Microsoft results: old business model still humming, future a concern

Microsoft has published its latest financials. Here is my at-a-glance summary:

Quarter ending March 31st 2012 vs quarter ending March 31st 2011, $millions

Segment Revenue Change Profit Change
Client (Windows + Live) 4624 +177 2952 +160
Server and Tools 4572 +386 1738 +285
Online 707 +40 -479 +297
Business (Office) 5814 +485 3770 +457
Entertainment and devices 1616 -319 -229 -439

What is notable? Well, Windows 7 is still driving Enterprise sales, but more striking is the success of Microsoft’s server business. The company reports “double-digit” growth for SQL Server and more than 20% growth in System Center. This seems to be evidence that the company’s private cloud strategy is working; and from what I have seen of the forthcoming Server 8, I expect it to continue to work.

Losing $229m in entertainment and devices seems careless though the beleaguered Windows Phone must be in there too. Windows Phone is not mentioned in the press release.

Overall these are impressive figures for a company widely perceived as being overtaken by Apple, Google and Amazon in the things that matter for the future: mobile, internet and cloud.

At the same time, those “things that matter” are exactly the areas of weakness, which must be a concern.

4 thoughts on “Microsoft results: old business model still humming, future a concern”

  1. Regarding Windows Client division, there is the cynical interpretation that everybody’s anxious to get a Windows 7 license before the dreaded Windows 8 hits…

  2. @Chris, maybe though it won’t be a problem – I recall machines coming out with dual Vista/XP options long after the Vista launch and expect it will be the same again. Enterprise licenses won’t be a problem either.

  3. Nokia is receiving $1 billion per year in platform support payments. $250 million per quarter – $30 million in licensing fees (2 million Lumias at $15 each) = $220 million subsidy.

    That accounts for all but $9 million of the E&D loss.

  4. Makes me wonder how much, in Entertainment and Devices, the XBox is propping up poor Windows Phone 7 sales. Mind you, after the Kinect flurry, I’d be suprised if the XBox can maintain the momentum. It’s looking a bit long in the tooth now and in need of a successor.

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