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MSFT Volatile With Markets
Markets are all over the place in early trading as the escalating European debt crisis is keeping investors nervous. Shares of MSFT are volatile as well, trading sideways above and below the flatline. Upcoming catalysts include the company’s analyst day as well as news flow from its new developer conference (BUILD) tomorrow; Windows Phone 7 / Mango rollout and adoption with hardware partner Nokia; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; any entrance in the tablet market; 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 7.4x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Bing Gains Some Search Market Share In August (Business Insider)
The latest search share data from comScore is out, and Google lost a few basis points while Bing and Yahoo gained a few. This is good news for Bing, which was flat last month, on a month-over-month basis. Overall, the big picture for the search landscape remains the same: Google’s search share is stuck around 65%, and Yahoo and Bing are in the 31% range. That said, is it worth all the investment from Microsoft for these percentage points?
Microsoft Juggles PC And Post-PC Eras (ZDNet)
Microsoft won’t publicly acknowledge the concept of a post-PC era, but add it up and Windows 8 may be Microsoft’s biggest OS launch in its history. Windows 8 will reveal whether Microsoft can keep its cash cow franchise relevant going forward. Actions speak louder than words:
- Windows 8 is a refresh designed to keep the PC upgrade cycle going (PC era)
- The operating system is also designed to work on tablets (post PC era)
- Windows 8 will have a flavour for the ARM architecture that happens to run smartphones and tablets (post PC era)
- The new Start screen is designed to work equally well with a mouse and touch screen (both PC and post-PC eras).
In other words, Windows 8 is one mammoth hedge on the possibility that PCs won’t be able to evolve well in a post-PC world.
Microsoft May Disappoint With 19% Dividend Boost (BusinessWeek)
Microsoft is likely to raise its dividend 19% as early as this week (potentially announced at analyst day), frustrating investors who are clamoring for a bigger payout from its $52.8 billion cash hoard. The projected increase to $0.19/share per quarter from $0.16, would be similar to last year’s rise. While Microsoft’s board is aware of the shareholder demands, it will probably stick with the usual increase.
Microsoft Integrates Facebook Into Mobile Bing (mobileburn)
Microsoft released an updated version of the mobile Bing site that includes integration with Facebook for social suggestions among other enhancements. Users who connect Bing to their Facebook pages now have the ability to see what their friends have liked across the web with the ability to see the personalised search results.
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