- Microsoft gave a strong presentation of the future at its product announcement event.
- Microsoft displayed full capabilities of Windows 10, which could consolidate Microsoft's position in the ecosystem race.
- Expect Windows 10 devices to flood the market and recapture market share.
In an event filled with innovation, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) introduced products which showed a bright future for the company. The applause- and at one time standing ovation- was replicated by the market. As the event went on, Microsoft stock rose by 0.83%. Compared to Apple's event earlier this year, investor response was like the difference between night-and-day.
A promising figure shown was 110 million. This is the number of unique Windows 10 installations within 3 months of Windows 10 being made available to the public. Sure, some of those installations were upgrades; however, laptop and desktop manufacturers have embraced Windows 10 and all the features it brings. As earlier discussed, Windows 10 adoption could drive Microsoft stock price.
Device Launch Surprises With Surface Book
The stars of the show for Microsoft were the range of innovative devices introduced at the event. They got things started with the Microsoft band- a watch similar to the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) watch. Interestingly, Microsoft band has a curved gorilla glass display. The design is so minimalist that with the screen off, it blends in.
Microsoft were keen to show the fitness tracking capabilities of the device. This was a very smart move. as the fitness industry is on the rise, and it would be profitable for this fitness wearable to be the one of choice. Investors can also rejoice about the fact that it is cross-compatible with iOS, and at $249, it is aggressively priced to compete with the Apple Watch.
Investors will hope that Microsoft makes the software available to other manufacturers in order to prise the Apple Watch out of the market.
Holo Lens- an innovative virtual reality headset also made an appearance. This is a device which looks to be created in order to play an integral role for the future of Microsoft. They chose to use gaming in order to show off its futuristic capabilities; however, it runs much more deeply than that. Educational institutions could use it to create unique learning experiences for students. The healthcare industry could use it to train health professionals in a realistic environment while having the full control to measure hand-eye coordination, attention-to-detail etc. The aforementioned might seem like pipe dreams but it is a real possibility with Holo Lens. And with the developer kit for Holo Lens costing $3000, it isn't too high a price point for developers to create breath-taking apps for this new category of device.
The limitless applications of Holo Lens are getting investors excited.
Smartphone Launches: Lumia 950, 950 xl, and Lumia 550
Investors paid particularly close attention to Microsoft's new smartphones, not because they were hoping for something to compete with heavyweights such as the Galaxy s6 and iPhone 6s, but to see where Microsoft is heading. And they are unlikely to have been left disappointed.
Incredibly, windows 10 on a phone isn't just a marketing gimmick. As demonstrated on stage, one can connect their phone to an external display, keyboard, and mouse, and get a full Windows 10 desktop experience. Plus, the phone can still be used while being used as a desktop device. For current Microsoft shareholders or prospective shareholders this is incredibly exciting. It entices consumer electronic manufacturers to consider licensing Windows 10 for their mobile phones. Plus, since this 'one os to rule them all' is something that Apple doesn't currently offer, expect Microsoft to eat up considerable market share.
A Power Packed Surface Pro 4
The Surface Pro 4's announcement didn't come as a surprise; however, due to the lack of leaks, it left everyone pondering what was to come. Analysts were expecting a small increase in features and capabilities. Instead, Microsoft packed it with up to 16gb of RAM, 267 ppi, 5 million pixels, made it thinner, and gave it a a GPU and speed that would make any gaming laptop manufacturer jealous. They didn't stop there because they beat Apple at their own game. The 'Pencil' for the iPad Air Pro was widely touted as the best stylus on the market. Microsoft packed theirs with 1,024 touch levels, and a digital eraser at the back.
Back to the Surface Pro 4 device itself, it starts at $100 more than the 13 inch Macbook air, and runs 30% faster. Interestingly, it is a tablet and full pc in one device. Something that could swing consumer decisions when it is time to put something under the tree this Christmas.
The Surface Pro 4 is unlikely to sell in the high numbers that the iPad or Macbook air enjoys. And it isn't supposed to. It is an exemplary example of what Windows 1o is capable of. Microsoft will hope that manufacturers such as HP and Samsung will introduce similar devices in order to get Windows 10 into the hands of more people. For tech investors this device is a very powerful statement, and one that is likely to increase confidence in Microsoft's future in terms of growth.
Surface book: A Surprise Move
This is a laptop no one saw coming. In a show of purpose, Microsoft packed the Surface book with 6 million pixels, 13.5 inch display, a detachable screen, and world-beating specs. It doesn't just have a 12 hour battery life, it is also twice as fast as the latest Macbook Pro.
In conclusion, with the year nearly over, one can argue that Microsoft has won the war of innovation for 2015. Don't buy Microsoft stock based on the strength of these devices alone. Buy Microsoft stock because of the doorway these exemplary devices open for other consumer electornics manufacturers. Microsoft's aim is clear: flood the market with devices carrying Windows 10, take the war to Apple, and encourage phone Manufacturers to develop devices running Windows 10. On the back-end, Microsoft has its own ecosystem consisting of an app store, music store, cross-compatible Xbox content.
It was vital that Microsoft got this event spot on, in order to excite the marketplace. And in an event filled with the aura of a Steve Jobs style keynote, they just did.