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Microsoft Corp is starting the new year much as it did the one just ended - grappling with weak computer sales tearing a hole in its core Windows business, while it gropes its way slowly into the faster-growing mobile phone and tablet markets.
Shares of the world's largest software company are pretty much where they were a year ago too, and few expect much to change after the latest results are announced on Thursday.
"(It is) clear that investors will continue to need to be patient," Barclays Capital analyst Raimo Lenschow said in a research note on Friday.
"There could be positive short-term momentum ... but we first need to see proper evidence of mobile/tablet success rather than just signs of hope."