For all the hubbub over Windows 8’s new design, and how it’s better suited to the newer generation of interactive touchscreen devices, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT ) most loyal customers want a PC they recognize. Windows 8 is a design failure for these users.
How do we know? The good folks at The Register quote data from PC management firm Soluto that says more than half of all Windows 8 users ignore the new start menu in order to preserve old habits. Touchscreen laptop and tablet owners also largely avoid Windows 8’s most advanced features. No wonder sales haven’t lived up to expectations, says Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova.
Mr. Softy’s problem is that it hasn’t trained users to accept disruptive changes in design and development in the same way that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) has. Instead, Windows customers expect Microsoft to be stable and predictable. Modernizing — as Microsoft did with Windows 8 — means risking alienating big chunk of the installed base, Tim says.
Top Small Cap Companies For 2015: Hot Topic Inc.(HOTT)
Hot Topic, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mall- and Web-based specialty retailer in the United States. The company operates Hot Topic and Torrid store concepts, as well as an e-space music discovery concept, ShockHound. Its Hot Topic stores sell music/pop culture-licensed merchandise, including tee shirts, hats, posters, stickers, patches, postcards, books, novelty accessories, CDs, and DVDs; and music/pop culture-influenced merchandise comprising women?s and men?s apparel and accessories, such as woven and knit tops, skirts, pants, shorts, jackets, shoes, costume jewelry, body jewelry, sunglasses, cosmetics, leather accessories, and gift items for young men and women primarily between the ages of 12 and 22. The company?s Torrid stores sells casual and dressy jeans and pants, fashion and novelty tops, sweaters, skirts, jackets, dresses, hosiery, shoes, intimate apparel, and fashion accessories for various lifestyles for plus-size females primarily betw een the ages of 15 and 29. As of July 30, 2011, it operated 636 Hot Topic stores in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada; 145 Torrid stores; and Internet stores, hottopic.com and torrid.com. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in City of Industry, California.
- [By Marshall Hargrave]
In May True Religion (TRGL) announced a buyout offer from TowerBrook Capital for $826 million. Also in May, Rue21 decided to sell itself to Apax Partners for $2.2 billion. Before that, in March, Hot Topic (HOTT) announced that Sycamore Partners was buying out it out for $600 million.
Top Small Cap Companies For 2015: OCZ Technology Group Inc(OCZ)
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes computer components for computing devices and systems worldwide. It primarily offers solid state drives, flash memory storage, memory modules, thermal management solutions, AC/DC switching power supply units, and computer gaming solutions. The company?s products are used in industrial equipment and computer systems; computer and computer gaming solutions; mission critical servers and high end workstations; personal computer (PC) upgrades to extend the useable life of existing PCs; high performance computing and scientific computing; video and music editing; home theatre PCs and digital home convergence products; and digital photography and digital image manipulation computers. OCZ Technology Group, Inc. offers its products to retailers, on-line retailers, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and distributors. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in San Jose, Califo rnia.
- [By Rich Duprey]
The not-so-great and wonderful OCZ
There was no company-specific news that caused solid-state-drive maker OCZ Technology (NASDAQ: OCZ ) to fall almost 8% Wednesday. But an article that appeared on Seeking Alpha questioning whether the company had six months or less to live before it filed for bankruptcy seemed to coincide with its fall.
Top Small Cap Companies For 2015: Texas Instruments Incorporated(TXN)
Texas Instruments Incorporated engages in the design and sale of semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The company?s Analog segment offers high-performance analog products comprising standard analog semiconductors, such as amplifiers, data converters, and interface semiconductors; high-volume analog and logic products; and power management semiconductors and line-powered systems. Its Embedded Processing segment includes DSPs that perform mathematical computations to process and enhance digital data; and microcontrollers, which are designed to control a set of specific tasks for electronic equipment. The company?s Wireless segment designs, manufactures, and sells application processors and connectivity products. Its Other segment offers smaller semiconductor products, which include DLP products that are primarily used in projectors to create high-definition images; and application-specific integrated circuits. This segment also provides handhe ld graphing and scientific calculators, as well as licenses technologies to other electronic companies. The company serves the communications, computing, industrial, consumer electronics, automotive, and education sectors. Texas Instruments Incorporated sells its products through a direct sales force, distributors, and third-party sales representatives. It has collaboration agreements with PLX Technology Inc.; Neonode, Inc.; and Ubiquisys Ltd. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
- [By The Wall Street Journal]
The Dallas-based company (TXN) , whose chips are used for many kinds of devices purchased by consumers and businesses, has shifted its strategy to grapple with broad changes in the semiconductor market.
