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Old 12-01-2012, 06:05 PM   #26
Nathanael
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Shanghai, China
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo1967 View Post
Yes, apart from two of the most profitable products of all time Microsoft's record is woeful
Pretty much. I'm not denying the phenomenal success of Windows and Office, I'm simply making the point that *beyond* Windows and Office Microsoft has pretty much nothing -- and that's the way it's been for the past twenty years. You can look through MS's SEC filings yourself. Microsoft has them online going back to '94.

Here's the revenue stream by division for June '11 - June '12, just for example:

Business Division (MS Office): $15.7 billion
Windows Division: $11.5 billion
Server and Tools Division (Windows): $7.4 billion
Entertainment and Devices (X-Box; Windows Phone): $364 million
Online Services: -$8 billion (loss)

And that picture (with the exception of X-Box's recent turn toward minor profitability after a decade of losses) hasn't changed for MS since at least the days of Windows '95. Microsoft has *tried* many other things. It has made money at *none* of them.

We're in the midst of a sea change in computer technology. Microsoft's revenue stream is tied to a declining PC market (IDC called 2011 the second worst year for PC sales ever; 2012 to date hasn't been much better) as the entire industry goes mobile.

The poster child of the new era is Apple, which a year ago for the first time posted larger quarterly revenues than Redmond, and became the world's most valuable company. In fact, forget the Mac and iPad. The iPhone alone generates more money than Windows, Office and X-Box combined. And Apple's revenues are expected to to grow again next year while Microsoft's continue to decline.

Microsoft isn't going away any time soon. But if it doesn't figure out how to catch the mobile wave (and it doesn't have a promising track record), it's looking at a long, slow decline into irrelevancy.
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