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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Microsoft, Best Buy, Apple, Google and Amazon

   The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Microsoft, Best Buy, Apple, Google and
                                    Amazon

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 18, 2013

CHICAGO, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free
Report), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report),
Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) and Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Microsoft Partners Best Buy

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) recently announced a partnership
with Best Buy (NYSE:BBY-Free Report) to roll out Windows Stores across the its
500 outlets in the U.S. with an additional 100 in Canada. The terms of the
deal were not disclosed.

The stores will feature Windows-based PCs, tablets, Windows Phone, Xbox and
various accessories. Unlike the Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) stores at Best
Buy, which are approximately 200 square feet, the Windows Stores will be
spread across1,500 to 2,200 square feet and Microsoft will train1,200 sales
associates.

Additionally, Microsoft will collaborate with Best Buy to open an online
version of its Windows Store to provide customers with updates on marketing
campaigns. The new Windows Stores are expected to be operational from June
through September.

Microsoft has been dealing with plummeting sales of its Windows 8 operating
system. Though its new Windows 8 operating system has sold more than 100
million copies since its launch last October, both tablet and PC sales have
been below the company's expectations.

According to IDC, 49.2 million tablets were shipped worldwide in the first
quarter of fiscal 2013. Apple led the market with a 39.6% share, having grown
65.3% from the first quarter of 2012, followed by Samsung with a 17.9% share,
Asustek with 5.5% and Amazon with 3.7%. Microsoft is in fifth position with a
mere 1.8% market share.

Additionally, IDC estimated that Google's (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) Android
and Apple's iOS operating systems together held approximately 96.1% of total
market share in the first quarter of 2013. But Microsoft's Windows and Windows
RT operating systems accounted for only 3.3% and 0.4% of market share,
respectively.

Therefore, Microsoft is leaving no stone unturned to attain incremental
revenues, which is reflected in its strategic initiative of opening 500
Windows Stores within Best Buy stores. Earlier this year, the company said
that it is transforming several holiday stores into permanent Microsoft retail
outlets, which should further boost sales.

Best Buy, a consumer electronics retailer, has been working with Apple for
long and has a dedicated floor area for its products. A few months back,
Samsung announced a similar three-year deal with Best Buy to open Samsung
Experience shops within its stores.

We believe that the platform provided by Best Buy would help Microsoft to
increase its sales. For Best Buy, the deal adds more compelling products to
its portfolio to better compete against discount giants and online retailers
like Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report).

Microsoft remains one of the best-positioned software vendors, given the wide
range of its products, emerging markets strength, continued technology
deployment at data centers and growth in cloud computing. The company
delivered better-than-expected second quarter results with non-GAAP earnings
up sequentially. New products across segments, strength in the cloud computing
segment and share gains in search combined to generate encouraging results.

Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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