) and NBC Sports Group have announced a partnership to use
Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports' digital
NBC Sports is the sports division of the NBC television
network. The group broadcasts premier sporting events and its
diverse program portfolio includes "Sunday Night Football," PGA
TOUR, Triple Crown horse racing, French Open tennis, Sochi 2014
Winter Olympic Games, Premier League soccer, Formula One and Indy
Car racing, Notre Dame Football, U.S. Open golf and Major League
According to the agreement, NBC Sports Group will adopt
Microsoft's Windows Azure Media Services for its digital
platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and
GolfChannel.com, starting this summer. Windows Azure Media
Services will provide both live as well as on-demand video
streaming services related to games and events on laptops,
tablets, smartphones and PCs.
The alliance will broaden the reach of both the companies
going forward. NBC will be able to reach a broader customer base
and Microsoft will be able to expand its range of cloud
Windows Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform for
building, deploying and managing applications and services
through a global network of its managed datacenters. Windows
Azure core services include Media Services, Mobile Services,
Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites and Big Data. It
) AWS cloud computing platform and the OpSource Cloud Computing
IDC predicts that the cloud market may jump 130% reaching
$43.0 billion in 2016. Further, Gartner predicts that around
$677.0 billion may be spent on cloud services within the
2013-2016 timeframe. Microsoft, with its solid portfolio and
growing partnerships should be able to tap this opportunity.
Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors,
given its wide range of products, emerging markets strength,
continued technology deployment at data centers and growth in
cloud computing. The company delivered better-than-expected
second quarter results with non-GAAP earnings up sequentially.
New products across segments, strength in the cloud computing
segment and share gains in search combined to generate the
However, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market
caused by the sluggish economy. Therefore, it is important for
the company to focus on emerging segments such as mobile hardware
and the cloud.
Currently, Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks
in the sector that are performing well currently include
), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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