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   Technology StocksMicrosoft Corp. - Moderated (MSFT)

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From: Don Green6/14/2021 12:05:43 PM
   of 19757
Microsoft will end Windows 10 support in October 2025

K. Holt|06.14.21

Shannon Stapleton / r
Microsoft has revealed when it will put Windows 10 out to pasture. It will stop support for the current operating system on October 14th, 2025. That means Microsoft expects the transition to the next version of Windows, which it will show off on June 24th, to take around four years.

The company quietly announced the news in a support page update, as spotted by Thurrott. Previously, the page noted when Microsoft would end support for certain versions of Windows 10. It now states Microsoft started supporting Windows 10 Home and Pro on July 29th, 2015 and reveals the operating system's "retirement date." The end-of-support timeline puts the Windows 10 lifecycle at a hair over 10 years, similar to previous iterations of the OS.

As for what we're expecting from Windows 11 (or whatever it's called), there will probably be a redesign, including a revamped Windows Store. Microsoft recently canceled Windows 10X, which was initially going to be for dual-screen devices. It said it would bring some features planned for that OS into the standard version of Windows. Perhaps that'll make it easier for manufacturers and developers to support dual-screen devices without having to work with a separate version of Windows.

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From: Don Green6/16/2021 8:18:18 PM
   of 19757
Microsoft names CEO Nadella to chair the board

Jun. 16, 2021 8:10 PM ET Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) By: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella has been named chair of the board.Nadella was a unanimous selection of the independent directors, and he takes over the chair from John Thompson, former CEO of Symantec.Thompson will resume the role of lead independent director, which he held from 2012-2014 (at which time he replaced Bill Gates as chair while Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as CEO)."In this role, Nadella will lead the work to set the agenda for the board, leveraging his deep understanding of the business to elevate the right strategic opportunities and identify key risks and mitigation approaches for the board's review," Microsoft says."As lead independent director, Thompson will retain significant authority including providing input on behalf of the independent directors on board agendas, calling meetings of the independent directors, setting agendas for executive sessions, and leading performance evaluations of the CEO."

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From: Don Green6/22/2021 6:00:49 PM
   of 19757
The stakes for Microsoft's Windows update

Data: Statcounter Global Stats; Chart: Axios Visuals
While there are many ways Microsoft could improve Windows, a key area is helping people work across multiple devices, including smartphones, writes Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried.

    The company is unveiling a new version of Windows on Thursday.
The big picture: The long-term health of its business still depends on a thriving Windows ecosystem.

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To: Don Green who wrote (19555)6/22/2021 6:02:53 PM
From: Don Green
1 Recommendation   of 19757
Microsoft becomes second U.S. firm to pass $2 trillion market cap

Microsoft reached a $2 trillion market capitalization in trading Tuesday, joining a small group of global companies that have crossed that threshold — including Apple.

The technology giant is now the second publicly traded U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market valuation. Apple reached its own $2 trillion market cap back in August 2020.

Despite hitting $2 trillion in intraday trading on Tuesday, Microsoft's valuation was about $300 million shy of the high-water mark by the time markets closed. Its share price is currently sitting at $265.51 as of 5:23 p.m. Eastern time.

Like Apple, Microsoft has benefitted from the work-from-home and remote education boom created as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020, when lockdowns began, Microsoft's stock has surged 64%.

Back in April, the company reported that its sales had risen 19% year-over-year to $41.7 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

As of writing, Apple's market valuation standards at $2.24 trillion. Some analysts believe the Cupertino tech giant could become the first to hit a $3 trillion market cap within a few years.

Along with the technology giants, oil company Saudi Aramco also once surpassed the $2 trillion mark. On Tuesday, its market valuation was $1.88 trillion.

