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Microsoft Businesses The Almighty Buck Windows XBox (Games) News

Microsoft Reports Record Revenue 289

Posted by Soulskill
from the reports-of-their-demise-etc. dept.
jones_supa sends this AFP report: "Microsoft soared to record revenues in the last quarter, confounding Wall Street forecasts on the back of strong demand for Xbox consoles, Surface tablets and Internet cloud services. The U.S.-based technology titan reported net income of $6.56 billion on revenue that hit a record high of $24.52 billion in the quarter that ended December 31. ... Sales of Surface tablets more than doubled from the previous quarter to hit $893 million, and Microsoft sold 7.4 million Xbox videogame consoles, with 3.9 million of those being new-generation Xbox One. Bing's share of the Internet search market grew to 18.2 percent while its share of the online search ad market grew about a third, according to Microsoft. Meanwhile, money made from selling Windows software to computer makers slid by three percent due to continue soft demand by consumers for personal computers, according to Microsoft."
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Microsoft Reports Record Revenue

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  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by korbulon (2792438) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:42PM (#46057353)
    Imagine what these numbers would be if they actually knew what the fuck they were doing.
    • by NormHome (99305)

      I was about to post "Imagine how much they could make if they did things right" but you kinda stole my line :-)

      • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

        by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:04PM (#46057637)

        Obviously a lot of people want to learn how to breakdance. That's what Surface tablets are for, right? I watch a lot of tv commercials

        • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:23PM (#46057877)

          Obviously a lot of people want to learn how to breakdance. That's what Surface tablets are for, right? I watch a lot of tv commercials

          I've got one (the original PRO), it's great for a portable device. Full on windows that can actually run real programs yet shaped like a tablet. I've got an ipad and a Samsung galaxy tab that were used for a couple months but then were relegated to dust collection. Man can only play so much angry birds...

          I prefer taking it to meetings over my laptop.

          And remember. It's just an intel Core i5 computer with an SSD and 4gb of ram shaped like a tablet. If you don't like win8, then install Linux, or whatever OS you want on one.

          It's not even close to perfect, but it's the best attempt at a tablet I've seen for sale.

          • by geeper (883542)
            Agreed. I got the pro 2 a few weeks ago and am very happy with it. I use it in meetings mostly but can do anything else (during the meeting) if needed. I can easily see it completely replacing my pc/laptop in the future.
          • by Nerdfest (867930)

            It's really just a touchscreen laptop with a crappy keyboard. Yes, it's more functional than most tablets, but there are more powerful laptops about the same size and weight with better performance, etc. They're pretty much functionally equivalent,aren't they?

            • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

              by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Friday January 24, 2014 @02:08PM (#46058457)

              It's really just a touchscreen laptop with a crappy keyboard. Yes, it's more functional than most tablets, but there are more powerful laptops about the same size and weight with better performance, etc. They're pretty much functionally equivalent,aren't they?

              Technically speaking, the surface pro doesn't come with a keyboard at all. You're probably thinking of the "touch" and "type" covers that are sold. I don't care for either. This is pretty much the same story for every other tablet I've seen for sale. Specifications wise, it is almost identical to my HP Elitebook 8470p laptop.

              I added a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. It does come with an excellent pen, which I use for taking notes in meetings.
              Not a good replacement for my desktop computer, but it does quite well in most situations where a laptop would be used. The only exception I've found is on airplanes. Need a keyboard with an attachment stiff enough to support the screen. I imagine you'd have the same problem in a car, but I'm rarely in a car if I'm not the one driving it.

              If you're comfortable disassembling with a heat gun you can upgrade the SSD. It's mSATA I think. The ram is soldered on and there is no room for upgrading unfortunately. In my opinion, only 4GB of ram is this device's biggest weakness.

              • by Nerdfest (867930)

                It sounds like you're agreeing with me. You'd be happier with a lighter laptop.

            • by lgw (121541)

              You're 100% correct, but those laptops are quite pricey. Right now at work I use just such a small, lightweight laptop, but it's a top-price executive model that I only got because it's 5 years old now. Still, it is a bit larger and heavier than a tablet, and I could see the tablet appeal if I had to haul it all over the place.

              But the real appeal of tablets is simply ending the fight over what's on TV. If you have kids of a certain age, you're going to spend most of your evenings where you can see them,

        • by Ravaldy (2621787)

          Yeah and that blond girl comes with the car I purchased right?

    • If Microsoft knew what they were doing, Intel would also be doing much better. At least Intel is looking to break into mobile with or without Microsoft. The new lines of low power chips look promising.

