Suiting Up for Next Digital Battleground

It seems that Microsoft (MSFT) has been back in vogue over the last few weeks, and that has fueled the more-than-20% move in the shares so far this year. True enough, the company has started to once again beat Street expectations on both the top and bottom lines, and it's begun to signal that all is not doom and gloom in the PC market.

Further, in order to expand its presence beyond PCs and Xbox, Microsoft has aligned itself with Nokia (NOK) in the smartphone market and this week the company announced an investment in Barnes & Noble's (BKS) Nook digital book business. All told, Microsoft will have a 17.6% stake in that business -- which, based on that investment transaction, is worth $1.7 billion. To me this relationship signals that Microsoft recognizes its needs to catch up to both Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), both of which offer digital books on their respective content platforms and, particularly for Apple, are much further ahead with tablets....548 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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