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Gaming Microsoft Earnings & Windows 7 Release

Tech investors are eagerly awaiting results from Microsoft on Friday. According to Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal, PC shipments edged up in the quarter, which should be a big help for Microsoft's biggest businesses, Windows and Office, but not enough to keep sales from declining from year-ago levels.

The analyst predicted Microsoft will deliver better-than-expected cost-cutting measures, and noted that Microsoft's Bing snagged a slightly bigger share of U.S. Web searches in the quarter.

"(But) we can't tell yet if this market share gain in search queries is sustainable in the long run," the analyst wrote.

However at the end of the day most analysts agree that the product that's going to really drive profits is Windows 7, which debuted on Thursday.

Considered the most important software release in over a decade the new operating system has been highly anticipated by both Wall Street and Corporate America. It follows the Vista operating system, which left most everyone under whelmed, to say the least.

Investors are now hoping that companies, looking to improve efficiency, will find Windows 7 more to their liking – and open their wallets for the upgrade.

In fact, the success of Windows -- which accounts for more than half of Microsoft's profit -- is crucial for CEO Steve Ballmer as he attempts to revive the company's image as the world's most important software firm

So, what’s the trade?

I was at the launch on Thursday and Windows 7 makes me want to buy a new PC, says ISI analyst Heather Bellini on Fast Money. I thought the whole experience was great and it makes me want to buy hardware.

I’m bullish Microsoft, she adds. But we need the corporate refresh cycle to kick-in for this stock to really move.

However, over the next two or three quarters “They could beat numbers by $500 million or a billion because that’s the kind of upside they could see when the corporate cycle takes hold.”

I think portfolio managers are underinvested Microsoft, adds Joe Terranova. That’s also something that could drive the stock higher and I’d keep an eye on it.

What do you think? We want to know!



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Trader disclosure: On October 22nd, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Najarian Owns (CEPH) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (LAZ), Is Short (LAZ) Calls, Owns (LAZ) Puts; Najarian Owns (RIMM) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (STX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XLF) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Finerman's Firm Owns (CLX), (MSFT), (NOK), (WMT); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC), (BAC) Call Spreads; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (USO), (UNG), (CAKE); Finerman's Firm Owns (YUM); Finerman's Firm Owns (BKC); Finerman's Firm Is Short (CPKI); Terranova Owns (SUN), (HES), (NOV), (GS); Seymour Owns (MSFT); Seygem Asset Management Is Short (MELI)

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