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Out of the Gate: Microsoft Rises

AP reports via CNN Money:

Microsoft (MSFT) shares rose Tuesday after Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar added Microsoft to Goldman Sachs' "Conviction Buy List" of recommended stocks on expectations that first-quarter sales should boost share price. Friar forecasts Microsoft's revenues for the first quarter to grow on strong sales of Halo 3, Office 2007 and Windows Server 2008, among others.

Despite Microsoft's historical success with Windows, risks to its future growth include Google and Yahoo in the online sphere and Sony and Nintendo in the gaming market. Open-source software may also erode future growth, Friar said.

"Microsoft stands at a major juncture in its life cycle, with near-term product cycles balanced out by longer-term uncertainties, as new areas such as software-as-a-service, virtualization and open source seek to diminish Microsoft's grip on the desktop," Friar said in a note to clients.

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