As the horns of mobile are heralding a new era for technology, consumers and investors, a sleeping giant awakes: Microsoft (MSFT), the largest software company in the world. Recently Microsoft has aligned with unique partners to engage in an upcoming battle for control of the mobile industry, including search and mobile apps. Consumers are now spending more time on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets than on traditional personal desktop or laptop computers. New opportunities for wealth building at the ground floor of a new mobile economy exist for shrewd and wise investors.
In Microsoft's camp of partners are companies on the frontline of this battle. These companies represent new investment opportunities that have arisen due to a mobile and global change in the way the world finds, consumes and shares information. Meanwhile, entirely new revenue opportunities are being discovered and forged by these companies, which of course could represent double-digit percentage gains for shareholders.
Below we can see that Microsoft is carefully choosing partners that will be integral to its strategy for winning a large part of the mobile sector. Lets take a look at some of the Microsoft partners that stand to benefit investors in this new battle for mobile supremacy. Analyzing these companies by looking at how well they have been trending in the last six months in terms of moving averages and money flow can be very telling in determining entry points for investment.
Nokia (NOK): Microsoft has partnered with Nokia on several different levels and on one intriguing level, mobile apps. Both companies have decided to put together an education center to jump start mobile app development called AppCampus. Microsoft wants developers of tomorrow to educate themselves today on how to build superior applications for the Windows Phone operating system. AppCampus is a $24 million program that the partners hope will kick start app development for Microsoft's mobile efforts. Microsoft has no doubt witnessed and learned from what happens when you do not provide consumers with healthy selections of mobile apps. Imagine if Google (GOOG) did not provide decent selections of websites, the world would be a different place and Google a different company. The same principle applies to the new mobile world we live in today. Chart:
Barnes & Noble (BKS): The Seattle Times reported that the Microsoft partnership between the two gives both companies added ammunition in their battles against Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) in the e-reading and mobile device businesses. Chart:
Yelp (YELP): Microsoft is partnering with Yelp by adding its listings to local searches. As part of the agreement, Yelp will deliver review snippets, photos and business details for Bing users in the U.S. These results will be placed prominently on Bing's local pages, helping users to connect with businesses and companies that are in their local area. Chart:
Mimvi (MIMV.OB): Microsoft is buying into Mimvi, a mobile search technology company, to help show consumers Windows Phone apps they would have otherwise not found. Microsoft invested in Mimvi which is designed to improve its app discovery capabilities for Windows Phone 8. For if developers build the most wonderful apps for Windows Phone 8, but no one sees them, what happens? Everyone loses. Now developers, Mimvi and Microsoft can win big, not to mention investors. Chart:
Facebook (FB): Facebook and Microsoft: Friends against Google (GOOG). The two companies have been working closely together since inception of their partnership. Facebook, Microsoft and its other partners such as Yahoo and Mimvi realize that they can help each other to compete with Google and Apple. According to Karsten Weide of IDC "This could actually threaten Google. It's just so much distribution, it could really eat into Google's market share." Chart:
Yahoo (YHOO): Yahoo and Microsoft have been in bed since 2008 and with what some have observed as having a rocky relationship initially. But things are smoothing out and there is an upward trend arising. "We continue to work closely with Yahoo and have seen improved RPS [Revenue Per Search] performance," Tom Phillips, senior director of Microsoft Advertising, said. He also mentioned: "It is a long road, but we're making progress and are confident we'll get there together." Chart:
China Unicom (CHU): Microsoft and China Unicom have announced a partnership to boost Windows Phone distribution in the country. "China is the No 1 market worldwide in terms of PC, tablet, mobile and Internet users," Kevin Turner, chief operating officer of Microsoft, said at a news briefing in Beijing recently. "It is a very exciting place." China Unicom and Microsoft officials said the new Windows alliance will lead to the development of more innovative devices and attract more partners. Chart:
Microsoft is getting its partners to align and ready for battle. It's providing investment, resources and tools to enable these partners to thrive and support its entire effort to reclaim large portions of consumer demand followed by revenue. Some say a rising tide lifts all boats and we can certainly see this happening in a big way for strategic partners of Microsoft. All the while, this provides unique and unprecedented opportunity of investment returns for any investors prescient enough to participate in the world wide growth of the new mobile industry.