Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella has already made his company a force to be reckoned with, setting the once-stagnant tech giant back on a course toward innovation and big returns.
His efforts have helped push MSFT stock up 27% in just 20 months.
But when he took the stage at a New York City press event on Oct. 6, Nadella started to sound a bit like another, more famous tech executive.
That was the instant Nadella unveiled a series of new hardware products coming from a company that is renowned as one of the biggest software firms on the planet.
Of course, Nadella was taking a page out of Steve Jobs' winning playbook. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has in fact become more than just a computing company – it's a true tech "ecosystem."
That's basically the vision Jobs laid out for Apple, one heartily endorsed by his successor, Tim Cook.
The ecosystem approach means you'll be able to rely on Microsoft for all your computing hardware needs – a fitness band/watch, a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, even a virtual reality (VR) headset.
This is some of the most exciting and potentially profitable news we've ever had from Microsoft. Let me show you what's just around the corner – and how it will pack on billions in value for investors…
Ecosystem Essential No. 1: The New Must-Have Laptop
The new Surface Book laptop is getting rave reviews, even from hardcore Apple users.
Think of it as a MacBook Air but with a tablet included. The screen folds over to turn the device into a tablet. It also comes with a stylus that magnetically attaches to the left side of the screen.
The Surface Book enters the only PC category still growing – laptops. Tech research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) says laptop sales should come in around 164 million units in 2015. IDC projects average annual growth of about 1.2% for the next five years.
Priced at $1,500, Microsoft's laptop is clearly aimed at the top end of the market. But initial reviews are enthusiastic regarding quality, build, design, and style.
With the addition of the Surface Book, Microsoft now has a range of quality machines running the best version of Windows the company has made in several years.
Ecosystem Essential No. 2: The Truly Competitive Tablet
Microsoft also unveiled its newest Surface Pro 4 tablet, hardware that Microsoft has struggled with in the past.
You see, while Apple pioneered the tablet in 2010, Microsoft wasn't far behind, launching in 2012. The problem was, Microsoft tablets weren't very well thought out and were running Windows 8 – universally derided as a lousy operating system.
Now IDC says tablets running Android account for 67% of sales, with Apple in second place at 25%. But, critically, the research forecasts Microsoft will double its market share from the current 7% by 2019.
Because this time around, Microsoft has made a tablet that can compete with the iPad Pro in all areas, including price and performance.
For the fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended June 30, tablet revenue came in at $888 million. That's an increase of a stunning 117%.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 35-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top technology financial analysts working today. He regularly delivers winning trade recommendations to the Members of his monthly tech investing newsletter, Nova-X Report, and small-cap tech service, Radical Technology Profits. In the past two years alone, his subscribers have seen over 100 double- and triple-digit gains from his recommendations.
As a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs and high-profile industry insiders. In fact, he was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon. And he was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business Network, Michael is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book, "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before "bailout" became a household word.
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