JCL Blog

Microsoft News 180?

The news herd has a tendency to travel together for a while until someone "breaks" a story and breaks away from the group.  The contrasting new perspective becomes news itself and then the herd reforms going the other direction.

This kind of thing may just be happening with Microsoft right now.  Microsoft has been getting the short end of it in the media for months - or even years - with that week when AAPL gained the number one market cap spot being the low point.  

This week looks to be different however.  The Xbox is really standing out at E3 with Natal/Kinect (why do they do that code name thing?), and a positive piece about profits, cash, and general sanity on CNN Money.

Maybe Microsoft has been characterized in the media as a predatory monopolist, a second rate innovator, and uncool for long enough that the new story about a Microsoft comeback will stick for a while.  As the CNN Money article points out, Microsoft is the second most profitable company in the US, has a giant pile of cash, and is adding to the pile at a pretty good clip.  And you can be part owner for a P/E of only 13.2!

Microsoft has so many products and technology assets that there is no end to the possible interesting combinations.  The combination Microsoft chose to spotlight yesterday is Xbox 360 Kinect + Windows Live Messenger = Video Kinect.  Let's imagine this for a moment.  A high quality game environment, big bandwidth connectivity, an interface that reads the motions of the user (formerly known as the controller), and two way live video chat.  If this works we could have real life emulating person to person interactions in a dimension we don't even have a way to categorize yet.

This could be cool.