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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

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  • Jul. 11, 2012, 9:39 AM
    Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) agree to stay 3 patent suits until the matter of Google's FRAND licensing obligations for standards-essential patents is resolved. A trial won't begin until mid-November, and appeals could take months. However, the stay doesn't cover Microsoft and Google's ITC disputes, which have resulted in Android and Xbox bans flying left and right. Congress has just taken up the issue of FRAND obligations.
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  • Jul. 10, 2012, 7:03 PM
    Back in January, Eric Schmidt predicted Google TV (GOOG) would be on the majority of TV sets on sale by summer. Well, as of right now, the platform can only be found on two sets (both from LG, and richly priced), along with a pair of set-top boxes (one from Vizio, one from Sony). Other sets are on the way, but it's hard to view the OEM and consumer response as anything but disappointing thus far. Meanwhile, Xbox Live keeps gaining momentum, and Apple TV rumors continue afoot.
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  • Jul. 10, 2012, 6:36 PM
    Congress is exploring whether companies holding standards-essential patents should be prohibited from trying to use them to obtain bans on infringing products. Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), and Qualcomm (QCOM) have reportedly lobbied lawmakers on the issue. The FTC, ITC, and EU are already exploring the matter, as Google (GOOG) and various Android partners try to use standards-essential IP to counter Microsoft and Apple's infringement suits.
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  • Jul. 10, 2012, 2:34 PM
    More on Microsoft: While Microsoft (MSFT) products with a heavy consumer tilt (I, II, III) often generate more ink, most of the company's value is tied to enterprise sales. Bernstein estimates enterprises will account for 68% of Microsoft's FY13 revenue, and 83% of its operating profit. This, along with the limited or non-existent profitability of Bing, Xbox, and Windows Phone, leads the firm to assign a $31/share value to Microsoft's enterprise ops, and a $4.40/share value to its consumer ops.
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  • Jul. 10, 2012, 12:23 PM
    Apple (AAPL), unsurprisingly, has the largest overseas cash balance of any tech company: Moody's believes it rose 15% in the March quarter to $74B. Joining Apple in the top 5 are Microsoft (MSFT - $50B), Cisco (CSCO - $42.3B), Oracle (ORCL - $25.1B), and Qualcomm (QCOM - $16.5B). Altogether, tech companies account for roughly half of an estimated $457B in overseas cash held by U.S. firms. Efforts to obtain a "tax holiday" on the repatriation of overseas cash have stalled.
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  • Jul. 10, 2012, 11:46 AM
    Steve Ballmer refuses to dismiss the possibility of a Microsoft (MSFT) smartphone down the line, even as his company shoots down rumors about near-term plans. Ballmer also tells channel partners Microsoft will stick to selling its Surface tablet through its own site and company stores, and makes clear whom it now considers to be public enemy #1. "We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple." (earlier)
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  • Jul. 10, 2012, 9:11 AM
    Microsoft (MSFT) aims to sell a "few million" Suface tablets in the coming year, says Steve Ballmer. For reference, Apple (AAPL) sold 11.8M iPads in the March quarter. The fact Microsoft only plans to sell Surface online and through its (very few) retail stores, perhaps to avoid competing with OEMs in retail channels, is likely to limit sales. Also, reports have popped up that Microsoft is having yield issues with Surface's case. (more)
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  • Jul. 9, 2012, 6:10 PM
    Microsoft's (MSFT) $6.2B aQuantive write-down has much to do with execution, but a tough display ad market didn't help either. The industry's CPM fell 14% from 2009 to 2011, as an explosion of new supply from Facebook (FB) and other sites drove down prices. In addition to Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo (YHOO) have each seen their display ad ops face intense scrutiny. Google (GOOG), however, has been growing its display business quickly with the help of its ad targeting tech.
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  • Jul. 9, 2012, 4:41 PM
    AMD -5.7% AH after warning it expects Q2 revenue to fall 11% Q/Q, well below a guidance range of +/- 3%. AMD blames weaker-than-expected distributor sales in China and Europe, and the impact of poor consumer spending on sales to OEMs. Archrival Intel (INTC) has already seen a raft of estimate cuts, and downbeat commentary about PC demand has been easy to find.
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  • Jul. 9, 2012, 2:15 PM
    In spite of recent warnings and negative commentary, Gartner is hiking its 2012 IT spending growth forecast to 3% from a prior 2.5%. While still cautious on near-term spending, the firm claims there was little change in business and consumer sentiment in Q2, which leaves it slightly more optimistic. Spending on public cloud services (key players: AMZN, MSFT, RAX, CRM) is expected to grow 20% this year to $109B, and reach $207B in 2016.
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  • Jul. 9, 2012, 1:52 PM
    Samsung (SSNLF.PK) reportedly plans to release a Windows RT tablet in October that features a Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon CPU. Samsung's efforts should provide a useful shot in the arm for Qualcomm's Windows ambitions - H-P, perhaps upset over the release of Microsoft Surface (MSFT), recently said it would hold off on releasing a Windows RT tablet, after having previously suggested it would release a model featuring a Snapdragon. (previous)
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  • Jul. 9, 2012, 11:14 AM
    Microsoft (MSFT) is acquiring Perceptive Pixel, a developer of giant multi-touch display panels. Perceptive's tech, which can detect dozens of points of contact, will likely be used in Microsoft's PixelSense display tables, and also might have applications for Windows 8 tablets and all-in-one desktops. Separately, ZDNet reports Windows 8 will be released to OEMs by the first week of August (business users should get early access), with general availability arriving in late October.
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  • Jul. 6, 2012, 6:20 PM
    Twitter rolls out a major search overhaul. Key changes include search auto-complete, and the ability to search only tweets that come from followed accounts. The changes stand to make Twitter, whose search feature is widely used for tracking news and buzz, an even bigger thorn in Google's (GOOG) side. Twitter has a deal to provide its content within Bing (MSFT) search results, but a similar deal with Google lapsed last year.
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  • Jul. 6, 2012, 5:30 PM
    Microsoft's (MSFT) plans to make Internet Explorer's "Do Not Track" feature a default setting isn't just upsetting the online ad industry - Microsoft's ad division is reportedly up in arms about it as well. Some sources even claim Microsoft, which just took a $6.2B write-off related to aQuantive, might exit the online ad business, already reeling from executive departures. The fact the browser division made the Do Not Track decision without advertising's input has upset many (ed: that sounds familiar).
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  • Jul. 6, 2012, 2:41 PM
    Microsoft (MSFT) vet Stephen Toulouse questions Vanity Fair's assertion that his ex-employer has seen a "lost decade," given the success of Windows 7 and the Xbox. But ex-Microsoft engineer Michael Chery thinks the magazine didn't go far enough in documenting problems such as Microsoft's obsession with creating another Windows-like business, and its failure to turn huge R&D investments into products. Ex-MSN chief Naveen Jain thinks spin-offs are needed to right the ship.
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  • Jul. 6, 2012, 1:55 PM
    Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) has reportedly hired an i-bank to gauge the market for 61%-owned Activision (ATVI -1.5%). It's added bankers are "sounding out" tech and media companies such as Tencent, Time Warner, and Microsoft, as well as P-E firms. Vivendi's efforts to sell Activision, first reported last week, are pivotal to its restructuring plans. But a buyer for the $13.3B company could be hard to come by, and many think a spin-off of Vivendi's stake is more likely. (earlier)
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Company Description
Microsoft Corp is engaged in designing, manufacturing, selling devices, and online advertising to a global customer audience. Its products include operating systems for computing devices, servers, phones, and other intelligent devices.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States