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  • Intel (INTC) issues a PR declaring yesterday's Bloomberg report about remarks made by CEO Paul Otellini to employees in Taiwan "unsubstantiated." Otellini was said to have told employees Windows 8 (MSFT) is buggy and being released before it's ready. [View news story]
    People who complain about Microsoft software have never really had to work with really bad software. I can point to a dozen examples. Even worse some of it is really expensive. Like $1500/month license fee. Windows has to work on an incredible range of hardware. All kinds of combinations of processors, mother boards, video cards, sound cards, hard drives, optical drives, etc. It's a wonder it works as well as it does. Since Apple controls the hardward and the software, they have a lesser challenge.
    Sep 26 10:20 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing's Stealth Taxpayer Subsidy [View article]
    These are defacto loan guarantees. Any money they make available for purchasing is borrowed from the private lenders or possibly the Fed. Its like borrowing money and then loaning it to your kid to buy a car. Even if buyer defaults, the loan is still backed up with an aircraft that can be repossessed. Some have stated that the Ex/Im actually returns a profit. I am not sure about returning a profit but it might be so given the US govt's access to cheap money. The writer is correct that the credit of the US is being used when the loans are guaranteed and that does put the US minimally at risk.

    I am not sure of Mr. Arnolds agenda. He is either horribly misinformed or pushing some anti-Ex/Im or anti-American business agenda. A lot of counties have the equivalent to an Ex/Im bank. The WTO looked at the Boeing/Airbus issue, as part of a larger dispute between Boeing and Airbus, and found that it was not a subsidy. They did find that both Boeing and Airbus received anti-competitive subsidies but Ex/Im financing was not one. They found that the Airbus subsidies (~18billion) were many times larger than those received by Boeing (~$4billion).

    Seeking Alpha really should do some screening before the pay for and publish a article like this. Not only is it inaccurate, but it 100% political and has nothing to do with quality of either Boeing or Cat as an investment. It really sounds a lot like something that "Occupy Wallstreet" came up with.
    Jun 3 01:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: Why Lumia Earnings Barely Matter [View article]
    I believe it is essential for Microsoft to flesh out the Windows product line if it is to be sucessful. Even if it means selling parts of the product line at low margins. I want to buy a telephone, table/laptop, and workhorse desk top that are all on the same operating sytem. They need to be be on the "cloud" so I can see anything from any device. When MS gets the system fully integrated and if the cost is reasonable, I am a buyer. I think a lot of consumers and businesses will feel the same when they see the benefits.
    Oct 2 03:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia (NOK +2.5%) was working on a Windows RT (MSFT +0.3%) tablet set to launch earlier this year, but cancelled the project to focus on building a Windows 8 tablet, The Verge reports. Leaked pictures of the shelved RT device suggest it had a ~10" display and 4G connectivity. OEM interest in ARM-based (ARMH) RT tablets has been waning thanks to weak initial sales, a lack of support for older Windows apps, and the availability of Win. 8 tablets with similar form factors (made possible by Intel's Clover Trail Atom CPU). Look for Nokia's Win. 8 tablet to use Intel's (INTC) upcoming Bay Trail Atom CPU. [View news story]
    I agree with Jacob's point is that Nokia is taking on a lot a risk. I disagree with Jacob's go slow strategy. I really believe a long term sucessful hardware company has to have a full line up. In Nokia's case every thing from a simple cell phone up to full touch screen laptop. I think the Windows RT was destined to be an orphin. Too big for a cell phone, not capable as a tablet. Nokia really is betting the company with all the new hardware. I am not sure they have much of a choice.
    Jul 9 01:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A little more on Microsoft: 1) There are now close to 100K "Metro" apps in the Windows Store, and total downloads are said to be in the hundreds of millions. That's still well below the pace Apple and Google are seeing, but they have head starts and bigger bases. 2) Microsoft confirms its touch-friendly "Gemini" Office apps won't come until 2014. 3 Flipboard and Facebook Win. 8/RT apps are on the way. 4) Another change meant to appease Win. 7 fans: users can swipe down from the Start menu to see a full list of apps. 4) Hands-on previews for 8.1 (I, II, III) are more positive than negative. Engadget: "We're not sure if Windows 8.1 is distinct enough to win over folks who've been skeptical of Windows 8, but they may want to take another look." (webcast, live blog[View news story]
    I see this like the update from Windows 3.0 to 3.1. Windows 3.0 was panned, a disaster, and 3.1 was very well received. 3.1 got it right and really solidified the Windows OS. I am long term on Microsoft and really do hope they have it right.

    Rant: I get really tired of the Microsoft bashing. Most of the comments provided no useful insight. Just vauge complaints. I am beginning to think that Apple and Linux have deployed bots to disparage any and all Microsoft products. If people are unhappy with the products, use something else. I have used a number of operating systems on numerious computers (Unix, Linux, Apple, PDP, Vax, DOS, IBM and CDC OS's). Given its complexity, capabilities and the diversity of computers it will operate, Windows is a very solid OS. Anyone who says different has not had to work with a really bad OS.
    Jun 26 05:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ChannelAdvisor Data Springs Large Negative Surprise For [View article]
    In what alturnate universe is a 25% year over year sales increase considered a disappointment?

