International Herald Tribune reports in the 'Investing' section:
The last two weeks have offered a reminder of what Microsoft was - and a glimpse into what it may become.
The icy blast from the past was a rejection of the software maker's appeal of a huge European Commission fine for supposed uncompetitive practices. The stock fell about... 2 percent.
Then came the company's extravagant introduction of Halo 3, the greatly awaited and much-hyped game for its Xbox 360 console. The stock rose about 4 percent, even before any sales figures had come in.
Both events highlight Microsoft's diminishing reliance on its Windows operating system, ... The market's benign spin on recent events - the stock is approaching a five-year high after falling close to a five-year low last year - may reflect recognition that Microsoft is responding well to changes in the marketplace.
[Halo 3's] first-day sales totaled $170 million worldwide, making it the most fruitful entertainment debut of any kind. That still amounts to small change for a company like Microsoft, which generates more than $50 billion in annual revenue, but [Brent Thill of Citigroup] finds it significant as an indicator of where the company is heading; he can see Microsoft confirming that its best days are not behind it...