Tech Stocks That Lost CES 2014 – Microsoft (MSFT)
Microsoft (MSFT) used to be synonymous with the Consumer Electronics Show. The company provided the opening keynote for 12 years straight, before dropping out last year (well sort of — Steve Ballmer did spend a lot of time on stage last year). And this year, MSFT didn’t even have a booth. The argument can be made that the Windows logo was everywhere at CES 2014, making Microsoft’s presence felt anyway, but …
The company had a really bad year in 2013, then managed some positives towards the end of the year it could have showcased and leveraged. Windows 8.1 is an improvement over Windows 8, the new Surface tablets are selling better than the old and the Xbox One did pretty well over the holidays.
Instead, Microsoft let other tech stocks steal the spotlight. It let Sony (SNE) tell everyone that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One, then announce the Playstation Now game streaming service that instantly gives PS4 owners a huge back catalog of games. With no Xbox presence at CES 2014, Microsoft essentially ceded the points to Sony and let the Playstation 4 gain serious cred in the public eye.
Intel’s move to dual-booting CPUs at CES 2014 also hurt Microsoft in a big way, offering an easy way onto the corporate desktop for Android. This is a first step that could hurt Windows sales and definitely eat into Office sales. Worse, LG trotted out a desktop PC that runs Android exclusively (using free apps that offer Office compatibility) — no revenue at all for MSFT there.
Even though it wasn’t at CES 2014, Microsoft was one of the tech stocks that came out as a loser — a company that failed to push the products that might help it to regain momentum, while allowing a dangerous rival to its core businesses have the spotlight, uncontested.