Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current Price $29.79
The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is examining designs for a “touch-enabled watch device.” The report cites executives at suppliers who note that the company has not thus far decided whether to commence output on a wearable computing device. A number of tech giants have been connected to the development of wearable computers, one of 2013′s hot tech topics. Forms said to be looking at moving into the market include Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Samsung. Sony already has a wearable device available now, the Sony (NYSE:SNE) SmartWatch, which connects to an Android smartphone and allows users check messages or screen phone calls.
Vice President Terry Myerson of the Windows Phone division said that its Windows Phone operating system has an opportunity to entice Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) users, since it offers a more exciting and smoother experience, according to Bloomberg. Myerson called Apple’s iOS software “boring,” with icons across the bottom that offer sparse information or flexibility at a conference in New York, adding that Google Android is “a mess,” with too many different versions of the operating software in use. Microsoft wants to make inroads with Windows Phone to exploit increasing demand for devices, and had 2.6 percent of the smartphone operating system market in the fourth quarter, says the research firm IDC, up from 1.5 percent year-over-year from 2012. That figure lagged Android’s by 70 percent, iOS’s 21 percent, and BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) 3.2 percent.
On Wednesday, the corporation and Hon Hai, which is the parent of Foxconn, reached a global licensing accord that provides wide coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio, among which includes tablets, smartphones, and TVs. The contents of the agreement are private, but the two parties are indicating that Microsoft will get royalties from Hon Hai via the arrangement.
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ): Current Price $52.26
The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon Wireless will pay as much as $1.5 billion to acquire spectrum leases from Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR). The purchase would give the United States’ biggest wireless carrier the right to use airwaves currently controlled by Clearwire in big domestic markets. Beyond that, it further complicates a three-way series of agreements in which Clearwire would divest itself to part owner Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), and Sprint agreed to sell a controlling interest in itself to Softbank of Japan. Adding yet another factor, Sprint now has become the subject of a competitive takeover bid from DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH).
AT&T (NYSE:T): Current Price $38.28
The Galaxy S 4 from Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is now officially up for pre-order on AT&T’s website. For the present, only the 16-gigabyte models in both black and white are available, and only in certain areas. The carrier will probably make more models available in the next few days as pre-orders build up. The 16-gigabyte model starts at $199 with a two-year contract, and AT&T says that the phone will ship on April 30. The phone features a Smart Pause feature, which stops playing video when the phone cannot detect that the user is looking at it, and also Air View, which allows the user access extra information by hovering over a picture or email subject.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that the chief of the Justice Department’s antitrust arm supports the imposition of limits upon the total amount of airwaves that a single wireless firm can own. Should a constraint such as that be implemented, AT&T might be disallowed from bidding on certain airwaves at auction.
The telecommunications giant was recently recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility in its 2012 Corporate Inclusion Index survey, in which AT&T topped the list of 55 participating Fortune 100 companies and HACR corporate members with a 95 rating, which was the highest received in 2011 and in 2012. This marks the second consecutive year that AT&T got a stellar rating in the areas of workforce, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. In 2012′s HACR CII report, the firm was one of two to obtain a 95 rating score, representing the highest rating for all telecommunication companies.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC): Current price $22.44
CNET says that the outgoing Chief Executive Paul Otellini concedes that it takes some adjustment to familiarize users with Microsoft’s Windows 8, and it faces “an adoption curve,” but he also believes that people like touch screens, and forecasts that touch-enabled notebook prices should fall “very rapidly over the next couple of quarters.”
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ): Current price $19.55
HP shares took a dive on word that private equity firm The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) elected to not to submit a takeover offer for Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), which is its largest competitor. Along with a number of partners, Blackstone had endeavored to form an offer for Dell.
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM): Current price $190.07
Disappointing first-quarter results released late on Thursday that missed Wall Street expectations thanks to shortfalls in tech spending, along with other factors, sent shares down Friday. Analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets, in a research note to investors, said that “IBM’s disappointing 1Q performance speaks to the weakening of IT spending environment. If IBM is having challenges, we expect more pain across the IT environment in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, IBM’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge, explained that his company experienced “a shortfall in its software and mainframe business.” Beyond that, the firm was unable to close “some large transactions,” which it now hopes to close in the current quarter, according to IBD.