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Microsoft's Long Game Brings Hope To Investors

When the head of marketing and finance at Microsoft (MSFT) told Financial times that the “learning curve is definitely real" in reference to Windows 8, it marked a positive shift for the company. Windows 8 remains a core piece in centralizing Microsoft devices across all platforms, but it needs stronger user-acceptance from the PC market. Investors hoped the turnaround would begin during the holiday 2012 season, but the timeframe should be expected to be longer than that. The shift to Windows 8 in the marketplace will still play out over several quarters. [More from Chris Lau:  What To Do with AMD Following Massive Rally]

Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows 8 that will make it easier for users to adapt to the new touchscreen tiles interface.

On Microsoft’s blog, the company said that 100 million licenses of Microsoft were sold since the October launch. Windows Store adoption was rising, too. App downloads rose to 250 million, up from 100 million in January 2013, brings hope for Microsoft and PC makers that Windows 8-based devices will still grab at least a portion of the computing space despite the overall decline in PC sales.

Markets are already responding positively to Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). HP is also going through a multi-year transition:

Xbox Still a Growth Driver

When Microsoft announces a successor to the Xbox as early as May 21, it will ensure the company remains relevant in the in the living room entertainment space. Chances are also high that investors are bidding shares higher in anticipation of this event.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is up substantially (+57.6%) over the last few trading sessions. AMD is supplying the key chips for Sony’s PlayStation, and is thought to be the supplier for the new Xbox. AMD is outperforming its graphics-chip rival NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA):

Written by Chris Lau

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