This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Upshot at the JPMorgan Tech Conference: On Paperclips and Profits

Clippy Must Die

You might expect big things from the world's largest software company, but the biggest highlight of Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) presentation at the JPMorgan H&Q Tech Conference was about the size of a paper clip.

In fact, it was a paper clip.

Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Office at Microsoft, drew applause from the crowd here when he demo-ed Office XP, the next version of the company's ubiquitous work-place software. Not for the functionality of the software though. It was because Sinofsky announced that the new application would come sans Clippy. Clippy, for those of you who need educating, is that annoying little animated helper that pops up at exactly the wrong time in your Office applications.

"We've retired the Office paper clip. I'm sorry if that upsets anyone," said Sinofsky in a perfect deadpan. It obviously hadn't, though. Boy, those rowdy investment crowds sure do know how to have a good time.

Investors have been pretty cheery on Microsoft's stock lately, too, which closed today up $2.42, or 3.6%, at $70.17. That's 75% above its 52-week low of $40.25.

Sinofsky demonstrated the integrated functionality that will come with Office XP, emphasizing a feature dubbed "Smart Tabs" which will let different programs work simultaneously off of one another.

For example, if you're writing a letter in Word to a friend and you type his name, a smart tab from your Outlook address book will pop up, giving you the option to insert the address. Other neat-o stuff lets programs such as Excel grab real-time data from MSN Money Central, the company's financial portal on the Web, to make graphs or charts.

Beyond the gee-whiz features Sinofsky demonstrated, he also laid the price out for the product. Office XP, available worldwide on May 31, will cost $479 for the full standard version, and $579 for the professional license. Scaled-down versions of each will also be available for $239 and $329, respectively.

Oh, and for those investors who are wondering why another Steve didn't present at this conference -- and there were some in the company's break-out session -- don't worry. Microsoft's CEO is rarely on the company's own financial conference call. --Joe Bousquin

The Wonderfulness of Being PeopleSoft

PeopleSoft (PSFT) has no ego problem.

CTO Rick Bergquist skipped the modesty routine at the JPMorgan H&Q conference Tuesday in describing how his company met its numbers in "trying times." Being a techie, of course, the difference to him was the technical superiority of PeopleSoft's products. PeopleSoft 8 is Web-based and requires "no code on the client," a phrase Bergquist repeated as frequently as his competitors use the phrase "softening macroeconomic environment."

Investors asked if worried rivals were slashing prices and making life difficult, but Bergquist shrugged off the anxiety. He joked that Oracle (ORCL) discounting was "gimmicky," and compared any price reductions the database giant is offering to a sales-force automation giveaway last summer. " Siebel's (SEBL) business turned out just fine," he said, adding that price is not the most sensitive issue in big enterprise software rollouts. "No CIO wants to be remembered as the person who saved $50,000 but got the wrong application."

He added that the average sales price climbed in the first quarter. In other positive news, he updated a January report that 1,000 PeopleSoft 8 deployments had sold since September, saying sales have continued at that speed through April. PeopleSoft has several new products in the queue, most importantly a CRM upgrade on track for launch in June. No sweat. -- Tish Williams

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
PSFT $0.02 0.00%
MSFT $49.87 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs