Microsoft’s best week in quite a while

in Stock Analysis

microsoft_logoCall it the wishful thinking of the guy who owns stock, but the news flow from the company this week was excellent:Microsoft (MSFT)

MSFT did something very uncharacteristic. It did not push back the release of Windows 7, which will be released on Oct. 22.

Bing is excellent. I played with it for a couple of days, and it’s an “un-Microsoft-like” search engine. It is very good. Type for instance “flight from NYC to Denver“, and it will tell you that fares are predicted to rise in the next 30 days. Click on the green arrow and it will tell you everything you want to know about fares.

MSFT demonstrated Project Natal this week at the E3 tech expo. If the technology demonstrated is real, and it looks like it is because MSFT has released an SDK (Software Developer’s Kit), programmers can now start developing games and applications for Natal. Natal puts Wii’s wireless controller to shame. In fact I think it will change the gaming industry forever, and I’d be very worried if I owned Nintendo (NTDOY) stock. Natal is:

“A motion sensing device that allows you to control video games and Xbox 360 menus with your body instead of a peripheral controller. Natal gives you voice and full-body motion control over your on-screen avatar using an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and custom processor running proprietary software,” writes PC World.

Finally, in a previous post I wrote that “it is believed by many that creativity retired with Bill Gates.” In response, I received a lot of e-mails saying that Microsoft never had any creativity because it never had an original product. It just took products created by someone else, improved them and marketed the hell out of them.

It is very true that even the original DOS — the one that MSFT sold to IBM (IBM) — was created by someone else. But copying requires creativity, too; otherwise, why would anybody buy your product instead of competition.

Think about WordPerfect, for example. It was a dominant product at the time. Microsoft created Word, basically a replica of WordPerfect — but a much superior replica.

Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA, is director of research at Investment Management Associates in Denver, Colo., and he teaches a graduate investment class at the University of Colorado at Denver. He is the author of “Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets” (Wiley 2007).

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