Jim Cramer recently bought shares of Microsoft (MSFT) for his charitable trust, and he likes the software giant's prospects for 2018 and beyond.

"We dipped our toes in this position in the tech sell-off shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday, and we used [the market's recent] rotation out of tech to scale deeper into this classic tech name. We like [Microsoft] as we head into 2018 and for the next few years," Cramer said in an exclusive conference call with members of his Action Alerts PLUS club for investors in early December.

Since then, Microsoft's stock is up more than 8%. 

The stockpicker said Microsoft looks like a winner in several areas, including:

  • Cloud Computing. Cramer said that MSFT has "more data-center regions around the globe compared Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOG) , (GOOGL) combined. [This] global footprint is a key factor in our [investment] thesis, as it allows Microsoft to offer companies a solution to security concerns related to hosting domestic-user data abroad and allows companies to be physically closer to their data, thus reducing access time."
  • Traditional Software. Microsoft "has a very strong productive and business-processes segment -- think Windows, Office 365, Dynamics 365," he said.
  • LinkedIn. Cramer said Microsoft's 2016 acquisition of business-networking site LinkedIn.com "is looking like a pretty good one. This social-acquisition-network platform has achieved four consecutive quarters of [20%+] session growth, and the platform's seeing record levels of engagement."

Microsoft purchased business-networking site LinkedIn in late 2016.
Microsoft purchased business-networking site LinkedIn in late 2016.

  • Xbox. Microsoft has said its new Xbox One X is "off to a very strong start," the expert said.
  • Potential Cash Repatriation. Cramer said Microsoft recently reported $132 billion of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments held by foreign subsidiaries that are eligible for repatriation to America if Trump administration plans for favorable tax treatment pass Congress. "By bringing these dollars back home, Microsoft can use the windfall to double down on its investment to data-center and other business areas [and] return value to shareholders through dividends and buybacks," he said.

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(Editor's note: Due to a production error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the size of LinkedIn's quarterly session growth.)

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