Microsoft Windows 8 RC coming: Will there be a financial boost?

Microsoft Windows 8 RC coming: Will there be a financial boost?

Summary: While analysts who have called Windows 8 a likely disappointment have garnered headlines, most observers are a bit more on the fence about Microsoft's latest operating system.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Microsoft's Windows 8 Release Candidate is on tap and analysts are busy trying to handicap the financial implications. The reality is that Windows 8 is tricky for the beancounters to model given the various wild cards with a new interface.

As noted by Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft's Release Candidate appears to be poised for lift-off. The release candidate is expected to have more features and be complete relative to the Consumer Preview in February. Windows 8 is expected to head to manufacturing in August with general availability in the fall.

While analysts who have called Windows 8 a likely disappointment have garnered headlines, most observers are a bit more on the fence about Microsoft's latest operating system. The big question is whether Microsoft has already had its stock run accounting for Windows 8 upgrades.

Here's a sampling of how the Windows 8 RC may impact Microsoft's financial picture:

  • Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt said Microsoft is likely to display Windows 8 hardware at Computex in Taiwan June 5 to June 9. Pricing will be a big unknown, but hardware specs may encourage buzz. Typically, Microsoft shares trade higher following a Windows release candidate. Holt added:

Positive press out Computex could help investors gain comfort that Microsoft will be able to bring compelling Windows tablets to market and drive excitement around Windows 8 and new ultrabooks as well.

  • Stifel Nicolaus analyst Brad Reback said in a recent research note:

We think Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 8, is a solid product, and when combined with new unique hardware, it will provide users with a viable alternative to Apple and Google devices. Although we expect Windows 8 to be a successful product, we continue to believe it will not be as strong as the Windows 7 cycle was out of the gate, due to less pent-up demand...We also believe the company’s new Metro GUI could take users a little longer to appreciate and therefore slightly impede adoption rates.

  • And Indigo analyst N. Landell-Mills is decidedly pessimistic:

Much emphasis for future growth is placed on Windows 8 release with faster chips. But this unlikely to fundamentally alter the weak outlook; Microsoft faces a maturing PC market, competitive threat from Apple Macs and iPads cannibalizing PC sales.

Simply put, few observers really know how Windows 8's sales cycle will turn out. The only thing analysts agree completely about is that Windows 8 is Microsoft's best and perhaps only chance to address its tablet shortcomings.

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Topic: Windows

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  • Windoze 8 = Vista, history will repeat again

    Windoze 8 will be another Vista like every major releases of Windoze...businesses see no reason to upgrade and lack of productivity and full-screen ugly tiles--metro will force many users to stick with 7 or move to much better platforms like Mac and Linux :)
    shellcodes_coder
    • I agree!

      Linux will be the winner!
      The Linux Geek
      • Quote

        "Whats Linux?" says 99.9% of consumers
        clcrockett
  • Microsoft Windows 8 RC coming: Will there be a financial boost?

    You bet there will be a financial boost. Stock will go up the day its released and it will go up during quarterly earnings. With manufacturers building and designing specifically for Microsoft Windows 8, MS has plenty to gain.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • BAHAHAH REALLY????

      The same financial boost Vista got, people bought new PCs with it, and then stuck XP on it.

      That was the only way Vista sold, and this will be the only way Windows 8 will sell and I bet you they will be doing the same as they did with Vista, except moving back to Windows 7.

      Thanks for the blog fodder Loverock, I'm about to prove you wrong again.
      Pete&Pete
      • Opinions, even looney ones, are easy.

        How about one shred of evidence for your claim. And even if you can provide the evidence, how sad that is for you. Because what you are saying is that consumers would rather use an old version of Windows than whatever OS it is that you favor.
        cantbeme
  • Windows 8 is unfortunately NOT their last chance.

    This is a cash-laden company with other sources of Huge income. They can afford to dabble (either successfully or unsuccessfully) in tablet or desktop markets for decades to come.
    The big MS problem is no common sense or judgement - can't even distinguish bad from good.
    peter_erskine@...
    • Or it might work

      I dunno, I think if Win 8 phones and tablets turn out to be a, erm, disappointment, then Ballmer gets the ax and there's a big internal war over whether to go run and hide in the cloud like IBM is doing -- and where a competent company can be very profitable with fairly low risk -- or to spend another billion or two trying to learn consumer marketing, with the attendant risk of blowing it again. My money's on the former strategy winning the day, and the Ballmer replacement being the kind who will focus on enterprise IT.
      Robert Hahn
  • Hello Every One

    I am new learner of microsoft i want the information abt Microsoft Field..
    Fuzail Motan