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The world’s largest software maker Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Analyst Report) announced that the City of San Jose has selected its cloud-based services such as Office 365, Windows Azure and StorSimple for its 5,000 city employees to deliver quality services to its 984,000 residents.
The reason for deploying the cloud-based services is to equip the city with advanced technologies involving the cloud, which is expected to improve the efficiency of its operations and improve resource allocation. It will also facilitate communication, productivity and collaboration among its employees.
Office 365 is sold as a service and therefore generates ongoing revenues for Microsoft instead of a one-time licensing fee. Launched in 2011, the new Office comes with traditional word processing, spreadsheets and email programs.
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of managed datacenters. Windows Azure core offerings include Media Services, Mobile Services, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites and Big Data.
StorSimple offers Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) solutions that combine physical data management services, such as basic storage, backup and recovery with cloud integration. This hybrid approach, which integrates on-premise storage with cloud storage, reduces costs by up to 90% and provides complete data protection.
Microsoft’s Office 365 is gaining traction in the market as it recently launched its online version focusing on touch devices. Further, it is being deployed at the stores of retailers such as J. C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP - Analyst Report) and U.K.-based Tesco as well as government departments such as the Texas Department of Information Resources, which chose the software for inter-departmental activities.
One of the latest to jump on the bandwagon is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which also signed an MoU with Microsoft. Further, Microsoft’s software is gaining ground in the healthcare sector. The company continues to innovate, launching separate versions for businesses and student communities.
Currently, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. In addition, the popularity of smartphones and tablets from Apple (AAPL - Analyst Report) and Google (GOOG - Analyst Report) are cannibalizing PC market sales, further deteriorating the scenario. Whether it can come out of the slump on the back of its new software and OS is a wait and-see game.
Microsoft reported revenues excluding deferrals of $20.49 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2013, which was down 4.5% sequentially but up 17.7% from last year, more or less in line with our estimates. All segments grew strongly from the year-ago quarter and declined only slightly from the seasonally strong December quarter. Microsoft’s Business Division grew both sequentially and year over year.
Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).