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Microsoft's Bid for Yahoo May Be Its Best Chance at Staying Competitive in a Cloudy Future, Says Turner Investment Partners Commentary

Microsoft's Bid for Yahoo May Be Its Best Chance at Staying Competitive in a Cloudy Future, Says Turner Investment Partners Comm

Is Microsoft’s head in the clouds? It should be. Microsoft's recent bid for Yahoo is viewed in part as a response to the competitive threat of the "computing cloud" that's enabling the Internet to usurp most of the functions now performed by computer systems and software -- Microsoft's hugely profitable domain. The software giant must adapt to this new environment or its future may be jeopardized. That’s the conclusion of the latest Sector Focus commentary by four technology analysts at Turner Investment Partners.

Turner, an investment firm based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, publishes Sector Focus commentaries monthly as part of the continuing efforts of its five analyst teams to monitor the market sectors for its growth-stock portfolios.

The piece, entitled Microsoft wanders lonely as a cloud and bids for Yahoo, notes that the computing cloud -- an Internet-based public network of hardware and software that businesses and consumers can tap economically or for free -- may be “the most paradigm-altering development in the tech sector since the invention of the personal computer.” The commentary was written by Tara Hedlund, security analyst/portfolio manager; Michael Lozano, security analyst; Chris McHugh, senior portfolio manager/security analyst; and Bob Turner, chairman and chief investment officer.

The authors believe that companies and consumers will increasingly rely on clouds to meet their computing needs and that Microsoft’s acquisition of Yahoo would expand Microsoft’s online business, begin to diversify its desktop-operating-system/software business, and make it a more formidable competitor to online behemoth Google, builder of the first computing cloud.

The commentary addresses a few other possible scenarios for Yahoo’s future, including a Google-Yahoo alliance, and other potential Yahoo suitors, but concludes that “the acquisition of Yahoo seems Microsoft’s best opportunity at the moment to raise its competitiveness in a sector that’s being roiled by a potentially big technological discontinuity, the computing cloud.”

To read this March 2008 Sector Focus in its entirety, see the Turner Investment Partners Web site, www.turnerinvestments.com/sectorfocus. Or call 484-329-2439 for a free copy of the piece.

As of February 29, 2008, Turner held in client accounts 1,780 shares of Microsoft, 30 shares of Google. Turner held no shares of Yahoo.

The views expressed represent the opinions of Turner Investment Partners as of the date indicated and may change. They are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendations, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Opinions about individual securities mentioned may change, and there can be no guarantee that Turner will select and hold any particular security for its client portfolios. A company’s fundamentals or earnings growth is no guarantee that its share price will increase. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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