal with Windows. Google (the usual default for Firefox) is the most widely used search engine among Firefox users and was born and lived with Google’s help to wrestle control of the browser market away from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. No word on what this means for the relationship with Google, but something seems heavy about it.
Microsoft Is A Good Stock For The Patient Value Investor (Barron’s)
Even if Microsoft’s next operating system is a year off, a dividend of 25% is nothing to sneer at and only leaves room for increases. Jim Cullen, who manages the Cullen High Dividend Fund, believes Microsoft shares are attractive for the dividend growth that could reward patient investors, “The stock is selling at around 9x earnings, you get a 3% yield, and it has been out of favour, so … it is not over owned. And there is a story for dividend growth.”
Former Microsoft Executive Can’t Stay Quiet, Dishes On Ballmer’s Staging With Gates (CNet)
In a new autobiography, former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee accuses Steve Ballmer of contriving a dramatic speech with Bill Gates to silence internal critics. During Microsoft’s antitrust dispute with the DOJ, Gates made an emotional speech claiming he still worked for Microsoft because he felt obligated to “fight those who call us a selfish monopoly that takes advantage of users.” Ballmer joined his friend on stage and hugged him. But Lee says the moment was contrived and Ballmer manipulated the situation rather than addressing the concerns.