This week was quite eventful for the tech sector, with a lot of significant developments related to major companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). We analyze a few such developments which could impact their value in the coming years.
Microsoft was in the news primarily for two reasons. It launched the Surface, the first Windows 8 tablet whose user experience will be controlled completely by Microsoft. It will be powered by Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro, and will be available in two hardware variants – ARM and Intel-based. It is quite an impressive device and pushes the envelope in terms of hardware design. It comes bundled with accessories like Type Cover which enables users to use it as a notebook. Microsoft has decided to change its strategy from a software-licensing-only model to one in which it produces the flagship hardware benchmark which its OEM partners can then improve upon, in a bid to compete with Apple more effectively.
The other major announcement from Redmond was Windows Phone 8. Microsoft unveiled the next version of its mobile platform this week. It comes with a number of improvements over its predecessor and makes the platform more competitive with iOS and Android, at least when it comes to features. It offers more customization and moves towards a unified platform with the same core kernel powering both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It supports better hardware capabilities and backward support for Windows Phone 7 apps, which now add up to more than 100,000.
Amazon was in the limelight for clinching some content deals which would make it a force to reckon with in the digital media content space. It signed licensing deals with two major studios – MGM and Paramount – to add a wide range of movies and TV shows to its Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service. Combined with content from Discovery, Viacom and other studios, it now has thousands of movie titles and TV shows available online.
Its Amazon Cloud Drive application now also has full licensing support by the top four record labels including Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner. This puts it on a much better footing to compete with Apple in online music. Amazon could easily become the largest cross-platform digital content platform in the coming years.