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Microsoft Seems to Be Dodging the Government Bullet Faced by Its Big Tech Competitors



Succeeding in Tech Is Getting More Challenging With Intensified Regulatory Pressure

In his recent speech and interview on Monday at the Economic Club in Washington, DC, Bill Gates called out his greatest career mistake to be Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) losing out to Google in becoming Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) main iCloud competitor. For years, Microsoft was the leader in the computer industry, but failed to evolve fast enough in the smartphone era. Meanwhile, Apple just confirmed on Tuesday that it even acquired self-driving shuttle firm as a move to bring aboard some of its engineering talent to boost Apple’s self-driving efforts. Now Apple even aims to rival with Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Waymo in developing self-driving vehicles. Alphabet Inc., parent of Google, faced a wave of critical proposals from activists and employees during its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday. Proposals ranged from sexual harassment risk management, inequitable employment practices to splitting up the internet search and ad-selling giant before regulators break it into pieces but not a single proposal passed. Meanwhile, in the past year, Apple has revamped its efforts also by bringing former Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) engineering chief Doug Field to oversee the operation. Tesla’s is very close to setting a record for deliveries in one quarter as it has the number of ordered vehicles, but whether the company pulls it off comes down to one of the things it struggles with most –logistics bottlenecks.

Going back to Microsoft, as Gates acknowledges, there is only one room for a non-Apple operating system and Google succeeded to take this place with its Android platform. Gates admitted that Microsoft was distracted during its antitrust trial and failed to assign the best people to do the much needed work. Microsoft was clearly the company that should have achieved what Google did, but it failed to do so. But. The company also had other missteps, including the widely disliked Windows Vista version.

But there is a lot of positivity to counteract Gates’ regrets. On the bright side, Microsoft’s market dominance is extraordinary at a time when its Big Tech rivals are facing legal and regulatory pressures, causing a lot of uncertainty. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google and Apple face legitimate concerns about big fines, more regulation or possibly even the threat of dissolvement. Alphabet is up 7% this year, Amazon and Apple have each soared more than 25%, Facebook has skyrocketed nearly 50% but all four stocks have dropped in the past few months as a consequence to this regulatory drama.

Many were displeased with the growth of these firms to begin with: The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, both Democrats and Republicans, President Trump included. Amazon is trying to hit back several Democratic presidential candidates, but its defensive postures don’t always last, such as when Bernie Sanders criticized the company for minimum wage causing Amazon to ultimately lift the minimum bar. For now, Amazon is managing to counter its critics without being too aggressive so it doesn’t risk alienating its customers.

But Microsoft is absent from this drama and investors don’t seem concerned despite its growth in the cloud software market.  With its stock up more than 35% this year, Microsoft is currently the most valuable company in the world with the value of $1.06 trillion. And more importantly, Microsoft is the only Big Tech company still trading near an all-time high, earning its best performer Dow badge.

Perhaps the reason why Microsoft seems to be immune to these regulatory and legislative threats faced by its competitors is because the company already overcame this challenge. And it successfully avoided the worst-case scenario of being dissolved throughout 1990s and 2000s, although it paid large fines both in the US and Europe due to engaging in monopolistic practices. Microsoft was charged with using its dominant position in the business software market, which was enabled by its ownership of Windows and Internet Explorer.

Microsoft knows better by now: it has abundant cash reserves to feel safe in the light of any storms on the horizon. And even after paying significant fines, Microsoft remained healthy with $131.6 billion in cash. But then again, Google, Facebook and Amazon emerged as its imminent threat while the company was heavily fighting its legal battle for over a decade. But now, the government has more fish in the sea to fry.

Gates expects the privacy regulation to get even more severe and expects increased government involvement. But thanks to Microsoft, technology companies are now generally engaged to work with regulators in an effort to avoid Microsoft’s historical scenario.

The company has plenty of cash for new acquisitions to get even bigger in various software sectors, like it already did with Skype and LinkedIn. But the wind beneath its wings is that Microsoft focuses more on serving business consumers, a more stable segment compared to the consumer tech section which tends to be fickle.

Microsoft has also avoided regulatory scrutiny because it isn’t as dominant as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are in online retail, music and mobile apps, social networking and search.

Microsoft’s Azure does face tough competitive challenges from Amazon’s AWS cloud unit, especially when it comes to emerging markets, as well as cloud offerings from rival firms Oracle (ORCL) and IBM (IBM) which is surely getting ready to exhibit its full strength as it nears its next earnings release. But, analysts find that Oracle lawsuit is even giving Microsoft a very good chance of winning the $10 billion DoD JEDI contract instead of Amazon.

