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MSFT Sinks With Markets
The market is in the toilet this morning as the Federal Reserve comments from yesterday regarding the bleak U.S. economic outlook continue to rattle investors. Shares of MSFT are off a good 3% with the rest of technology. 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 7.4x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.
Microsoft To Release Mango In The Next Few Weeks (Various via techDygest)
Here comes Mango. Microsoft will start rolling out the first big update to Windows Phone 7 in the next two weeks. This will mark the arrival of Windows Phone 7.5, the major software update will bring a number of new features to Microsoft’s mobile operating system, including quick app-switching (multitasking) and integration of Internet Explorer 9. Mango has some truly inspired features that integrate social networks into every aspect of the phone, as well as many others.
Microsoft Boosts Dividend By 25% (Seeking Alpha)
Microsoft announced that it will be raising its quarterly dividend by 25%, more than most anticipated and the largest addition to their dividend since the company started paying quarterly dividends in 2004. It increased the payout from $0.16 up to $0.20 per share. The company now has 7 years of dividend increases with a yield of 3.00%. This dividend increase yesterday represents a decided move in a direction of a value company that will continue to increase payouts to the shareholders.
Microsoft Can Play Kingmaker With Yahoo Sale (Forbes)
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan has boosted his rating on Yahoo to Buy from Hold to reflect his view that there is now an 80% chance that the company is acquired. He contends that erosion of the company’s fundamentals, along with pressure from shareholders, “has prioritised the outright sale of the company over the option to remain independent.” The analyst notes that both private equity firms and strategic buyers are evaluating a deal. Microsoft can play kingmaker given its pivotal role as the provider of search services.
Microsoft Installing Apple’s Now-Standard per cent Take For Windows 8 Metro (Electronista)
Microsoft is taking a page from Apple’s iTunes business model, seeking a 30% cut for apps developed for its Windows 8 Metro user interface. This cut, however, only applies to apps designed specifically for the Metro interface as opposed to apps made for the traditional Windows desktop interface. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he hopes arch-rival Apple develops a Metro-style iTunes app for Windows 8. He would “welcome” software support from device competitors.
Skype Wants To Connect 1 Million Classrooms (Mashable)
Skype has signed up more than 16,000 teachers to its social network for educators and dedicated teacher network, Skype in the Classroom, since launching a beta version in December. Using the platform, teachers can create profiles that describe their classes and teaching interests and search a directory of teachers. “Project” tabs help teachers find partner classrooms for projects and ideas. It demonstrates Skype’s unique ability to facilitate social good through the removal of traditional economic, geographic and/or cultural barriers to communication.
Bill Gates Still The Richest Man In America (Forbes)
It’s no surprise that Bill Gates, the co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, is still the richest man in the U.S., according to Forbes’ newest list of the 400 richest people in America. But Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is working his way up the ranks pretty fast. Second on the list once again was Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Gates pal Warren Buffett and again at number 3 is Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Check out the top 15 richest people in tech.
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