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News For MSFT From The Last 14 Days
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January 30, 2015
16:28 EDTMSFTMarket finishes week lower as earnings, GDP miss drag down stocks
Stocks ended the week lower as several major companies reported weaker than expected results or gave disappointing guidance and a number of U.S. economic data points came in below the consensus outlook. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve reiterated that it would exercise patience in deciding when to raise interest rates. The central bank added that economic growth was expanding at a "solid" pace... U.S. economic data was mixed, as Q4 GDP growth, durable goods orders for December, and pending home sales came in below expectations, but weekly jobless claims and new home sales for December beat expectations... In Europe, the annual cost of living in the euro zone currency bloc fell 0.6% in January, versus analysts' forecast for a fall of 0.5%. However, the bloc's unemployment rate inched down to 11.4% in December from 11.5% in November. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged. COMPANY NEWS: Apple's (AAPL) shares rose after the company reported record results, beating analysts' expectations. The company sold 74.5M iPhones last quarter, a figure that also beat the consensus outlook... Visa (V), Boeing (BA), Amazon.com (AMZN), Google (GOOG), and video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) were among the companies that rose following their earnings reports. Facebook (FB) reported stronger than expected results but its stock was little changed on the week... Microsoft (MSFT), Caterpillar (CAT), Qualcomm (QCOM), Alibaba (BABA), DuPont (DD), and 3M (MMM) fell after reporting their results... Yahoo (YHOO) announced that it plans to spin off its stake in Alibaba later this year in a tax-free transaction. The announcement led to speculation that Yahoo could become a takeover target... McDonald's (MCD) announced that its CEO, Don Thompson, would step down and be replaced by its current Chief Brand Officer, Steve Easterbrook. Its stock reacted favorably to the executive change... Qualcomm (QCOM) cut its fiscal 2015 guidance and announced that its Snapdragon 810 processor will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device. A number of analysts and media outlets said that Samsung was the company to which Qualcomm was referring. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow is down 2.83% to 17,164.95, the Nasdaq is down 2.56% to 4,635.24, and the S&P is down 2.77% to 1,994.99.
08:39 EDTMSFTXbox Live outage due to erroneous software, not hackers, Business Insider says
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06:00 EDTMSFTStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; MSFT NFLX
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January 29, 2015
13:17 EDTMSFTEarnings Preview: Amazon sees Q4 revenue $27.3B-$30.3B
Amazon.com (AMZN) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Thursday, January 29 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Amazon.com is an online retail company that also provides consumer electronics and cloud computing services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 17c on revenue of $29.67B. The consensus range is (41c)-56c for EPS, and $28.83B-$30.24B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Amazon.com reported third quarter EPS of (96c) against estimates of (74c), on revenue of $20.58B against estimates of $20.84B. The company gave Q4 revenue guidance of $27.3B-$30.3B and Q4 operating income guidance of ($570M)-$430M, compared to $510M in the year-ago period. Amazon also reported Q3 operating cash flow up 15% to $5.71B. During its Q3 earnings conference call, Amazon reported Q3 active customer accounts exceeded 260M and said it viewed international as a "big opportunity" for growth. The company also said it was seeing "great growth" in Prime and noted that it was not planning to change the price. NEWS: During the quarter, Amazon's Audible unit acquired online comedy service Rooftop Media for an undisclosed amount and its Twitch platform acquired GoodGame; Amazon also acquired Annapurna Labs, an Israeli startup. The company said it plans to create more than 1,000 full-time jobs with a $75M in investment in Illinois. China Daily said Amazon would enable Chinese consumers to shop on its overseas websites and The Globe and Mail said Amazon would offer same-day shipping in Canada. During the fall, Amazon experimented with utilizing taxi cab services as a delivery method throughout San Francisco and Los Angeles using the mobile app Flywheel, according to The Wall Street Journal. Amazon's Fire TV Stick started shipping in November for $39 and outfitted several U.S. warehouses with wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers and are expected to speed delivery. Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos told Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget that the company has a succession plan in place. Amazon also announced the "Make an Offer" experience that allows customers to negotiate even lower prices on thousands of items and The Wall Street Journal said the company was practicing one-hour deliveries with bike messengers in New York City. European regulators said Amazon's tax arrangements in Luxembourg could give the company an illegal advantage over competitors and that the method Luxembourg used to calculate taxes payable by Amazon did not comply with international guidelines.U.S. technology giants like Amazon, Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and others are "very worried" about the backlash they are now facing in Europe and U.S. companies may now remove services in some European countries because it isnít worth the trouble and cost to cater to local laws in some of those countries, said The Wall Street Journal. Scott Wapner of CNBC stated on Twitter that sources tell him that Carl Icahn has "no stake at all" in Amazon, which had moved higher earlier amid rumors of Icahn getting involved in the stock. Most recently, Amazon said its Amazon Studios unit will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video. The company also discontinued its Amazon Elements line of diapers after less than two months. Additionally, Amazon announced Amazon WorkMail, an email and calendar service. STREET RESEARCH: Robert W. Baird believes Amazon WorkMail could lead to software-as-a-service solutions that could produce $10B + in revenue for Amazon. The firm keeps a $340 price target and Outperform rating on Amazon. Piper Jaffray, which has an Overweight rating and $400 price target on the stock, believes Amazon.com shares are pricing in a soft margin outlook ahead of the company's December quarter results. Piper says that while it is unsure about near-term margins, it thinks any upside would be rewarded disproportionately. It also thinks the market is already expecting 2015 revenue to come down by 1%-2% due to currency moves. JPMorgan keeps a Neutral rating on Amazon.com ahead of the company's Q4 results but says it is "warming up" to the stock. The firm believes Prime subscriber growth has been strong worldwide and raised its price target for shares to $323 from $307. PRICE ACTION: Amazon.com shares have increased over 3.7% over the last three months. In Thursday trading ahead of the Q4 report, Amazon.com shares are up fractionally.
10:00 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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08:04 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities
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07:27 EDTMSFTU.S. groups ask China to re-examine new cybersecurity rules, WSJ reports
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07:04 EDTMSFTChina implementing new requirements for some tech companies, NY Times says
China is forcing companies which sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to divulge secret source code and submit to audits, according to The New York Times. It is also requiring such companies to provide the government with access to hardware and software products, the newspaper indicated. Cisco (CSCO), Qualcomm (QCOM), and Microsoft (MSFT) have raised issues about accessing the Chinese market, while Apple (AAPL) is looking to increase its business in the country, the newspaper added. Reference Link
06:20 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to release Outlook on iOS, Outlook and Office on Android, Re/code says
Microsoft (MSFT) is releasing on Thursday an Apple iOS (AAPL) version of its Outlook email software as well as a preview of an Android version, reports Re/code. The apps will support Microsoft's own email service as well as Google Gmail (GOOG), iCloud, and Yahoo (YHOO) email accounts. The company is also launching full versions of its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for Android. Reference Link
January 28, 2015
13:51 EDTMSFTAmazon.com will launch WorkMail, an email and calendar service, WSJ reports
Amazon (AMZN) plans to launch WorkMail, an email and electronic calendar service, hoping to compete against Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) in the corporate-email marketplace, Wall Street Journal reports. The company hopes that its sales pitch of "simplicity and security" will pull customers in. Reference Link
08:06 EDTMSFTMicrosoft stops production of Surface 2 tablet in favor of Surface 3, Verge says
Microsoft announced it is no longer manufacturing its Surface 2 tablet in favor of focusing on the more popular Surface 3, reports The Verge. The Surface 2 is Microsoft's last remaining device to run on its mobile operating system Windows RT, indicating a shift towards traditional editions of Windows. Reference Link
07:59 EDTMSFTSenate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee to hold a hearing
The Committee holds a hearing entitled, "Protecting America from Cyber Attacks: The Importance of Information Sharing" with EVP of American Express, Marc Gordon, VP of Microsoft, Scott Charney, EVP of Marsh & McLennan, Peter Beshar and Chief Security Strategist of FireEye, Richard Bejtlich, on January 28 at 2:30 pm. Webcast Link
07:23 EDTMSFTIntel pullback yesterday a buying opportunity, says Jefferies
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January 27, 2015
16:31 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:28 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:14 EDTMSFTMicrosoft sinks after outlook brings multiple downgrades
