Microsoft nears $40 after Office iPad report; Xbox product chief leaving

|About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)|By:, SA News Editor

Microsoft's (MSFT +4.1%) reported plans to unveil Office iPad apps on March 27 are not only "directionally positive" for driving Office 365 demand, but are likely part of a broader effort by Satya Nadella to reposition Microsoft as a "mobile first/cloud first company" thinks Nomura's Rick Sherlund, bullish as ever.

Shares have made new post-Dot.com bubble highs, and are within striking distance of $40.

The iPad accounted for roughly a third of Q4 tablet shipments, but (from all indications) its enterprise share is much higher. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley observes the iPad Office apps appear set to arrive before Microsoft's touch-friendly Gemini Office Windows apps (expected later this year).

Separately, Xbox chief product officer and long-time Xbox Live chief Marc Whitten has announced he's leaving to become the product chief of home audio system maker Sonos. Xbox division chief Don Mattrick left last year to become the CEO of Zynga, and another key Xbox exec, Blair Westlake, departed in January in response to the 2013 reorg.