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From: Don Green6/23/2021 5:49:54 PM
   of 19757
Microsoft: $2 Trillion Is Just The Beginning

Jun. 23, 2021 8:51 AM ET Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) 33 Comments15 Likes

SummaryMicrosoft is only the second US-based company to ever reach the $2 trillion valuation, joining Apple in the select club.I list below three reasons why Microsoft's financial performance and stock have been seemingly unshakeable in the past several years.A reasonable long-term PEG of 2.0x and rock-solid balance sheet further justify the investment, in my view.Looking for a helping hand in the market? Members of Storm-Resistant Growth get exclusive ideas and guidance to navigate any climate. Learn More »

wdstock/iStock Editorial via Getty ImagesIt took ten months for another US-based tech giant to reach the $2 trillion valuation. After Apple ( AAPL) achieved the feat in August 2020, Microsoft ( MSFT) justified my label of "top FAAMG pick in 2021" and ended the June 22 trading session right at the $2 trillion mark (rounded to the nearest billion).

It is understandable that, at fresh all-time highs and testing the milestone level for the first time ever, some might feel uneasy about investing in this stock into strength. For instance, MSFT has handily topped the YTD performance of its key peers, AAPL and Amazon ( AMZN), as well as those of the broad market (see chart below).

However, I believe that Microsoft lends itself best for sustainable growth that is more predictable than its peers, a plus for long-term investors even at peak prices and fairly rich valuations.

Data by YCharts
Microsoft Stock: $2 Trillion Valuation Is Just The Beginning (NASDAQ:MSFT) | Seeking Alpha

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To: Don Green who wrote (19557)6/25/2021 1:07:24 PM
From: Sr K
   of 19757
Microsoft’s Windows 11: The Big New PC Features Coming This Year

A redesigned interface, new productivity features and the ability to run Android apps are all key to Microsoft’s plan to give PCs a fresh ‘Start’—and take on Google and Apple

Windows 11: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the New ‘Start’ of the PC (Exclusive)

0:00 / 7:29

Windows 11: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the New ‘Start’ of the PC (Exclusive)

Windows 11, due out later this year, is full of new features, including a new Start menu that's been moved to the center and a Microsoft Store with Android apps. In an exclusive interview, WSJ’s Joanna Stern spoke with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about the software, the influence of the pandemic and his strategy of competing with Google and Apple. Photo illustration: Alex Kuzoian/The Wall Street Journal

Joanna Stern

Updated June 25, 2021 11:07 am ET

You don’t have to be a Microsoft historian to see the ping-pong pattern:

Windows XP — Hit!
Windows Vista — Flop.
Windows 7 — Hit!
Windows 8 — Flop.
Windows 10 — Hit!

If you were playing the odds, you’d bet Windows 11, announced Thursday, would flop. But what I’ve seen so far of Windows 11 looks smart. Plus, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella, in an exclusive interview, joked that 11 is a lucky number.

While the Windows 11 interface has been redesigned, it’s more a fresh coat of paint than a complete remodel. Yes, Microsoft has moved the Start button to the bottom center, but, don’t you worry, you can always put it back in the left corner. There are loads of new productivity features, too, and the headline feature: Android apps!

Amazon (yes, that Amazon) is bringing its Android app store to the new Microsoft Store, and Windows 11 PCs themselves will be able to run the software, regardless of the chip that powers them.


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From: Sr K7/27/2021 6:44:56 PM
   of 19757
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company's Teams workplace collaboration software continues to enjoy strong uptake, now with nearly 250 million active monthly users.

Its Teams enterprise phone business, he said, also is seeing strong growth. That is a category Zoom Video Communications has identified as a key growth area.

On an earnings call, Mr. Nadella said, "We have nearly 80 million monthly active Teams phone users."

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From: Don Green7/28/2021 10:33:25 AM
3 Recommendations   of 19757
Microsoft tops $60 billion in annual earnings for the first time to cap record-breaking year

Microsoft stock initially declined despite blowing away expectations, but headed slightly higher after executives said they expect the growth to continue in the first quarter of new fiscal year

Microsoft Corp. released fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday afternoon.Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. finished yet another record-breaking year with more than $60 billion in profit and $165 billion in sales, showing why it has become only the second $2 trillion company in U.S. stock market history, and shares turned around after it projected more growth.

Microsoft MSFT, +1.14% on Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $16.46 billion, or $2.17 a share, up from $1.46 a share a year ago. The maker of Windows and other software products divulged revenue of $46.15 billion, a quarterly record and up from $38.03 billion in the year-ago quarter.

“Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years,” Chief Executive Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.92 a share on sales of $44.22 billion, according to FactSet. Microsoft shares fell 3% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the results, after falling 0.9% to $286.54 in regular trading on a tough day for tech stocks, but turned around to a small gain later in the extended session following an upbeat forecast shared in Tuesday’s conference call. The stock was up 1.5% premarket Wednesday.

For the full year, Microsoft totaled $61.27 billion in profit on sales of $168.09 billion, both easily exceeding the records established in its previous fiscal year. The gains exceeded expectations at the beginning of the year, as Microsoft’s cloud-computing and -software offerings found needy customers in employers scrambling to move to a work-from-home setup due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expected to continue to shift to online options.

“It is abundantly clear that Microsoft is well-positioned to continue to benefit from a number of secular trends powering IT spending today, including the greater focus on digital transformation and the accelerating shift to the cloud,” Evercore ISI software analysts wrote earlier this month in a preview of the sector.

All of Microsoft’s segments produced better growth than analysts expected in the final three months of the company’s fiscal year, which included the launch of a new Xbox and a new version of Windows. “Productivity and business processes,” which comprises most of Microsoft’s cloud-software offerings, grew to $14.69 billion in sales from $11.75 billion a year ago, topping analysts’ average expectations of $13.93 billion. “More Personal Computing,” the traditional PC business, grew to $14.09 billion from $12.91 billion, beating the average analyst forecast of $13.78 billion.

The biggest segment for Microsoft was “Intelligent Cloud,” which wraps in its Azure cloud-computing offering with sales of servers and other equipment needed for a hybrid-cloud setup. Microsoft reported record quarterly sales of $17.38 billion in that segment, up from $13.37 billion a year ago and beating the average analyst estimate of $16.39 billion. The company said that Azure sales grew by 51%, easily topping the average analyst estimate of 44.7%; unlike cloud rivals Inc. AMZN, +0.72% and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, +4.55% GOOG, +1.84%, Microsoft does not break out raw numbers for its cloud-computing offering.

Analysts expect growth to continue in Microsoft’s new fiscal year, predicting ahead of the report that profit will grow to more than $63 billion and sales will increase to $186.74 billion in the 2022 fiscal year.

“As we move into FY22, we think Microsoft’s fundamentals are likely as strong at any point in recent history,” Rosenblatt Securities analyst John McPeake, who has a buy rating and $333 price target on the stock, wrote in a note ahead of the numbers. “We think Azure continues to take share, demand for PCs remains robust,
and Office, Teams, and Dynamics likely continue to grow in the double digits.”

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said Tuesday that Microsoft expects to keep growing. Hood forecast revenue of $43.3 billion to $44.2 billion in the fiscal first quarter, which topped analysts’ average expectations for sales of $42.5 billion and would reflect growth of at least 16.5% from the same quarter last year.

Hood expects $16.4 billion to $16.65 billion for “Intelligent Cloud”; $14.5 billion to $14.75 billion for “Productivity and business processes”; and $12.4 billion to $12.8 billion for the “More Personal Computing” segment, which will be impacted by a $300 million Windows 11 deferral to the second quarter. Those ranges beat analysts’ estimates for all but the PC segment, which was in-line due to the deferral.

While Microsoft did not provide a full-year forecast, Hood did say their outlook for fiscal 2022 “reflects healthy double-digit revenue and operating income growth” that “results in expanded operating margins.” And she also provided insight on Azure growth moving forward, which Microsoft has not done in the past.

“In constant currency, Azure revenue growth should remain relatively stable on a sequential basis,” Hood noted, suggesting that the growth of more than 50% from Azure could continue.

For investors who trust that Microsoft will continue to grow, the question is whether its stock price will follow. Microsoft has already reached a $2 trillion market cap this year thanks to 2021 growth of 28.6%, easily outpacing the 17.7% growth of the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.13% and 14.8% increase of the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.06%, which counts Microsoft as a component.

For Evercore ISI’s software analysts, the answer is clear: Just keep on posting huge growth numbers, and the stock will respond.

