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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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December 11, 2008 11:07 AM

Morgan Stanley cuts Microsoft targets; Muglia says IT budgets "cramped"

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Analysts at Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Microsoft shares to $24 and also lowered its estimates. Microsoft shares were down 88 cents, 4.3 percent, to $19.73 in mid-afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

Meanwhile, Ina Fried at CNET interviews Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Microsoft Server and Tools Division, who said "IT budgets are cramped. It's not like IT is going to dramatically contract, but it is certainly slowing pretty dramatically."

Muglia reiterated what other execs in the company have been saying: Hiring has slowed, but he still has 150 openings in his division, down from 900 earlier.

Update: To clarify, I don't read Muglia's comments to say he has reduced his open positions by 750, rather, it looks like the division filled openings in the first quarter of the fiscal year. Here's how Fried described it:

"[T]he company had been hiring ahead of its targets, so most of [the growth in the Server and Tools Division this year] comes from folks already hired during the July-to-September time frame."

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