Windows 9 may boost these tech stocks

By Chris Lau for Kapitall.

When Microsoft ( MSFT) releases details for Windows 9 next month, it will be a turning point for the software giant. Very recently, ending support for XP helped boost Windows 7 and 8 sales, but that bump was short-lived. Microsoft still needs an operating system that competes effectively against mobile computing devices, notably tablets and smartphones.

Windows 9 preview

The Verge suggested there will be a press release on September 30. A preview release may arrive by early October. Two features are notable. Windows will not have a Charms bar, and will have a new a mini Start menu. Microsoft may include Cortana, the personal assistant. Windows 9 marks a departure from the unpopular Metro. Microsoft had hoped Metro would appeal to both device and desktop users, but the tiled interface does not work well on the desktop.

Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) is already up sharply in the last year. The stock is up nearly 65 percent, thanks to quarterly results that suggest the turnaround is on solid footing. HP refreshed its hardware lineup but hedged its reliance on Microsoft. The company now builds hardware like tablets and Chromebooks around Android. With Windows 9, HP is in a good position with potential customers. The firm is working hard by improving the quality of its hardware. With better hardware, consumers might look at HP hardware running Windows 9.

Microsoft stock is up 30% in a one year period, but upside may already be capped. Investors already expect better Windows sales, and have priced in the good news:

In the semiconductor space, Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) and Intel ( INTC) both benefit from better PC sales. AMD will not benefit as much as Intel. The former is growing its revenue stream outside of the PC market. Still, AMD’s graphics card sales rely on stronger PC demand. Likewise, NVIDIA ( NVDA) will see higher graphics card sales:

NVIDIA is underperforming Intel because it too is boosting revenue streams outside of the PC market. Its latest Shield device illustrates the potential for revenue from the Tegra platform on mobile devices.

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