Microsoft shares (NASDAQ:MSFT) ended at $30.50 last Friday, marking a 0.86% gain for the week. Since the start of the year, Microsoft's stock price has been on an upward trajectory, having risen by 17.2%. The company's trailing P/E is 11.05, while trailing earnings are $2.76 per share.
Last week, Microsoft's President of the Windows Division Steven Sinofsky put up a long blog post on the software giant's plans for Windows 8 on the low-powered ARM processors that currently run the iPad and most other tablets. Known as Windows on ARM (or WOA) which is still under development, it is likely to be launched at the same time as the x86/64-bit (traditional PC) version, both of which will also share the same code base. It will also support the Windows desktop interface and the new Metro UI, which draws heavily on the Windows Phone.
In addition, the company appears to be on course to achieve its aggressive store expansion strategy, previously announced last July when Microsoft COO Kevin Turner shared the company's plan to open 75 new stores within the US over the next three years. If successful, that will bring it to a total number of 86 stores. According to sources familiar with Microsoft's store plans, the company will be opening two more outlets this April, one in Palo Alto and the other in Austin. It will also be opening stores in Bridgewater and Freehold, New Jersey in June. Given the above, it appears that the retail competition between Microsoft and Apple will intensify further in the near future. The company's ambitious retail aims can be seen in the Microsoft Store's mission, which is "to be the customer's source for the hottest new technology and best in personalized service. They can test-drive, play with and explore all of our Windows 7 personal computers, Windows Phone, Xbox and Kinect. Our interactive environment makes shopping for your technology easy and fun."