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In all fairness….

In a week in which we saw Apple’s profit soar, Yahoo’s profit sail, and AT&T’s profit climb respectably, Microsoft posted quarterly profit and revenue today that are best described by the “soar” category! Microsoft’s profit climbed 60% from a year ago, to $6.7 billion or 74 cents/share. Sales broke three straight quarters of decline, and climbed 14% to a record $19 billion!

Excluding the boost from deferred revenue of $1.7 billion from presales of Windows 7 and from the “Windows 7 upgrade option program,” Microsoft still earned 60 cents/share, beating analyst expectations by a penny. Without the deferred revenue, sales rose 4% and totaled $17.3 billion.

Sales in the operating system division rose almost 70% in the quarter, and profit doubled. Windows 7 became the fastest-selling operating system in history, with more than 60 million licenses sold. The profit in other divisions came mostly from cost-cutting. Microsoft expects to complete the elimination of 5000 positons by mid-year. At the end of the quarter, headcount was 8% lower than a year ago.

Revenue from the entertainment and devices division fell 11% but profit nearly tripled. The server unit revenue climbed 2% while profit rose 8%. The online services business division, including MSN and Bing, had sales decline 5%, and the division lost $466 million.

Although I have been objectively critical with regard to product quality, I am glad to see Microsoft bounce back a bit, for the sake of people who are heavily invested in them. Who knows, maybe even MY 401K is invested in them! 😉 Recovery in the technology sector is a GOOD thing.

-Bill at

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