There's a shake-up brewing in the business world. Al Mulally, CEO of a rejuvenated, refocused, and red-hot Ford Motor Company, may be heading over to Microsoft, where CEO Steve Ballmer is retreating under fire. Under Mulally, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance to one of the the most solid performers on Wall Street. Can Mulally do the same thing for Microsoft and move it back into the "Buy" column? Keith Fitz-Gerald joins FOX Business' Neil Cavuto to tackle this question, along with McDonalds' newest strategy and the effect of the looming government shutdown on Wall Street.To continue reading, please click here...
The Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Deal With Nokia Is Too Little Too Late
Anyone still wondering why Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Ballmer is being forced into early retirement need look no further than the $7.2 billion Nokia Corp. (NYSE ADR: NOK) deal announced today (Tuesday).
In a note to employees, Ballmer called the Microsoft-Nokia deal "a bold step into the future," but given the already cozy relationship between the two companies, it looks more like a leap of faith.
Microsoft: Look at This Chart Before You Decide
Judging from the 7.28% "Ballmer Bounce" that followed his announcement, the markets love the idea of long-suffering Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stepping down.
So do a lot of investors who believe now - finally - it's time to buy Microsoft.
But is it?
Can the company bring in a new CEO with vision? Can it finally begin to understand content? And is it willing to jettison employees and products that aren't "worth" what the legacy suggests?
I could write you some long, eloquent essay on the merits of corporate turnarounds.
Is Investing In Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Stock Finally A Good Idea?
What would it take for Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald to buy Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) stock?
The company's shares jumped 7% on Friday on news that often-embattled and rarely popular CEO Steve Ballmer will retire in the next 12 months. News that Ballmer will finallytake a bow was music to Wall Street's ears, apparently, but Fitz-Gerald was singing a different tune.
Why the Fate of Microsoft Stock Hinges on Windows 8
Any hope of jolting Microsoft stock out of years of stagnation lies with the success of its latest attempts to capture a slice of mobile computing.
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is only a bit player in mobile, currently dominated by devices running Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android. That's why the company now has a new mobile strategy, with the focal point being Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft's dominant computer operating system.
Windows 8 is optimized for the mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones that have stolen the thunder from traditional PCs, a market Microsoft long dominated.
Microsoft has also ventured into mobile hardware with its new Surface tablet.
Now Microsoft is betting that the Surface tablet will turn heads and that Windows 8 will put it back in the mobile OS game by luring hardware makers away from Android.
"I don't control the macro-environment, but there's a huge opportunity in the explosion of devices," Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein told Reuters. "There's demand for compelling devices and a connected set of cloud experiences. That's what Windows 8 is all about."
The Redmond, WA-based company must succeed in mobile to secure a new source of growth capable of moving Microsoft stock out of the doldrums where it has languished for more than a decade. The current 10-year return for MSFT is -6.39% -- yes, negative. Rolling back to November 2001 puts the return on Microsoft stock at -15.75%.
Owners of Microsoft stock can only cross their fingers and hope the bet pays off.
How Mobile Success Could Help Microsoft StockMicrosoft had little choice but to shift its attention to mobile computing. That's where the money is in tech today.
Apple's profits have soared from about $2 billion in FY 2006 to $41.7 billion in FY 2012, almost entirely on the strength of the iPhone and iPad.
More recently, Korean-based Samsung Electronics (PINK: SSNLF) has emerged as the dominant Android hardware maker, with its profits rocketing 91% in the September quarter on strong sales of its Galaxy series of smartphones.
Sales growth in mobile devices has soared over the past few years. Research firm Gartner expects combined global sales of tablets and smartphones to reach 821 million units this year and rise 46% to pass the 1.2 billion mark next year - triple that of global PC sales.
So far Microsoft hasn't been able to grab much of this market, with its Windows operating systems on just 2.4% of smartphones, and about 4% of tablets.
But these projections by research firm IDC see that changing with Windows 8...
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Microsoft Kinect (NASDAQ: MSFT) is Virtual Goldmine
Not long ago, the future of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was slipping through its grasp.
Then it introduced Kinect.
Today, the tech giant is using Kinect to win big on a breakthrough that will literally touch millions of lives.
It is one of the reasons why Microsoft's stock has gained more than 20% this year.
What is Kinect?
You may recognize it as the best-selling add-on to the Xbox 360 video game. But it's much more than that.
It represents a revolution in how we will communicate with our computers, our TVs, and our smartphones.
For Microsoft, Kinect is literally a game changer. They lead the world in the technology behind it and it promises to be big.
But not just for Microsoft...not by a long shot.
The Promise Behind Microsoft KinectThe magic behind Kinect is that it responds to body gestures.
And while Kinect did debut to rave reviews, Microsoft executives really didn't understand how Kinect could change the world -- and rack up new sales.
But since its introduction in 2010, hackers have found dozens of very cool uses for Kinect-- none of which did much for Microsoft's bottom line.
This got the software giant to thinking that maybe they were sitting on a potential gold mine.
That's why Microsoft is now tapping the genius of young entrepreneurs to better monetize the technology behind Kinect.
You know, the type of guys who live and breathe cutting-edge high tech.
In fact, Microsoft recently picked 11 startups to work at its Kinect development offices in suburban Seattle. It's a savvy move.
After all, these guys get out of bed every day looking to create the Next Big Thing.
Already, the program shows great promise. Here are some of the slick high-tech ideas these young turks are already tackling:
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