Because the current windows 7 is selling poorly and the entire PC market is weak, group sales fell by 8 percent to 16 billion dollars (12.2 billion euros) in the first quarter to the end of september. Profits plunged 22 percent to $4.5 billion, microsoft said after the U.S. Close on thursday.
Analysts had already expected that many customers would wait for the new windows 8 or forego buying a new pc altogether in favor of mobile devices such as tablet computers or smartphones. But experts had not expected such a sharp drop in revenue. The stock dropped more than one percent after the fact.
"The launch of windows 8 is the beginning of a new era for microsoft," says company president steve ballmer. It is the most important new launch in many years: together with the PC operating system, a version for smartphones and one for tablet computers are released. In mobile sales, microsoft has so far lagged behind apple with its iphone and ipad, and google’s android operating system. This is why so much depends on windows 8.
The trademark of the operating system are the rough colored patches for launching programs – ideal for tapping on touch-sensitive screens, but potentially irritating for windows users on classic notebooks and desktops. Windows 8 will be released on 26. October. At the same time, coordinated new versions of office programs, server software and the internet explorer browser are being released. "The investments we’ve made over a number of years are now coming together," said ballmer.
He promised the best devices and services in the world. One of these is microsoft’s own tablet computer, surface, which will be available in germany starting at 479 euros. That’s as much as the cheapest apple ipad costs. Pre-orders are already possible.
But first, ballmer had to tell investors about a sharp contraction in the windows business: the division’s revenue fell by a third, and profits even halved. This was not surprising: according to data from the market research company gartner, PC shipments fell by 8 percent in the last quarter compared to the same period last year. Microsoft also got in the so-called business division with the office programs a little less out. These are microsofts most important mainstays.
As in the previous quarters, the internet business around the bing search engine and the msn portal proved to be a money-burning machine.Com. Here microsoft lost 364 million dollars operationally in the competition with market leader google. The business around the game console xbox threw off a small profit of 19 million dollars.