In gaming, Microsoft has to contend with Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) who also owns Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) stock worth more than $1 billion. The streaming revolution has unleashed a wave of disruption across the global music industry and Sony and Spotify take the second and third place at the winner’s list with market values of $64 billion and $29 billion respectively. The streaming market is estimated by Golden Sachs to nearly triple in size to $45 billion over the next two decades as users switch from free to paid services.

There is another contender, the Japanese Nintendo (NTDOF) which lost $1bn in market value earlier in June after delaying the launch of its video game and failing to give any updates on the new version of its Switch system. And let’s not forget Microsoft’s Skype also has numerous rivals: Google’s Hangouts, Apple’s FaceTime and Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

What is certain is that Big Tech has become a political symbol of out-of-control corporate power. But although Microsoft is a market leader in more markets than it was during the 1990s, Microsoft is no longer the main sheriff in town when consumers and businesses were held hostage by Windows. On the positive side, this works to its advantage as far as regulators, President Trump and the Congress are concerned. So ironically, increased competitive threat simultaneously decreased the intensity of Microsoft’s regulatory threats. But all is possible in life and business and especially in the Big Tech world. And whoever manages to respond holistically and quickly to the digital revolution will be the ultimate winner. is one of the fastest growing communication hub in North America. We write and connect meaningful content with dynamic and rapidly expanding outlets.’s content network touches millions of readers, influencers, analysts, columnists, and bloggers; globally. If you wish to receive our content via email, please click here. If you are a writer or analyst and wish to have your content distributed to our vast network of readers, please click here.

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Toyota’s News: Redesigned Corolla, New Investments and Partnerships



Toyota Stock Market News

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) is managing something other automakers only dream of. The company is honouring its values while achieving sustainable growth for over a decade. The dependable Japanese giant continues to deliver on its promises as it prepares for an electric future.

A new sturdy yet sporty Corolla

On September 17th, the company announced a completely redesigned Corolla that now goes beyond just being a practical buying decision. The newly evolved Corolla has a sporty design, offering pleasurable driving and advanced safety equipment. Being built on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), Corolla is ready to evolve to meet customers’ needs, according to Yasushi Ueda, chief engineer in charge of development.

Since its debut in 1966, this car is nothing less than adored by consumers all over the world and now, it will have its first hybrid version available to U.S. customers.

Hybrid strategy is actually paying off

Just like Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) with its 2020 CR-V Hybrid, Toyota is using its hybrid technology to position itself for future growth and transition to an all-electric future, despite the fact these energy saving vehicles do not qualify for government subsidies. But, this strategy is paying off as hybrid demand skyrocketed and the company proudly revealed in February that Lexus reached its 10 millionth vehicle sales milestone since its launch, with its 2018 sales performance achieving several ‘best-ever records’. And it is thanks to these figures that the Chinese government is also starting to see the potential of such vehicles so things can only get even better for Toyota. As the saying goes, persistence is the key to success and these two companies have been quite brave in sticking to HEVs.

New Investment – $391 Million Goes to Texas’ San Antonio Plant

This will be Toyota’s first expansion in nine years at the plant that produces its Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks. It is the part of the company’s strategy to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over the period of five years, ending in 2021.

Future Investment – $243.29 million to Produce New Vehicle in Sao Paulo

Toyota is also about to get an even stronger presence in Brazil as it will hire 300 new employees at the Sorocaba Plant to start the production of a new vehicle.


And let’s not forget the ground-breaking partnership of Japan’s leading automakers that was revealed in August as Toyota and Suzuki Motor Co. (OTC: SZKMF) announced they will collaborate on developing autonomous car technology. This deal is cementing the bond that the two automakers kicked-off in 2016. They might seem like an odd couple as Suzuki is a everything but a big player, yet its strong presence in India is only one of the things that will greatly benefit Toyota. Although Suzuki admitted defeat on the world’s biggest playgrounds, China and the U.S., it cracked the code for emerging markets. And this is exactly where future global sales growth is expected to come from.

Inventing a car that will run forever?

According to Bloomberg, Toyota aims to go far further than electric by teaming up with Sharp Corporation (OTC:SHCAY) and Japanese governmental organization NEDO that encourages the development of innovative technologies. Considering that Toyota is a company that has even used the economic crisis and recession to only come out stronger, it’s not unlikely that it is set to out do the impossible by mixing the most efficient batteries with solar panels. The company’s strong financial performance and track record show that if anyone can do it, it’s Toyota Motor Co.


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Nike Exceeds Wall Street Expectations With Q1 Earnings for FY2020



Direct-to-consumer sales and digital momentum strategies did the trick for Nike

When Nike (NYSE:NKE) released its better-than-expected first quarter of the fiscal 2020 results late Tuesday. Naturally shares jumped more than 5% to reach $91.80. The reported revenue increased 7.2% year comparing to last year, achieving $10.7 billion, greater than the expected $10.44 billion. Net income soared more than 28%, making adjusted earnings per share $0.86, also smashing expectations of $0.70 per share.