    • Like an advancing glacier...

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:57PM (#46057541) Homepage

      I assume that the company you run made more than $6.5B last quarter.

    • by alen (225700)

      and how much of your cloud runs on Azure?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by dbIII (701233)

        and how much of your cloud runs on Azure?

        It's not a leap year so it will be fine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Office 365, Win Server, Skype ... not all 100k staff at Microsoft should be judged by a misguided Win 8 start screen.

      • Right. Just the top management.

        • by lgw (121541)

          Exactly right. Balmer? Out. Julie Lawson-Green, queen of Metro? Out of Windows. Looks like they were judged by that horror (well, it's fine on a tablet/xbone) and found wanting.

          Still, the new guys have to actually be better for that to matter. Time will tell.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      I'm not currently a MSFT stockholder, but if I were this would make me happier. Still, I'd be concerned that their high-margin businesses seem to be declining while their hardware businesses are on the increase. Their current stock price is supported by margins over 70% - going mainly hardware will push them down, if they are lucky, to Apple-like levels of 30%, or Dell levels much lower than that if they go for the low end. In other words, revenue HAS to increase simply to maintain income as they see more h

      • You want to focus on future revenue growth, not on margins.

        First it is natural for margins to fall for growth companies. When young they have the market to themselves. Their success draws competitors that push margins down. Also, hopefully, when they are young they pursue the top tier opportunities. As they get bigger they expand into lower tier opportunities. Hopefully still profitable but they don’t carry the mouthwatering margins.

        Second, hardware companies will always have lower margins. With softw

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          You want to focus on future revenue growth, not on margins.

          Maybe for a startup, but MSFT is a big old mature company. They are almost a conglomerate, really. I think you need to analyze their hardware and software businesses separately. Like I said, I'd be thrilled that their hardware business is starting to perk up, but losing revenue in the higher-margin software business is something that I'd be very concerned with. I agree with most of your points, except that you seem to think that margin is unimportant - it is certainly not the only thing to look at, but at

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Notice they're heading for an Apple-like model? Hardware margins will be fine when they only allow MS software to run on their hardware.

    • by Salgat (1098063)
      Considering they are doing great on their XBox, Office, and enterprise lines and at least trying some innovative moves (while still profiting quite well off Windows 7) I'd say they are doing a damn fine job for the most part.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Imagine what these numbers would be if they actually knew what the fuck they were doing.

      Maybe they don't need a CEO. When Ballmer leaves just convert the office into a pet daycare annex.

    • They do know what they are doing. The cost of licenses went up by a good chunk of change (think 20% or so.) Because most businesses rely on MS for day to day use, that additional 20% in license revenue definitely didn't hurt revenue gains.

    • Ah fuck ... that was a great laugh !

      After man years of reading /. I gotta give you a 2 thumbs up. Funniest thing I've read in a while. Nice man.

  • Price Drop (Score:3, Funny)

    by phmadore (1391487) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:47PM (#46057417) Homepage Journal
    So this means the price of their software is gonna come down... right? :P
  • by FishTankX (1539069) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:48PM (#46057427)

    Looks like for microsoft to preserve profitability it may have to continue to branch out of its core competency, windows. Perhaps it's following in Apples footsteps in a sense, branching away from personal computing to consumer electronics.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      That's the short game strategy.

      Long game, they're kinda headed in the same direction as Caldera/SCO. You remember them?

      Big companies like IBM are 'hardening' their market position in certain areas, not acquiring. Oracle is doing similar - though acquiring assets, they're stripping them of their value to integrate it into their core product offering/identity products.

      PCs have become commodity, yes, and the new boom market is in mobile/platform apps and data. MS is moving that way, but it seems they've not mo

  • Strategy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nashv (1479253) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:50PM (#46057459) Homepage

    That billion dollar write-off on the Surface tablets doesn't seem so bad now does it...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:50PM (#46057465)

    I pay you a dollar for every 90 cents you give me !!

    Surface COGS: 935 m
    Revenue 850 m

    • by Zmobie (2478450)

      Considering they had a 6.5 billion dollar net income, I'm sure their executives and shareholders are crying into their money about your one comment that literally accounts for less than 1/24 of their overall revenue streams....

    • by stymy (1223496)
      They just started that product line. Microsoft looks at the long-term more than other companies. For example, the XBox originally made them lose billions, but now the newer versions are raking in the dough.
      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        They just started that product line. Microsoft looks at the long-term more than other companies.