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) are falling after the company last night issued guidance for its quarter ending in March that came in significantly below analysts' expectations. JPMorgan, Citigroup, MKM Partners and Nomura responded to the company's results by downgrading the stock. BACKGROUND: Microsoft's revenue guidance for its March quarter missed expectations, driven by U.S. dollar strength, and continued weakness in China, Russia and Japan, according to JPMorgan analyst Mark Murphy. The company's second quarter results were roughly in-line with expectations, but its software sales came in below the consensus outlook, as customers shifted to cheaper Web-based products. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors, JPMorgan's Murphy downgraded the stock to Neutral for Overweight. Microsoft plans to spend more money than anticipated going forward, according to the analyst, who consequently cut his fiscal 2015 earnings per share forecast for the company by 8%. The reduced profit outlook could delay the stock's move above $50, warned Murphy, who reduced his price target on the name to $47 from $53. But the analyst did note that the tech giantís commercial cloud revenue growth jumped 114% year-over-year last quarter, a higher growth rate than during the same period a year earlier. Citigroup cut its rating on Microsoft to Sell from Neutral, saying that the company's earnings headwinds are becoming clearer. The firm set a $38 price target on the stock. Both Nomura and MKM Partners cut its ratings on the name to Neutral from Buy. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Microsoft fell 9.55 to $42.50. Other companies
10:00 EDTMSFTOn the Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:36 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL MSFT TWTR TSLA GILD NFLX C AA HPQ X
09:17 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Silicon Image (SIMG), up 23% after signing agreement to be acquired by Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC)... USA Technologies (USAT), up 5% following nationwide roll-out of new Apple Pay points... TE Connectivity (TEL), up 3.9% following a Wall Street Journal report that the company is close to a deal with Commscope (COMM)... Select Comfort (SCSS), up 1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Microsoft (MSFT), down 8.2%... Caterpillar (CAT), down 7.8%... Packaging Corp (PKG), down 8.3%... Peabody Energy (BTU), down 5.3%... Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), down 5.7%... Polaris Industries (PII), down 2.1%... United Technologies (UTX), down 2.3%... Procter & Gamble (PG), down 2.6%.
08:20 EDTMSFTFCC to hold a conference
Small Business and Emerging Technologies Conference is being held at FCC Washington, D.C. with webcasted presentations to begin at 9 am. Webcast Link
07:13 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Hold from Buy at MKM Partners
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07:03 EDTMSFTMicrosoft shares extend losses as downgrades pile up
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06:53 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup
Citigroup downgraded Microsoft to Sell with a $38 price target after the company's March outlook came in well below expectations. Citi says Microsoft's earnings headwinds are becoming more clear. The stock was also downgraded this morning at JPMorgan and Nomura.
06:47 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura
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06:42 EDTMSFTMicrosoft cloud business performed well in Q2, says Piper Jaffray
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06:09 EDTMSFTMicrosoft guidance 'shockingly low,' says Jefferies
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05:44 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
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January 26, 2015
18:28 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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18:14 EDTMSFTMicrosoft sees Q3 Devices & Consumers, Other revenue approximately $2B
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18:04 EDTMSFTMicrosoft sees Q3 phone hardware revenue $1,4B-$1.5B
18:03 EDTMSFTMicrosoft sees Q3 computing and gaming revenue $1.5B-$1.7B
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18:02 EDTMSFTMicrosoft sees Q3 consumer licensing revenue $3.4B-$3.6B
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18:00 EDTMSFTMicrosoft anticipates lower gross margins over next few quarters
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17:57 EDTMSFTMicrosoft sees four point revenue impact from FX in Q3
17:46 EDTMSFTMicrosoft says results in China, Japan fell short of expectations in Q2
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17:36 EDTMSFTMicrosoft says Commercial Cloud run-rate $5.5B
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16:17 EDTMSFTMicrosoft shares drop 2% to $45.99 following Q2 results
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16:16 EDTMSFTMicrosoft reports Q2 Commercial revenue up 5% to $13.3B
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16:15 EDTMSFTMicrosoft reports Q2 Devices and Consumer revenue up 8% to $12.9B
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16:13 EDTMSFTMicrosoft expects to complete $40B share repurchase by end of 2016
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16:12 EDTMSFTMicrosoft says results include 6c of restructuring, IRS expenses
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16:11 EDTMSFTMicrosoft reports Q2 EPS 71c, consensus 71c
Reports Q2 revenue $26.5B, consensus $26.33B.
