Stupid Stock Move of the Day! Microsoft up 2%?June 15, 2012: 3:08 PM ET
Microsoft (MSFT) is expected to unveil some tablet-related news at a big press conference Monday. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise. We all kind of expected that Mister Softee would go after Apple (AAPL) more directly ever since it unveiled the tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system.
Reviews for Windows 8 have been favorable. But investors might be getting ahead of themselves here. Nobody else, including Amazon (AMZN) with its Kindle Fire, has been able to make a big dent in iPad sales yet. Microsoft investors also need to keep in mind all the other speculation surrounding the company right now.
Microsoft is rumored to be buying coporate social network Yammer for more than $1 billion. That may only be a drop in the bucket for a firm the size of Microsoft. But it seems a bit rich for a company that's in a business investors have quickly grown skittish of following the Facebook (FB) IPO debacle.
And is there any real reason to think that Microsoft will do any better in social than it has with its struggling online unit? Google (GOOG) is still the king of online advertising despite Microsoft's big acquisition of aQuantive a few years ago, launch of the Bing search engine and partnership with Yahoo (YHOO).
Finally, there's that Finnish train wreck, Nokia (NOK). Microsoft is trying to compete with Apple and Google's Android in the smartphone market. Its biggest ally is Nokia, which is using Windows Phone as its operating system in the new Lumia phones. If Microsoft can't attract better partners, it may wind up as much as an also-ran in mobile as Research in Motion (RIMM) with its wounded BlackBerry.
Microsoft's stock is now up nearly 16% this year, outperforming the broader market and many other big techs. Unless Microsoft really wows everybody in LA Monday, shares may be due to cool off a bit.