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What is Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)’s Next Ten Billion Dollar Idea?

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In June, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced that it’s releasing Office Mobile for iPhone. This is good news for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) because it is likely that Microsoft will eventually have to design Office 365 for the iPad.  And that could mean billions in sales.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Office 365 to Apple

The company’s largest segment is the business division, which houses the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) office suite.

Source: Microsoft

The company’s business division represents 33% of the company’s revenue. The revenue in the segment grew by 4% in its most recent quarterly earnings release. The lack of growth in the Windows business segment is driven by the 9.6% year-over-year decline in desktop and laptop shipments.

Source: Gartner

Going forward it’s highly likely Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will have to sell its Office 365 to both the Android and Apple eco-systems. I believe Office 365 will be rolled out to Apple first because Microsoft already has Office 365 on the iPhone and iMac.

I don’t think Microsoft will be in a rush to release an Office 365 application for Android. This is because Microsoft is aiming to steal market share away from Android more so than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as consumers are more loyal to Apple than Android. Most companies aim for the low-hanging fruit, and in this instance, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) should have a better chance taking market share from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

The growth potential

Apple has an 11.6% market share in desktop computing. Canaccord Genuity is projecting 200 million iPhone unit sales and 101.6 million iPad unit sales in 2013. In 2012, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had 18.15 million in Mac sales, and assuming a 9% growth rate, Apple should sell about 20 million Macs in 2013.  Add it all up, and that works out to be 321.4 million device sales for Apple this year.

Now let’s assume Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) creates Office 365 and it already has a 98% market share according to latest statistics. If so, that means most Mac users will buy Microsoft Office 365 over Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) docs and other competing products. Remember that almost everyone in the world is trained to use Microsoft Office, which gives Microsoft an effective moat.

The iPad is seen as a substitute to desktop computers in emerging markets, and if Apple can get Office 365 onto the iPad, it’s highly probable the iPad will be shipping with detachable keyboards. If so, Office 365 will reach 101.6 million iPad users. Plus we have to factor in the 72 million install base of current Mac users.

Lets do the math.  Lets assume 98% of current Mac users adopt Office 365, and are charged a $100 annual rate for up to 5 devices. Well, each Apple user most likely has an iPhone, iPad, and a Mac. Basing it on just the Mac, we can assume, Microsoft would generate $7.1 billion in revenue from the Apple user base.

Lets assume the tablet market will grow at a compounded 23% growth rate until 2017, based on Taiwan Semiconductor’sforecast.  So 100 million tablet sales in 2013 will grow to 414.72 million by 2017.  Assuming Microsoft can sell Office 365 to 98% of the Apple tablet crowd, Office 365 could generate $40.64 billion in sales. The license works on up to 5 devices, and tablet owners will also own either an Apple smart phone device, or even a Windows desktop.

Currently Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s business division generates $24 billion in revenue. So if we add that to potential tablet sales growth (which translates to Office 365 growth), we’re looking at $64 billion in sales from the business segment by 2017.  Assuming its current 23% profit margins, the Windows business segment will generate around $14.72 billion in profits (net profit is around $5 billion). So over the next 5-years, this new development could grow to an added $10 billion per year.

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