- [By Chuck Saletta]
Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN ) is a selection for the real-money Inflation-Protected Income Growth portfolio. In this brief video, portfolio manager Chuck Saletta offers two-and-a-half reasons he’s holding on to Texas Instruments’ stock despite its substantial rise since he bought those shares a little more than a year ago.
Top Small Cap Companies For 2015: Sify Technologies Limited(SIFY)
Sify Technologies Limited provides enterprise and consumer Internet services primarily in India. The company offers various corporate network/data services comprising e-commerce and network connectivity solutions, such as end-to-end services network, application, and security services; voice origination and termination services; co-location and managed hosting services; and system integration services for data centre build, hardware distribution, security solutions, and turnkey projects. It also provides application services, including SLEMS and Microsoft Exchange messaging platforms; I-test for online assessment and LiveWire, which enable management of training processes across the organization; document management system for the management of documents electronically; and Forum, a forward supply chain solution. In addition, the company operates e-Ports that offer browsing, chat, email, gaming, utility bill payment, travel ticketing, hotel booking, mobile recharge, Intern et telephony, and online share trading services; and portals, which provide news, views, reviews, interactions, and services in the areas of movies, sports, finance, food, videos, astrology, online games, shopping, and travel, as well as offers content offerings and broadband services. Further, it provides infrastructure management services, such as network management, datacenter and helpdesk outsourcing, desktop and storage outsourcing, IT security outsourcing, LAN and WAN outsourcing, database and telecom outsourcing, and application monitoring and management services to automotive, chemical, media, and financial enterprises; and virtualization design, integration, and deployment services for servers, storage, networks, and end user clients. Sify has approximately 1,278 e-Ports in 200 towns and cities; and serves 1,06,000 broadband subscribers through 1500 cable TV Operators. The company, formerly known as Sify Limited, was founded in 1995 and is based in Chennai, India. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Technology stocks gained Tuesday, with Ku6 Media Co (NASDAQ: KUTV) leading advancers. Among leading tech stocks, gains came from Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ: RBCN), Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) and Sify Technologies (NASDAQ: SIFY).
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Technology stocks gained Tuesday, with Ku6 Media Co (NASDAQ: KUTV) leading advancers. Among leading tech stocks, gains came from Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ: RBCN), Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) and Sify Technologies (NASDAQ: SIFY). Utilities shares dropped by 0.11 percent in the US market today.
Top Small Cap Companies For 2015: Petroquest Energy Inc(PQ)
PetroQuest Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company. It engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of oil and gas properties in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as onshore and in the shallow waters offshore the Gulf Coast Basin. As of December 31, 2009, the company had estimated proved reserves of 1,931 thousand barrels of oil and 167,361 million cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. It owned working interests in 9 net producing oil wells and 277 net producing gas wells. PetroQuest Energy was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
PetroQuest Energy Inc. (NYSE: PQ) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.
Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN) was downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.
Top Small Cap Companies For 2015: Rackspace Hosting Inc(RAX)
Rackspace Hosting, Inc. operates in the hosting and cloud computing industry. It provides information technology (IT) as a service, managing Web-based IT systems for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large enterprises worldwide. The company?s service suite includes dedicated hosting comprising customer management portal and other management tools that manage data center, network, hardware devices, and operating system software; and cloud computing that enables customers to provide and manage a pool of computing resources, as well as delivery of computing resources to business when they need them. It offers cloud servers, cloud files, and cloud sites, as well as cloud applications, such as email, collaboration, and file back-ups; and hybrid hosting that provides a combination of dedicated hosting and cloud computing services. The company also offers customer support services. It sells its service suite through direct sales teams, third-party channel partners, an d online ordering. The company was formerly known as Rackspace.com, Inc. and changed its name to Rackspace Hosting, Inc. in June 2008. Rackspace Hosting, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.
- [By Luke Jacobi]
Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) shares were up 18.22 percent into the close to $36.26 on confirmation of approach by potential buyers and partners.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Equities Trading UP
Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) shares shot up 18.22 percent to $36.27 on confirmation of approach by potential buyers and partners.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Equities Trading UP
Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) shares shot up 18.97 percent to $36.50 on confirmation of approach by potential buyers and partners.