Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Microsoft Earnings Today (With Lots of Questions About Apple iPad's Impact on the PC)

Later today after the markets close, Microsoft will make its first-quarter earnings announcement, which a consensus of Wall Street analysts expect to show earnings of 55 cents a share on $15.8 billion in revenue.

That’s a big lift from the year before, of course, when earnings were 40 cents a share and revenues were lower.

Nonetheless, Wall Street has been downgrading Microsoft’s stock, mostly due to worries about the surging popularity of the Apple iPad, the introduction of even more upcoming tablets and the trend’s overall impact on PC and, especially, netbook sales that run the company’s software.

Along with a growing focus on cloud computing, many will be looking for any sign of weakness in Microsoft’s core Windows software business, due to the interest by both consumers and businesses in the tablet phenom.

Microsoft is also working on a tablet offering, which is not slated for arrival until next year, along with a plethora of other companies from Google to Hewlett-Packard to Research in Motion.

The question on the minds of many: Can Microsoft be more nimble with regard to tablets than it has been in the smartphone race?

Also of interest: Sales of its new Office 2010–which came out in the quarter–and news of the progress of its Bing search service, as well as any sign of what the software giant has to say about some recent key exec departures.

That includes Business Division President Stephen Elop heading to Nokia and Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie simply retiring.

Microsoft is certainly not the hot mess Yahoo has been, but it will be interesting to hear the kind of signals coming out of the company later today.

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