Microsoft Stock Forecast: Buildbox Could Help Microsoft Persuade Developers To Create More Windows Apps

motek 1The article was written by Motek Moyen Research Seeking Alpha’s #1 Writer on Long Ideas and #2 in Technology  – Senior Analyst at I Know First

Microsoft Stock Forecast


  • I rate Microsoft as a Hold for long-term dividend/value investors. Microsoft is still trying to grow its Windows 10 Mobile strategy.
  • Buying and giving away Xamarin for free is one way for the company to persuade developers to create apps/games for the Universal Windows Platform.
  • Xamarin requires app developers to be well-versed in Microsoft’s C# programming language to create Windows, Android, and iOS apps.
  • Microsoft should also buy the drag-and-drop game maker Buildbox. BuildBox is very expensive right now but it is the most efficient way to create mobile games.
  • Letting people without programming skills create mobile games through BuildBox will inspire more people to make apps for Windows 10 Mobile devices.
  • I Know First is currently bullish on MSFT stock for the long term.
  • Past I Know First Forecast on Microsoft

Microsoft (MSFT) and Vungle teamed-up with BuildBox to give $500 cash incentives to developers who make Windows 10 versions of their Android and iOS apps. The management of Buildbox in return has upgraded their software to make it compatible with Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

Making friends with Buildbox is good publicity. Buildbox has emerged as one of the best tools for making mobile games because of its drag-and-drop simplicity. Jobseekers no longer just hunt for Unity 3D or Unreal 4 experts, they are also badly in need of BuildBox-adept game developers.

microsoft stock forecast


Why Investors Should Care

I can easily explain why Microsoft is trying to make friends with Buildbox users. Microsoft has given up making cheap Lumia phones. However, Microsoft’s partners like Acer and Cherry Mobile will still continue to make affordable Windows 10 Mobile handsets. The promotion for Buildbox users is just one more attempt of Nadella to build up the Windows app store. Microsoft made an official announcement last April that it is still committed to Windows 10 Mobile. One way to make a Windows 10 Mobile phone attractive is to assure people and business users that the Windows App Store will eventually become as big as Google’s (GOOG) Play Store. A healthy, growing app store is essential to Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Investors should expect Microsoft to improve its declining operating efficiency only after it could build a robust Windows 10 hardware/app store ecosystem.

microsoft stock forecast


Microsoft’s future is closely tied to mobile devices. It needs tools like BuildBox to win the support of app developers. The success of Android and iOS is due to those platforms getting all the support of corporate and indie app developers. MSFT’s stock price is under bearish sentiment right now ue to its huge write-offs over the Lumia phone hardware business.

I am not worried about these Lumia business write-downs. Microsoft has so much cash stashed abroad that a nine-figure impairment is just a minor annoyance.

microsoft stock forecast

My suggestion now is for Microsoft to spend a small portion of its $102.6 billion cash reserve to buy Buildbox.

Why Owning Buildbox Is Good For Microsoft

The promotion with Vungle might also be Microsoft testing the waters if it could buy BuildBox. This suspicion is not farfetched. Microsoft bought app development platform Xamarin for at least $400 million last February. Before the takeover, a commercial license of Xamarin could cost up to $2,000. Microsoft is now giving away Xamarin for free to developers.  Microsoft has also made Xamarin an open source software which third-party programmers could further enhance.

Microsoft’s generosity is of course just another marketing ploy to gain the respect of app developers who continue to ignore Windows 10 Mobile. By tempting them with a cross-platform app development tool like Xamarin, more developers might take pity on Microsoft’s struggling mobile OS.

The same reasoning applies to my proposal that Microsoft should buy Buildbox. BuildBox is famous for being the best drag-and-drop (no coding) software for making Android and iOS games. Unfortunately, Buildbox is very expensive. Purchasing just one license of Buildbox will cost $2,675.

Indie developers who cannot afford to buy it could also rent Buildbox for $99/month. Again this is just for one license. My thesis now is that Microsoft should buy Buildbox and make it significantly cheaper. Buildbox is the better platform than Xamarin when it comes to growing the Windows App store.

Xamarin is exclusively for people who knows Microsoft’s C# programming language. Programmers are a small crowd of people. They cannot significantly increase the number of games/apps available in the Windows App Store. On the other hand, Buildbox’s no-coding, drag-and-drop method of app development is available for anyone who wants to build apps. Microsoft could buy Buildbox and make it more affordable so that ordinary people like me could instantly make Windows, Android, and iOS games.

Buildbox Also Help Sell Office 365 and Office 2016

I do not want Microsoft to immediately give away Buildbox for free. People should pay a decent amount to own it precisely because it doesn’t require them to learn any programming language. I also do not want Microsoft to open source Buildbox. Doing so will allow unscrupulous programmers to make copycat versions of Buildbox.

I am however amiable to Microsoft possibly giving away Buildbox an incentive for people to buy Office 2016 or sign up  for annual subscriptions of Office 365. Using Buildbox to sell more desktop and cloud versions of Microsoft Office is a killer marketing idea.

If Apple (AAPL) is giving away free Beats headphones to sell more iPads, Macs, and iPhones, Microsoft can also give away free software to sell more of its flagship productivity Office software. If Microsoft offers me a free Buildbox 2.1 license, I will be happy to buy Office 2016.

Final Thoughts

As a MSFT long, I would have preferred that Nadella bought Buildbox instead of Xamarin. The super user-friendliness of Buildbox makes it the best development tool toward growing the Windows App Store. On the other hand, Microsoft has so much money that it could buy any game engine or development platform on the planet today.

The most important thing for investors to remember is that Microsoft is not giving up on mobile. Nadella will eventually find a way to grow the Windows App store. Nadella will also eventually release a Surface phone to complement its highly successful line of Surface tablets/laptops. We just have to be patient. There are 18 Wall Street analysts that rate MSFT as a Buy, 5 analysts says it’s a Hold.

microsoft stock forecast


I rate MSFT a Hold. This rating is in line with the weak, but still positive, algorithmic forecasts of I Know First. MSFT has positive 1-month, 3-month, and one-year trend forecast scores. This blue-chip stock is in no danger of becoming a falling knife.

microsoft stock forecast

In addition, I Know First algorithm has previously forecasted stocks for the Technological package like in this forecast from the 22nd of February to the 22nd of March managing to bring an average return of 17.62% in just 30 days.

microsoft stock forecast

Past I Know First Forecast on Microsoft