“The easy answer to how Microsoft continues to outperform the S&P is that Microsoft continues to deliver double-digit top AND bottom line growth,” wrote the analysts, who have an outperform rating and $300 price target on Microsoft shares.

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To: Don Green who wrote (19560)7/30/2021 9:36:54 AM
From: Don Green
   of 19757
How Microsoft quietly climbed back to the top of the tech industry

After several bumpy years, the software giant is showing strength once more—while steering clear of courtrooms and media frenzies.

We are living in an era of high drama in Big Tech.

The leaders of modern technology companies seem to spend most of their time either fighting in federal courts or—particularly in the case of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk—attempting to thrust themselves into low-orbit, dominating headlines in the process. Add Richard Branson to the mix and you’ve got the billionaire space race, a game fueled as much by rockets and dollars as it is by constant one-upmanship.

But headline-making stunts don’t drive sustainable growth. Just look at Microsoft, which has kept a relatively low-profile of late—certainly compared to Amazon, Tesla, Apple, and Facebook—all while seeing its share prices rise more than 600% since 2014. While its more boisterous competitors are scrutinized by Congress and the media, Microsoft has quietly carved out a niche in cloud services, software, and hardware, and climbed back to the top of the tech tree. In June, despite mixed reviews for Windows 11, Microsoft became the second American publicly traded company in history to reach a market capitalization of more than $2 trillion.

Certain short-term factors have contributed to the company’s growth. The PC market grew by more than 10% in 2020, as more consumers turned to their machines for entertainment during the pandemic. Microsoft also saw success with its Surface devices, Xbox content, and cloud services. The brand says its Intelligent Cloud segment alone brought in $48 billion in its 2020 fiscal year.

But there are broader reasons for Microsoft’s growth, including the benefit of brand maturity. Surely Microsoft looks at the media and legal scrutiny that Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook regularly undergo today, then shudders and thinks, Never again.

You’ll recall that as internet browsers like Netscape grew in importance in the 1990s, Microsoft raced to develop its own product, Internet Explorer, and bundled it in with Windows software. This led to a crushing antitrust lawsuit, filed in 1998 by the U.S. government. A federal judge found the company guilty in 2000.

The court ordered a breakup of Microsoft as its remedy. The business was to be broken into two separate units, one to produce the operating system, and one to produce other software components. Microsoft appealed the decision—and won. But while the company avoided a breakup of its business, the next decade saw it largely miss the advent of mobile software, social media, and internet search, falling behind newer rivals such as Google and nimbler ones like Apple.

Microsoft was in danger of being left behind on the tech superhighway. It began making wild bets: a failed bid for Yahoo, a $500 million content-sharing contract with Viacom, the short-lived release of the Kin phone.

This was until 2014, when a gradual rebrand—shifting the corporation’s logos, products, services, and websites, and adopting the Metro design language—came to a head with the appointment of Satya Nadella.

Nadella had previously headed up Microsoft’s Cloud division, and he saw the potential for the technology to become the base infrastructure for businesses around the world. Microsoft unveiled a new mission statement: “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Today, this is brought to life through services like its Azure Cloud, which underpins the entire AT&T network in the U.S., keeping millions of people connected. It’s available across 52 regions, powering water-service management systems in Tokyo, educational services in London, and e-commerce businesses in South Africa in equal measure.

Microsoft has a clearer identity today than it has ever had before. While staying away from headlines, antitrust suits, and the edge of space, the technology giant has developed a product suite that lives up to its mission statement.

Although it took Microsoft 33 years from its initial public offering to reach its first $1 trillion in value in 2019, the next trillion took just two years.

Now, while its competitors are blasting off in courtrooms and spacecrafts, Microsoft is reaping the rewards of a brand strategy 20 years in the making. As it turns out, ??five minutes in space is no match for a decade in the cloud.

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To: Don Green who wrote (19561)8/20/2021 9:33:13 PM
From: Sr K
1 Recommendation   of 19757
ATH 8/20/2021

$304.36 close

+$7.59 +2.56% on 40.8 billion shares

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