Nike managed to achieve a turnaround

The biggest contributor to total sales was Nike’s North American segment that increased 4% comparing to last year. But China sales also continue to grow and by double digit percentages: 22% to be exact, topping $1.68 billion. Overall, these are fantastic news for investors. Especially since the company’s rare earnings miss for the final quarter of the previous fiscal year. The company attributed this to increased marketing costs and a higher tax rate. But highly anticipated new product launches and solid results for continuing lines, along with efforts to draw new customers to the Nike SNKRS app, did their magic.

Digital momentum is key

Digital movement is transforming and amplifying everything Nike does and in Q1, Nike Digital grew 42% on a currency neutral basis. This growth is driven by enhanced digital services and the international expansion of its app ecosystem. Moreover, The Nike app and SNKRS app are now both live in over 20 countries, with more expansion coming throughout the year.

There are literally no weak spots for investors

Arguably, there are no weak spots for prudent investors to dig in as far as this quarter’s report is concerned. The company is literally firing on all cylinders. The company’s management attributes these results to “the depth and balance of the company’s complete offense, building on the strengths of its foundational business drivers and capitalizing on the untapped dimensions of its portfolio”. Management has also dismissed any concerns that US-China trade conflicts could harm its operations, disclosing no impact has been seen up to date.

Nike showed it can even handle the increased tariffs

Earlier this year Nike joined over 200 other footwear companies urging President Trump not to increase tariffs on footwear imported from China, calling the move “catastrophic for our consumers, our companies, and the American economy as a whole.” But while those tariffs are certainly catastrophic for small players, Nike seems more than capable of mitigating the consequences of this added expense.

Poor macroeconomic conditions are only masking Nike’s true power

The company made it clear that its figures would have been even stronger had it not been for macroeconomic challenges which are manifesting through tariffs and foreign-exchange rates. They implied that the weakening economic climate is essentially masking Nike’s true strength. And in addition to children, women are also a big opportunity for the company that Nike will continue exploiting. This is why Nike expects better-than-planned growth in its higher-margin NIKE Direct channels and international segments and consequently, its full-year gross margin. One thing is for sure: Nike has turned itself into so much more than a ‘sneaker-company’.

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Apple Will Be Making Its MacBook Pros in the US



With a newly granted “federal product exclusion,” enabling it to import some Mac Pro parts without paying tariffs, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will be able to save enough money to make US assembly worthwhile. The company announced on Monday that it will manufacture the new version of its Mac Pro desktop computer in Austin, Texas. It’s also a big political win for Apple, since President Trump has for years called on the company to make more products in the US. Tim Cook clearly made a compelling case during his meetings with President Trump. Apple described the decision to keep Mac Pro production in Austin as part of its “commitment to US economic growth.”

Macroeconomic climate is not favourable

The September figures around the world are simply awful. The uncertainty brought on by intensifying trade wars, the outlook for the car industry and Brexit are paralyzing investors, with September seeing some of the worst performance since the financial crisis in 2009, leading many to worry about whether yet another crisis is upon us. On a brighter note, Apple’s stock went up 0.2% after Bloomberg reported that ten of its 15 requests for an exemption from tariffs on imports from China had been approved.

New investments

Apple previously disclosed plans to spend $350 billion in the U.S. by 2023, a figure that includes new and existing investments. Its Apple TV+ is set to launch on November 1, with stars like Oprah Winfrey bringing her famed book club streaming show to the company’s subscription service. Among documentaries that will be released, there will even be a multi-series about mental health, featuring no other than Prince Harry himself. Apple’s subscription service will cost only $4.99 a month and will be available in 100 countries and regions at launch. Also, customers who buy a new Apple device will also get a free year of Apple TV+.


Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is still the leader when it comes to U.S. streaming, along with Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN), AT&T’s HBO (NYSE: T) and upcoming Disney+ (NYSE:DIS), it is certain that competition will be intense. Netflix’s stock has been dropping since July, which was the first time the number of subscribers fell. Moreover, Netflix’s stock price has now officially wiped out any gains it’s made over the year so far and both Disney and Apple have a shot at beating Netflix at its own game.

Apple is still facing impending import duties and innovation difficulties

Let’s not forget that the company still faces import duties scheduled for Dec. 15 that could affect nearly all of its major products including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and Apple Watches. And more importantly, it is thought by many as facing an innovation problem so it heavily relies on customer loyalty that will continue driving its sales. We’ll just have to wait for November 1st launch of Apple TV+ to see the impact of Apple’s new streaming subscription service.

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