MSFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Rocketing As Market Rebounds
The market is resilient despite retail sales missing November expectations posting only a 0.2% increase. Shares of MSFT are up exponentially more than the rest of technology. Upcoming catalysts include Windows 8 next year; 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. The stock currently trades at 6.8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.
Microsoft On Top With Aging Xbox (BusinessWeek)
U.S. video-game industry sales rose 0.4% to $3 billion in November according to NPD Group. Microsoft led console sales in with Xbox 360. “The gap between 360 sales and sales of the next best selling platform was the largest we’ve seen since December 2008 when the Nintendo DS was the top selling system,” says analyst Anita Frazier. For the entire month, Microsoft announced that they sold 1.7 million Xbox consoles. The company’s “Trojan horse” strategy with the Xbox has worked amazingly well in owning the living room.
Microsoft Having YouTube Envy, Trying To Recruit TV Executives For Original Content (Bloomberg)
Microsoft is trying to recruit TV executives to help build original shows for the Xbox. The company approached Jeff Gaspin (former chairman of NBC), and Marc Graboff (leaving as head of west coast operations for NBC). Matt Rosoff at Business Insider thinks this is a terrible idea. Why get into original content? There may be a bit of Google-envy at work here. Google has reportedly invested hundreds of millions of dollars to spur original YouTube content but the company isn’t actually producing that content.
Watch Out Microsoft, Google Has Some Mega Google Apps Deals On Deck (Business Insider)
Google has some bid deals in the Apps pipeline along with an enterprise-specific version of Google+. And every Google Apps win is one less sale for Microsoft’s Office 365 and related products like Exchange Server. Those business products, as well as the Office suite, have been Microsoft’s main growth engine for the last year. A couple months ago at the Web 2.0 Summit, CEO Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft still wins in the vast majority of accounts where it goes up against Google Apps. Could the tide be changing?
Nokia Testing 4G LTE With The Two Top U.S. Carriers? — CNET
Talk of Nokia launching a Lumia 800 with LTE in the U.S. is gaining after a new leak had the release expanding. Now not just AT&T, but Verizon is also rumored to be testing a version of the Windows Phone with 4G inside with the possible unveiling at CES in January. This is despite the fact that the Windows Phone operating system powering the Lumia doesn’t yet officially support LTE. Nokia is already scheduled to throw a press conference with T-Mobile tomorrow. However, Nokia will need to get the support of the big two carriers to have a real shot at the U.S. market.
Microsoft Teams Up With HP On Cloud Services (Business Insider)
Microsoft and HP announced a four-year deal to sell Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud services to enterprises. The deal calls for HP to host what amounts to a partial version of Office 365 for its so-called “private cloud” customers (SharePoint, Exchange and Lync), and to act as a reseller for the full Microsoft-hosted version. Microsoft wasn’t going to take HP’s Box.net deal lying down. Box.net is trying to unseat Microsoft’s SharePoint in the enterprise.
TV Usage On The Rise Again And Mobile Usage Passes Print (eMarketer)
According to a study from eMarketer of adult media habits, Americans spent an average of 4 hours and 34 minutes per day in front of the TV, up 10 minutes from last year. They spend an average of a little over an hour engaged with their mobile phones over the course of a day, a 30% jump compared to last year. That compares to a combined total of 44 minutes a day with newspapers and magazines and 2.47 hours a day on the Internet. The web passed print a long time ago in terms of time spent by consumers, but 2011 will be the first year that mobile passes print.
Heather Leonard is the Microsoft analyst at Business Insider.