How it handles the Windows 8 launch will go a long way toward restoring some of the level of respect that it has lost over the years. But I think the best way to assess Microsoft and its value is on its performance this current quarter, rather than what the competition is doing.

At a stock price of 30 and trading at a P/E of 9, value investors with 12-to-24 month investment horizons should consider giving the company a long look at current levels as any degree of success with Windows 8 can push the stock to $40 easily this year.

Reason To Buy Verizon

While I've always been a fan of Verizon's stock for its element of safety and the fact that it offers one of the best dividend yields on the market at 4.62%, I have recently started looking more at the stock when last week an equity analyst at Oppenheimer raised his price target on the stock to $48.

While not a significant premium above the $45 that the stock is trading at today, I was drawn to what the company has been doing with its network to prepare for the inevitable increase demand that will come from the growing popularity of not only smarphones, but also the race towards the cloud.

For that matter, Verizon offers one of the fastest mobile networks on the planet. Its 4G LTE network, available in over 200 cities, is considered one of the most advanced services anywhere -- allowing customers to download movies, photos, Apps, games, news and pretty much any content within a matter of seconds. The company is also aggressively expanding the network to cover its existing nationwide 3G infrastructure by the end of 2013.

As far as the cloud is concerned, Verizon, with its recent acquisition of Terremark, offers global enterprise-class IT as well as security services by combining advanced IT infrastructure with world-class provisioning and automation capabilities -- one that is reliable and able to scale based on the enterprise needs. It offers these services regardless of whether or not the company is in the midst of an expansion or simply trying to do more with less.

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