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Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
MSFT Off With Market
Stocks opened down, but are fighting back, as talks to secure a new bailout for Greece to avoid default continue as well as talks of an exit from the Eurozone. Shares of MSFT are off with the rest of tech. 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 8.1x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Apple’s iPhone Business Is Bigger Than Microsoft, And More Profitable (Business Insider)
Henry Blodget at Business Insider highlights a remarkable fact that tech writer MG Siegler noted: Apple’s iPhone business alone is now bigger than Microsoft. Not Windows. Not Office. Microsoft.Think about that. The iPhone did not exist five years ago. And now it’s bigger than a company that, 15 years ago, was dragged into court and threatened with forcible break-up because it had amassed an unassailable and unthinkably profitable monopoly. The iPhone is also considerably more profitable than Microsoft.
Microsoft Looses Windows Phone Development Director To Kindle (ZDNet)
Microsoft’s senior director of Windows Phone development Brandon Watson has left to work on Amazon’s Kindle platform. There he will be in charge of the product development roadmap for Kindle apps across all first- and third-party platforms worldwide, including the Windows Phone app and the Windows 8 app. “The rumours are true,” Watson wrote in a Twitter posting. “The team is in great hands. I’ll miss working on #wpdev. I will the community, but won’t be a stranger.” There has been no replacement named yet at Microsoft.
Pre-Orders For The Nokia Lumia 900 Have Begun (InformationWeek)
Microsoft has begun taking orders for a flagship Windows Phone it hopes will give its mobile franchise a much needed lift. The Nokia Lumia 900, which features dual cameras in an ultra-slim case, can be pre-ordered for $25 at Microsoft’s brick-and-mortar stores around the country. The company has not officially announced a release date for the device, but there’s widespread speculation that the phone will ship on March 18.
Windows 8 Will Be At The Heart Of Next Windows Phone (Business Insider)
An internal Microsoft video leaked to PocketNow.com, offering many new details about the next version of Windows Phone. The “Windows Phone 8” (also codenamed “Apollo”) will share many of the same components of Windows 8, allowing developers to reuse a lot of their code between platforms. The kernel and networking stack were named as two areas of overlap. This makes sense; there’s no business reason to maintain a separate platform for smartphones.
Smartphone Shipments Up Over 60% In 2011 (IDC)
The record sales managed by both Apple and Samsung during the holiday quarter sent smartphone market growth soaring in late 2011. According to IDC, smartphone shipments grew 54.7% in the fourth quarter driven by Apple’s iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy S II (Android) handsets. Units shipped totaled 157.8 million during the quarter while full-year shipments totaled 491.4 million units, up 61.3% over the prior year. Nokia and Microsoft better get in the game fast this year. They only place they can go is up.
For The First Time Ever, Smartphones Outsold PCs Last Quarter (Canalys)
Quarterly smartphone sales outpaced PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2011. In fact, it wasn’t even close. Mobile market research firm Canalys estimated that 158.5 million smartphones were sold in the last quarter, compared with 120.2 million personal computers (including tablets). You’d better hurry Microsoft. This spells trouble with basically zero presence in tablets and smartphones.
Online Spending Increased 13% Last Year (MediaPost)
For the entire fourth quarter, online retail spending reached $49.7 billion, up 14% year-over-year, according to comScore. That growth rate represented the ninth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth, not to mention the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates. For the entire 2011 year, U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached a record $161.5 billion, a 13% increase from 2010. Good news for Bing.