    I think Amazon is overpriced and I am waiting for a buy in point. I am also waiting for them to start making a reasonable profit on each sale. I am beginning to doubt their business plan: "Lose a little on each sale but make it back in volume". But if you are just tracking sales growth this is great.
    Jun 10 09:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Windows 8.1 Is Irrelevant And It's Time For Investors To Look Toward Windows 9 [View article]
    I believe Microsoft really wanted to build an OS the bridges between the smart phone, tablets and desktops. It seems like they forgot to build the bridge between Windows 7 and Windows 8 on the desktop. Hopefully 8.1 makes the transition easier.

    By the way, I still use Vista and I am very statisfied with it. It is rock solid but resource hungry. Installing Vista on a machine with inadaquate resources was a disaster. Most people who complain about Vista fall into two catagories. The first are those who try to run it on an inadaquate machine. The second are those who have no experience with it and are repeating hearsay.
    May 31 06:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Lumia 925: Disappointed? - Not Really [View article]
    I am a little disappointed. Spec wise, the 925 is a "middle of the pack" device. It will not attract people to the device purely on specs. There is no hook. No 41mpix camera, huge high density screen, killer apps, nothing. The only stand out feature is that it is the best Win8 phone available. I have seen the 928. The phone has a great feel and the operating system is outstanding. Apparently the 925 is thinner and lighter. At least Nokia is going in the right direction. Just not very fast.
    May 16 12:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Makes A Key Move [View article]
    I agree with the author. Part of the reason why Microsoft looks so lame to an outsider is that their consumer products are not cutting edge. Balmer developed the cash cow, Servers and Business software, at the expense of consumer products. You can't argue with the companies bottom line, it has been good since Balmer. I think XBox One is a great start to develop a Microsoft consumer "Ecosystem". Microsoft needs to integrate everything the consumer owns: TV, Video recording, Smart phone, gaming, home management, tablets, laptops and desktop. The desktop/laptop may not be cutting edge, but it is here to stay. You can't replace a desktop or a high end laptop with a tablet when you are doing real work. No gimmicks (eg Google Glasses), just a tight, seamless system of all consumer systems. The leverage will be huge.
    Feb 24 01:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing, Airbus vie for U.K. maritime-patrol deal [View news story]
    Those aircraft are so different it is not clear what the UK really wants. Compare the weights:
    P8 Max TO Weight is 190k
    C130 Max TO Weight is 155k
    C295 MTOW is about 55k

    My Take: I can't believe they all legit bidders. I suspect UK has their eyes on the P-8 but are trying to pressure the price down and get more offset purchases. Also the P-8 is operational and there is little/no development risk. Development costs will be shared with the US Navy which plans to purchase about 100. The UK also builds parts for the P-8. The UK may only be looking to buy a dozen or so aircraft. Hardly worth the effort of developing a less capable aircraft.

    Put your money on the P-8.
    Sep 12 12:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing: What's New On The 737 MAX? [View article]
    Small argument: The winglets actually make the wing act as if it's aspect ratio was increased (wing span/chord width). That reduces the induced drag (drag from lift) but adds some parasitic drag (skin area and cross section). The lift get pushed more to the wing tips, but the net lift from the wing should not change a lot.

    The tailcone redesign is way overdue. That has been a issue for a long time. I have always thought it was low hanging fruit. The current design is best practice from the 1960's. The Aux Power Unit installation should also get a going over.

    I am a little suprized it did not get a graphite wing. I guess that will be on the 737 replacement 20 years from now.
    Sep 10 01:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Falls Victim To Politics In China [View article]
    All companies with govt ties give preferential treatment to local companies. I suspect if Nokia had bundled their bid with a promise to throw some business to Chinese companies (commonly know as offsets) they would been in a better bargaining position. I was involved with a bid to France one time and they demanded offsets with values greater than value of the original purchase contract. Stated another way: They would purchase our product for $YY if we agreed to purchase 1.3x$YY from French companies. Nokia may have actually included offsets in their bid but maybe not enough.
    Aug 27 12:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Number Of Concerning Catalysts To Consider Before Creating A Position In Altria Group [View article]
    World wide, American cigarettes have a reputation similar to Cuban cigars. A really premium product. Unfortunately Altria and Phillip Morris split. Altria is basically US and Phillip Morris is international. If you want exposure to the Asian Markets, Phillip Morris. If you want exposure to the Asian American market, Altria.
    Aug 26 12:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Airbus (EADSF.PK) is "being very careful" not to spark a price war with Boeing (BA) in the narrow-body passenger jet market and will seek to maintain a 60-40 split (in Airbus' favor) "even though the natural market might be two thirds-one third," COO for customers John Leahy tells FT. BA indicated last year it would "respond in kind" to aggressive sales strategies. One recalls the kinked demand curve model from Econ 101. [View news story]
    Leahy thinks Airbus is entitled by the "natural market" to 66% of aircraft sales but is only going to limit himself 60% so as not to start a price war? This is arrogant and stupid. There is already a price war. In the 737/A320 types the only thing that differenciates the aircraft is price. The performance is very close to being the same. Either aircraft could have an advantage depending on the specific route. If I was out buying aircraft of this class only two things would matter: The aircraft currently in my fleet and price. Not nessessarily in that order.
    Jul 7 07:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Among those apparently not worried about the fate of the 787 Dreamliner during the first quarter were hedge funds. All told, hedgies spent $1.6B during Q1 buying shares of Boeing (BA), FactSet says. (Also: 787 deliveries begin anew) [View news story]
    I don't think is only the Dreamliner that has the funds buying Boeing. The 737 and 777 are doing fine and cranking out a huge volume of aircraft. These aircraft are in the sweet spot of their production cycle. Cost to produce is about as low as it will ever get and they have plenty of backlog.
    May 19 08:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment