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Microsoft Azure to Support Symantec's Security Products

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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced that its cloud platform Azure will be assisting Symantec Corp. (SYMC - Free Report) , a leading cybersecurity provider in delivering Norton branded security software products to a customer base of over 50 million.

Symantec’s intent to increase its operational efficiency by incorporating hybrid cloud to support its business led to the partnership. The company’s operating expenses are expected to reduce and security and performance are anticipated to improve with this new collaboration.

Notably, the world is rapidly advancing toward the augmented version of private and public cloud, better known as hybrid cloud technology. This ensures cost effective storage and operations. The flexibility offered by the process can be scaled up per the client’s request, making it more lucrative.

We believe that the new client addition for Microsoft’s Azure, which is a well-known name in the industry by now owing to the ongoing trend of transforming physical to cloud storage, will be another top-line booster going ahead.

Microsoft stock has gained 25% year to date, underperforming the 28.7% rally of the industry it belongs to.

Microsoft’s Growth Strategies

During fiscal first-quarter 2018, Microsoft took up a set of new strategic initiatives to drive growth. The collaboration between Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana and Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) Alexa was one of the most significant moves. The duo also teamed up for unveiling a deep learning library called Gluon.

The company also announced that its upcoming gaming console, Xbox One X has witnessed record pre-order rates. It is set to release on Nov 7, 2017. The company also updated Windows 10 with mixed reality features. The acquisition of AltspaceVR and launch of mixed reality headsets are evidence of its advancements in the field.   

Microsoft is also aiming at making its solutions compatible with multiple platforms and devices. This is evident from the introduction of Edge Browser for Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) iOS and Android devices as well as its initiative to transform Minecraft into a cross-platform game.

The company has also gained prominence in the blockchain market with the launch of the Coco frame work and its recent deal with Israel-based bank Hapoalim.

We believe, all these initiatives along with the advancements in the cloud segment that resulted in a 98% year-over-year increase in the last reported quarter, will be beneficial for the company going ahead.

Zacks Rank

Microsoft currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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