MSFT Up With Markets Markets are up today with S&P 500 crossing 1,400 for the first time in three months on indication that global central banks may act to foster growth. Shares of Microsoft are also up, just about 1%. Catalysts for the stock include Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Office 15 and Windows Phone 8; expansion in the smartphone and tablet markets; strides in cloud computing; profitability in the online business; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 6.8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.
The Microsoft Surface Will Be To PCs What The Zune Was To Music (Canalys) According to Canalys analyst Tim Coulling, "We expect the Surface pads to have a similar impact on the PC industry as the Zune did in portable music players." Ouch. He also says, "The information available to date suggests the prices of both will be too high to capture significant market share, and a direct sales approach will prove inadequate." The company has advised PC vendors (Microsoft’s OEMs) to postpone launches of Windows RT pads until Microsoft rethinks the high license fee.
Microsoft Ditches "Metro" Name Because Someone Else Already Claimed It (SlashGear) Microsoft confirmed today that it will indeed be ditching the Metro branding for Windows 8, and said it plans to introduce a new brand sometime later this week. No surprise considering this week’s leak of internal Microsoft memos which signaled such a change. Apparently, Microsoft’s decision to dump the branding comes from talks with “an important European partner” that left the company without much choice in the matter. To put it simply, Microsoft probably picked the term “Metro” without realizing that one its partners already held the trademark. Did you like the Metro name?
Microsoft Is Microsoft's Biggest Competitor (ReadWriteWeb) Microsoft is betting the farm on its new Windows 8 operating system. Ironically, some of the biggest challenges it faces come from earlier versions of Windows - and Microsoft’s own mistakes. Case in point: Windows 8’s highly touted “Metro” interface may have to change its name just as the program is about to be released. But Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8, already threatened by reports of declining Windows PC sales, has bigger issues than name changes. The big challenger? Windows XP.
Nokia's New Windows Phone 8 Devices Could Be Unveiled Before iPhone 5 (Various via Scoople) Looking to grab attention before Apple's expected iPhone 5 launch on September 12, Nokia will unveil new Windows Phone 8 -powered Lumia devices the week previous, according to an online report. The report cites "a person with knowledge of the matter", who explains that the company plans to announce the new devices-perhaps unsurprisingly-during a new roadshow-style Nokia World event which kicks off on September 5th. The devices will be on sale "before the year-end holiday shopping season."
Verizon To Offer Office 365 To Small-Business Suite (ZDNet) On the heels of a similar deal with Sprint, Verizon is the latest syndication partner to offer Microsoft's Office 365 directly to small-business users. Office 365, included with the Verizon Wireless Small Business Essentials suite, costs the usual $6 per month that Microsoft charges for the small-business-focused version of Office 365. However, in order to get Office 365 through Verizon, users need to have a service-level agreement with Verizon Wireless.
Finally, Someone At Microsoft Acknowledges The Next-Gen Xbox (IGN) A Microsoft employee has referenced “the new Xbox” for the first time. In an interview regarding the new Outlook.com, Microsoft’s Brian Hall (general manager of Windows Live) referred to “the new Xbox” as one of many projects that could be integrated with Windows 8. Microsoft still hasn’t officially announced the console, but we’re certainly getting closer. Developers believe the next generation of consoles will begin in 2013.
Search On Mobile Could Cost Microsoft Plenty (New York Times) As search goes mobile, Microsoft could pay heavily for the ride. More searches these days are made on mobile phones and tablets, and most of them take place through Google. That is because Google is on so many mobile devices. But it’s not just that Google dominates search. It’s what Google gets from those searches: streams of information about location and behavior that is valuable to advertisers and improves the quality of future searches. Bing is not getting that information.
HP Windows Tablet Makes Another Appearance (intomobile) It’s long been rumored that HP is working on at least one tablet running the upcoming Windows 8 platform, and in the past week more and more evidence has emerged of what the device might look like. Today’s image comes from HP’s own “Make it Matter” campaign site, a site which features ways HP products can help you do things that matter. In one of the images entitled “Patient care matters,” a physician is shown holding the rumored HP Slate 8 tablet as she flips through a chart.