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MSFT Going Down With Market
Stocks are falling on renewed concerns that Greece may not meet a looming deadline to complete a debt swap. Shares of MSFT opened in the positive but dipped in the negative soon after. 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 8.6x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.
Microsoft’s Worst Case Scenario For Windows 8 Isn’t That Bad (Business Insider)
Even in the worst case scenario, Windows 8 will probably sell hundreds of millions of copies and generate tens of billions in revenue for Microsoft. On the tablet side, Microsoft may suffer the same fate that it’s suffering in smartphones. That sounds like a disaster, but it wouldn’t be obvious immediately, since Microsoft will probably still do very well among traditional PCs. On the PC front, even in the most dire of situations, Microsoft will still sell more than 1 billion Windows licenses over the next three years.
Don’t Expect Verizon Windows Phones On LTE Until Late 2012 (Electronista)
Verizon may have secretly dropped plans for a Nokia-made Windows Phone, according to a possible leak. Nicknamed the Om, the handset would have shipped earlier this year. It had been scrapped after Verizon had decided on its all-LTE strategy for 2012 smartphones, which would have ruled out the 3G-only Om. The carrier hasn’t sworn off Windows Phone entirely, but support depended on LTE being available, regardless of the designer. It’s now expected to wait on Apollo, known informally as Windows Phone 8 which won’t arrive until late until 2012.
Skype Hitting New Milestones With Microsoft Backing (VentureBeat)
Skype hit a new milestone when 35 million people accessed its audio and video conferencing service at the same time. The Microsoft-owned VoIP product has been impressively growing concurrent user numbers in recent weeks. Skype had 32 million people sign in at the same time for the first time on Feb. 23, a figure that was soon outdated when it hit 34 million concurrent Skypers the following week. The expressed commitment from its new owners to improve and expand the popular communications offering is still a promise in the making, but Microsoft’s backing does appear to be giving people more confidence. Do you Skype more than call for long distances?
PureView Headed In Nokia’s Windows Phones (BGR)
Last week Nokia introduced the 808 PureView, a handset that is equipped with a 41 megapixel camera, a 1.3GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM and the dated Symbian Belle operating system. However, Nokia’s VP of Marketing, Jo Harlow, confirmed to Finnish newspaper Aamulehti that its PureView technology is heading to the Windows Phone mobile platform as a part of the Lumia series of smartphones. Harlow said that “it will not take very long” for the feature to come to its Windows Phone handsets, although he didn’t give a precise time frame.
Analysts Discuss The Outlook Of Microsoft’s Stock (Bloomberg)
Sid Parakh, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen, Dan Deming, managing director of Stutland Equities, and Bloomberg’s Bill Maloney talk about the outlook for shares of Microsoft. Sid has a buy on the stock. He believes it’s all finally coming together for the company, coming to fruition with Windows 8. That product momentum could continue for a while to come and the stock is performing as such. Bill is cautiously optimistic but below $31.50. Dan is more cautious, the stock is up 20% year-to-date. He says don’t chase the stock at these levels. Buy a put spread to get into the stock at a lower level.
Activision Hires Microsoft Exec To Fill CFO Position (Bloomberg)
Former Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, Dennis Durkin, replaces Thomas Tippl, who was promoted to Activision’s chief operating officer. At Microsoft, Durkin served as corporate vice president and chief operating and financial officer of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, which includes the Xbox game-console business. He had been at Microsoft since 1999.
Microsoft Hires Former FTC Google Investigator (Reuters)
Microsoft hired (as one of its lobbyists) a former FTC lawyer who had access to “thousands” of confidential Google documents. Randall Long, who led the FTC’s investigation into Google’s acquisition of AdMob, has been picked up my Microsoft to be a lobbyist in its Washington office. The hiring is the latest salvo in Microsoft’s ongoing battle with Google for dominance of the high-tech world.