Microsoft ups dividend, Windows Phone 7 to launch in October

windows-phone-7The world’s largest software maker, Microsoft Corporation, announced the company would increase its quarterly dividend by 23-percent to $0.16 per share, marking the first increase since two-years ago.

The Microsoft stock (NASDAQ:MSFT) has seen very little volatility over the last five-years, and anxious investors are looking for better returns as the stock price has provided marginal capital gains over a long period.

Investors who take long positions on the Microsoft stock as at November 18 will be eligible for the increased dividend distribution, which is scheduled to be paid to shareholders on December 9.

The increase in the dividend to stockholders indicates the company is confident that the economy is and will continue to improve, and that it will have sufficient cash from operations to fund capital, research & development, among other cash requirements.

For fiscal 2011, Microsoft is now expected to distribute $5.66-billion to shareholders, up from $4.6-billion in fiscal 2010.

Microsoft’s mobile division has seen significant losses in market share as a direct result of intensifying competition from chief rivals such as Google and Apple.

Microsoft’s dated mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, pushed consumers to purchase mobile devices that offered superior messaging features and a better user experience, such as BlackBerry devices, and more recently, Apple’s iPhone and Google Android powered smartphones.

In an attempt to re-solidify its position in the mobile space, the company is banking on the success of its new Windows Phone 7 Series operating system that will offer a completely new user interface, Internet Explorer mobile with HTML5 and Adobe Flash support, Office mobile, advanced gaming capabilities with mobile versions of Xbox titles that will include mobile Xbox Live support where users can view friend achievements, and send messages, among other features.

Various device makers, such as High Tech Computer (HTC) Corporation will release Windows Phone 7 powered devices.

HTC Corp. firstly announced on September 21 that the company would be the first to make available a Windows Phone 7 smartphone some time this October, well before the Christmas holidays.
The first units will be available a month later in the U.S., with a Canadian launch also likely in the same period.

Windows Phone 7 Series smartphones will firstly only launch on GSM networks, according to Microsoft, as device makers have opted to use the standard, likely due to cost efficiencies.

About 85-percent of the world’s telecoms use the GSM standard, with the CDMA standard being unusually more popular in the North America.

Microsoft says the operating system does not have any limitations prohibiting it from using CDMA, instead, device makers have opted for the GSM standard.

A source, which spoke on condition of anonymity, as the details were not yet made public, who is familiar with the matter, told us the first CDMA powered Windows Phone 7 devices would launch some time in the first quarter of 2011.

In the U.S., with initial models, consumers could either use the AT&T network or the T-Mobile network.

The largest carrier in the U.S. by number of subscribers, Verizon, will not initially offer Windows Phone 7 devices because it uses the CDMA network standard.

Verizon already has publically confirmed it was not planning a Windows Phone 7 launch, at least not right now.

The Microsoft stock (NASDAQ:MSFT) is currently trading about 1.70-percent down at $24.75 per share  in early morning trading.

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Ramy holds a Bachelor in Health Studies with honors in Health Management from York University in Toronto, Canada. He just returned to Toronto following a career opportunity teaching English in South Korea. Write to
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  • Cell phone tracker

    If MS do not get something really attractive down, it will lose out to Apple and Google in the smartphone industry completely, the customers do not have so much patience.

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