16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; January 26, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 1.47 to 30.63. Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR AMZN FB NFLX X MSFT BP GILD according to Track Data.
15:32 EDTMSFTMicrosoft January weekly 47 straddle priced for 3.7% movement into Q2
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15:30 EDTMSFTNotable companies reporting after market close
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14:10 EDTMSFTEarnings Preview: Analysts' opinions on Microsoft divided
Microsoft (MSFT) is scheduled to report results of its second quarter of fiscal year 2015 after the market close on Monday, January 26, with a conference call scheduled for 5:30 pm ET. Microsoft, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells and licenses software to consumers and businesses, offers cloud computing and other business services, and markets hardware including the Xbox entertainment system, the Surface tablet and Windows smartphones. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 71c on revenue of $26.33B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 65c-81c on revenue of $25.87B-$27.52B. On its last earnings call, Microsoft said it sees Q2 licensing revenue of $4B-$4.2B, computers and gaming revenue of $3.5B-$3.8B, phone hardware revenue of $2B-$2.2B, device and consumer other revenue of $2.3B-$2.4B, commercial licensing revenue of $10.8-$11B and commercial other revenue of $2.5B-$2.6B. Microsoft noted that it expects a quarter-over-quarter decline in its non-commercial segment in Q2. LAST QUARTER: On October 23, Microsoft reported first quarter EPS of 54c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 49c. It's revenue came in at $23.2B, topping the consensus estimate of $22.02B. Microsoft said its Q1 financial results include $1.14B of integration and restructuring expenses, or an 11c per share negative impact, related to both Microsoftís restructuring plan announced in July and the ongoing integration of the Nokia Devices and Services business. Microsoft reported that its Q1 Devices and Consumer revenue grew 47% to $10.96B and that its Commercial revenue grew 10% to $12.28B. NEWS: On November 4, Dropbox and Microsoft announced a partnership, with the two companies teaming up to integrate their services for collaboration across Dropbox and Microsoft Office on phones, tablets and the web. On December 4, Barnes & Noble (BKS) announced that it would buy Microsoft's entire stake in the book retailer's NOOK Media subsidiary for about $62.5M in cash and 2.74M Barnes & Noble shares. Barnes & Noble said it was buying back the stake to facilitate the spin off of the NOOK business. On January 21, Microsoft announced at its Windows 10 event that Windows 8 and Windows 7 customers will get free upgrades to Windows 10. The company also said that Cortana, its rival to Apple's (AAPL) Siri personal assistant, will be available for the desktop in Windows 10, making the virtual assistant available across smartphones, PCs and tablets. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last quarterly report, Credit Suisse said Microsoft reported strong hardware revenue outperformance combined with cost controls and cloud businesses momentum. The firm raised its price target on the stock to $55 from $50 and said it believed the company can return to double-digit EPS growth. On November 20, Jefferies initiated shares of Microsoft with an Underperform rating, saying the "new" Microsoft will look very much like the "old" Microsoft for some time. The firm attributed a rally in shares over the past year to optimism around new management, but it thinks the tech giant's fundamentals remain challenged despite its focus on cloud and mobile given its dependency on the PC market. Jefferies put a $40 price target on the stock at that time. In early December, JPMorgan started shares of Microsoft with an Overweight rating, saying the company has the strongest cloud platform among enterprise IT mega vendors. The firm set a $53 price target for the stock. Less than two weeks later, Piper Jaffray also began coverage on shares of Microsoft with an Overweight rating, saying the tech giant should benefit from stabilization in the PC market and "healthy" enterprise spending. The firm set a $54 price target for shares. However, on December 16, BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded Microsoft to Underperform from Neutral. The firm downgraded shares based on elevated valuation and reduced visibility. BofA/Merrill has concerns of a slowing Win Pro cycle, the Consumer 365 transition, and challenging gross margins. BofA had a price target of $47 on Microsoft. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Microsoft shares are up about 1%. In afternoon trading ahead of tonight's report, Microsoft is down almost 1% to trade near $46.74 per share.
