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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFTB) reports earnings for the fiscal quarter ending June 30 Tuesday, July 19. Consensus EPS is $0.58 compared with $0.62 for the same quarter last year. The stock maintains a Buy rating from both Zacks and TipRanks with a performance weighted rating of Outperform.

Most recently the company has admitted it will not hit its 1 billion Windows 10 user base target thanks in large part to lack of adoption of Windows 10 Mobile. But, is that the whole story or is there more?


Mobile Implosion

Adoption of Windows 10 Mobile has been so bad, in fact that Microsoft all but shut down Nokia operations and is reportedly shifting, instead, to a business-focused Surface Phone device designed to highlight Continuum and other technology built around merging the PC and mobile.

Continuum has the potential to become a hit with enterprise but there is substantial concern such features may not be able to carry an entire product line indefinitely.

From Mobile-First To Cloud-First

Moving from an emphasis on mobile to the cloud seems to square with Microsoft’s strategy to make its software suite available across all platforms including PC, table and mobile. The revenue side is enhanced by the adoption of a subscription model – without regard to the device being used.

Some analysts see this as a suggestion Microsoft is happy to serve as a cloud-based PC/data center platform provider based with revenue coming from the aforementioned subscription model.

Xbox Remains

This analysis rejects the notion that Microsoft would consider spinning off its gaming business. Gaming represents Microsoft’s presence in consumer living rooms and with a cloud platform that allows an open Windows platform across all devices, there’s simply no reason to drop Xbox.

With a unified games library available on both Xbox and the PC, Microsoft has a powerful tool to push back against Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNEC), which has taken market share from Microsoft of late.


LinkedIn Acquisition

Finally, there’s the widely criticized acquisition of LinkedIn Corporation (:LNKDN/A) for $26.2 billion or $196 per share. There are implications in the aftershock that are just now beginning to emerge.

TechCrunch suggests first and foremost Microsoft wanted to acquire the social media platform as a way to get to know more about its B2B customers – in the same way Google knows about its users. In other words, Microsoft wants to know how businesses interact with the productivity tools they use.

In addition LinkedIn represents B2B social intelligence including its popular email client, CloudMagic that lets the recipient see the sender’s organization, location, LinkedIn, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FBF) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTRC) profiles all based on their email address.

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