Microsoft Windows Bails Out the PC Market

Microsoft helps support a weak PC market as names like Hewlett-Packard continue to make progress in the global PC market

Apr 13, 2014 at 3:00PM

There's little doubt that the global PC market has seen better days, as companies like Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and the now-privately held Dell seek to diversify their businesses away from this contracting market. However, PC makers were thrown a long overdue bone by an old ally -- software powerhouse Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Research firm IDC recently released its Q1 2014 smartphone market share data and, unsurprisingly, things weren't exactly pretty. According to IDC, the overall market for personal computers shrank another -4.4% in the first quarter. However, there were a few key silver linings evident in the report, as well, and that's precisely where Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft come in.

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft rising


Source: Microsoft

In parsing IDC's report, Hewlett-Packard took center stage as one of the surprisingly bright spots by increasing its market share and overall shipment volumes during the quarter. This certainly could have something to do with the ongoing turnaround underway at Hewlett-Packard under CEO Meg Whitman. However, Microsoft probably loomed large, as well.

According to IDC, Microsoft's ending its support for Windows XP has had the effect that had been rumored for so long, certainly implying that the Windows refresh storyline positively contributed to success for the likes of Hewlett-Packard.

However, as we head into tech earnings season in the weeks to come, this storyline certainly could hold positive implications for Hewlett-Packard or Microsoft shareholders, as tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner discusses in the video below.

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Andrew Tonner has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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