13:36 EDTMSFTMicrosoft technical notes before earnings
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09:44 EDTMSFTInterDigital announces commencement of ITC evidentiary hearing in Microsoft case
InterDigital (IDCC) announced the commencement of the evidentiary hearing in the remand of U.S. International Trade Commission "613 Investigation" of the company's complaint against respondents Nokia Corporation, Nokia Inc. and Microsoft (MSFT). In the 613 Investigation, InterDigital seeks an exclusion order prohibiting the importation into the U.S. of Nokia and Microsoft Mobile devices with 3G WCDMA capabilities that infringe two InterDigital patents. The 613 Investigation was remanded to the ITC from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which held that the Commission had erred in interpreting certain claim terms in InterDigital's patents.
07:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
Microsoft January weekly call option implied volatility is at 34, February is at 23, March is at 20; compared to its 26-week average of 20 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results today after the market close.
January 23, 2015
15:27 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
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11:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to acquire Revolution Analytics to aid customers with data analysis
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08:11 EDTMSFTMicrosoft reveals smartphone-controlled "smart scarf," Business Insider says
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08:07 EDTMSFTU.S. tech giants nervous about backlash in Europe, WSJ says
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06:00 EDTMSFTWindows 10 unlikely to bring dramatic changes to mobile market, DigiTimes says
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January 22, 2015
14:26 EDTMSFTTwitter introduces Tweet translation with Bing Translator
Twitter (TWTR) announced that the company has partnered with Bing Translator (MSFT) to provide machine translations of Tweets between more than 40 language pairs. Tweet translation is available on twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, and TweetDeck, according to the company's support page about the new feature. Reference Link
12:37 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility into Q2 and outlook
Microsoft January weekly call option implied volatility is at 30, February is at 23, March is at 20; compared to its 26-week average of 20 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results on January 26.
08:01 EDTMSFTSeagate expands collaboration with Super Micro Computer
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06:03 EDTMSFTMicrosoft Windows 10 not a 'material' catalyst, says Jefferies
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January 21, 2015
15:18 EDTMSFTMicrosoft unveils holographic goggle prototype, Wired reports
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12:31 EDTMSFTMicrosoft Cortana to be available on Windows 10 computers, Business Insider says
Microsoft (MSFT) announced at its Windows 10 event that Cortana, its rival to Apple's (AAPL) Siri personal assistant, will be available for the desktop in Windows 10, Business Insider reports, adding that Cortana will be available across smartphones, PCs and tablets. Reference Link
12:22 EDTMSFTMicrosoft says Windows 8, Windows 7 customers to get free upgrade to Windows 10
This comment was made at the Microsoft Windows 10 Briefing. Reference Link
10:06 EDTMSFTMicrosoft set to test key support, levels to watch
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08:09 EDTMSFTDTS to enhance Starz audio technology on Microsoft's Xbox One
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January 20, 2015
11:08 EDTMSFTMicrosoft acquires Equivio, terms not disclosed
Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's Corporate VP, Outlook and Office 365, announced on the company's blog that Microsoft has acquired Equivio, a provider of machine learning technologies for eDiscovery and information governance. Jha explains, "We are making this acquisition to help our customers tackle the legal and compliance challenges inherent in managing large quantities of email and documents." Reference Link
09:39 EDTMSFTMicrosoft Outlook in China hacked by government censorship department, CNBC says
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January 16, 2015
09:47 EDTMSFTPolice arrest U.K. man in connection with Sony, Microsoft hack, Bloomberg says
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