        As opposed to, like, Starbucks, or Daimler, or Apple, who, in their obvious obsession with quarterly profits, charge premium profits for every good sold from day one, and thus all quickly went out of business.

  • by dissy (172727) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:54PM (#46057503)

    Meanwhile, money made from selling Windows software to computer makers slid by three percent due to continue soft demand by consumers for personal computers

    Yes, I too have been both softly demanding and loudly demanding a personal computer OS from Microsoft, yet all they want to push is some tablet OS unsuited for business work on a personal computer.

    At least they aren't acting surprised about their choice.

  • Good for them. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:58PM (#46057559) Journal
    Hope they don't announce big profit now and come back a few months later with a big charge for something else. Sort of like Bush would not include war costs in regular budget and always ask for emergency appropriations for a war that had been going on for years.
  • Noooo (Score:4, Funny)

    by coolsnowmen (695297) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:02PM (#46057603)

    The year of the death of the linux desktop :-(

  • Good to hear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:04PM (#46057625)

    It's always good to hear that the world's largest software firm has a higher revenue than the world's largest advertisement firm.

    Regardless of whether it is MS or not.

  • by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:07PM (#46057663) Homepage
    We have recently purchased a Surface to test with some LIMS software we use, which currently runs fine on W7. We were told it wouldn't run on 8. It has been discovered that it does in fact run on 8 and runs fine on our Surface. We are going to to test using Surface tablets running 8.1 in our environment. So far so good.

    Are we running this on iPads or Android tablets? No.
    Why?
    Because the software in question, along with pretty much everything else we use is designed to run on either Windows or Linux.

    I could draw a conclusion here that Surface tablets will make in roads into the Enterprise for exactly this reason. Yes, yes, I know there are thousands of iPads in Enterprises right now, with all manner of executive and administrative staffers trying to look important at work with their tablet, while busily updating their FB status. However, I feel that because of MS's entrenched position in the Enterprise the Surface is more of a "work" device than an iPad or Android tablet.
    • by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:15PM (#46057773) Journal
      My husband's school offered him an iPad. He asked them for a Surface instead. After some quick checking with IT, he got his Surface. The IT department was actually happy about it, since they have a Microsoft+Linux server backend and the Surface acts like any other Windows machine when interfaced with the network. So while all the iPad users end up putting in a service call every week because some app isn't working right, my husband (and the two other Surface users that joined him) haven't had any issues at all.

      Now, I lost some faith in the Surface when I saw it have a BSOD just after 8.1 rolled out, but it only happened to him once.
      • I have to support Apple devices in an AD environment, and yes it is a PITA. But, with that being said, I don't think total homogeneous technologies in an Enterprise make sense. It is a good thing to mix things up... But I think the Surface Pro is more of a work device versus an iPad or Android tablet.
    • We have recently purchased a Surface to test with some LIMS software we use, which currently runs fine on W7. We were told it wouldn't run on 8. It has been discovered that it does in fact run on 8 and runs fine on our Surface.

      Windows 7 supports only the Win32 API; Windows RT 8 and Windows RT 8.1 support only the new WinRT API. It is impossible for one program to run on both Windows 7 PCs and Surface RT unless it is written in an interpreted language and runs in an interpreter available for both platforms. By Surface did you mean Surface Pro, which supports both Win32 and WinRT applications?

      • By Surface did you mean Surface Pro, which supports both Win32 and WinRT applications?

        Correct.
        My mistake that I realized after posting and I knew I would be caught. Yes, Surface Pro is what I meant.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:19PM (#46057823)
    They would have been able to buy their own country if Windows 8 wasn't such a disaster.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vanderhoth (1582661)
      I actually think they're cooking the books. I'm sure they're just moving numbers around to make their revenue stream seem larger after having a disastrous year and are hoping to make up for it next year. Big companies do it all the time. Besides revenue is a poor way to gage a company, they could have 24 billion in revenue and 50 billion in liabilities, or they might have to write off a few billion in "estimated revenues" later, like they did with the original surface.

      Of the hundres of people I know, very
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:43PM (#46058167)

    I find it extremely hard to believe that a company whom has failed on so many fronts can post a "record revenue". Let's face it; Windows Phone, Vista, Metro, Xbox One -- all have been either utter failures or fell seriously short of expected sales. If a company can produce "record revenue" from a year like that, then management has problems bigger than just Ballmer.

  • Revenue != Profit (Score:2, Informative)

    by stewsters (1406737)
    Taking in money doesn't necessarily mean anything unless you can actually make money.
  • Smell something? Hokus! Pokus! [crn.com]

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