The good news is Microsoft understands what it is up against and seems eager to morph out of what it is traditionally known for doing. Sales of Windows dropped 33% during the quarter, and Microsoft sees the writing on the wall. It reads, "Adjust or die."
As result, the company is now doing its part to secure its brand as well as its future, a future outside the realm of the traditional PC and into mobility.
To that end, the company has invested its resources and R&D towards a renewed commitment to giving consumers what they want and less about what Microsoft wants to be. Likewise, Microsoft must also prove it can maintain its footprint in the enterprise.So aside from the threat it receives from Apple and Google, it must continue to find ways to also fight off Oracle (ORCL), Salesforce.com (CRM) and Red Hat (RHT), which are all making tremendous strides in the cloud and the Software as a Service (SaaS) market.
Bottom LineAs disappointing as Microsoft earnings were, it was far from a disaster. However, this will only take the company so far. Management must prove that it can execute in the face of intense competitive pressure if it wants to win back Wall Street and regain its status as a consistent performer. Though doubt remains, I think better times are ahead for Microsoft. But the company can't expect to get a pass if its product launches disappoint. Nonetheless, I would be a buyer of the stock at current levels. As noted above, this is a company that is still generating a significant amount of cash flow and that also pays a respectable yield. At the time of publication the author had a position in APPL. Follow @rsaintvilus This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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