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Apple must wait another day to best Microsoft on earnings

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
After numerous analysts had predicted weakened income for Microsoft, the Windows maker surprised Wall Street Thursday by posting a quarterly profit of $6.63 billion, enough to stay ahead of Apple on earnings for the time being.

Apple did, however, best the Redmond, Wash., software giant in terms of revenue. Microsoft announced revenue of $19.95 billion for the December quarter, compared to Apple's record $26.74 billion in revenue.

High profit margins on its software offerings boosted Microsoft's revenue above analysts' expectations of $5.93 billion. The company also gained momentum through sales of its Kinect video camera accessory for the Xbox. According to Microsoft, 8 million Kinect sensors were sold in just 60 days.

Microsoft declined to give Windows Phone 7 sales figures during its earnings call, though the company had revealed earlier this week that two million WP7 devices had been shipped to carriers by the end of December.

Analysts generally saw Microsoft's results as a mixed bag. "Outstanding numbers when you take a first look at it, but when you delve into them, Windows missed expectations by $300 million," Reuters reported Brendan Barnicle, analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, as saying.

"Kinect represents the most legitimate opportunity we have seen for the Xbox to drive some profit. I do think there is a meaningful catalyst there," said Motley Fool senior analyst Tim Beyers. "I guess the nut of it is, Microsoft is starting to do something better and they are not tripping on themselves, and that counts for something."

Slowing PC sales and the tablet boom, of which Apple holds the lion's share, have left Microsoft investors cautious. Shares of Microsoft stock closed the day down .45 percent before dipping further in after-hours trading. Over the past 12 months, Microsoft shares have shed about 3 percent.

Microsoft itself admitted Thursday that tablets like Apple's iPad has created a "little bit of a drag" on the market.

Long-time rival Apple made headlines last year when it passed up Microsoft to become the world's largest tech company in terms of market capitalization. The Mac maker went on to become the world's second largest company, eventually soaring past the $300 billion mark.

As of Thursday, Microsoft's market cap was $248 billion, compared to Apple's $316 billion.
post #2 of 68
Bottom line: Windows and Office are a ripoff.
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post #3 of 68
Anyone remember the Bad News Bears?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1-zBIIvl5g

"I guess the nut of it is, Microsoft is starting to do something better and they are not tripping on themselves, and that counts for something."

Why does Microsoft sound like your retarded cousin?
post #4 of 68
Just delaying the inevitable.

The sad part is, is that these results act as an impetus for MS to keep things business as usual, which will, of course, prove quite detrimental to them in the long term.
post #5 of 68
As long as nobody can deliver a "better" and competitive Office product (to my surprise), M$ doesn't need to do anything to keep it running well. WP7, etc. are just like "hobby" to them.
post #6 of 68
This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.
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post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

For once I agree. It's almost as if 60% of the articles here have to have an "us versus them" slant. And "them" automatically means evil/bad/inferior/crap.

I love my Apple gear, but that doesn't mean that I have to take every opportunity to piss on everyone else.
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

Things must be different in Ireland because in the US money does matter to the markets. And since they are both in the tech sector, the comparison is reasonable (unlike comparing Apple to an energy company).
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

Exactly! Was DED too in shock to write this hit piece?
post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Things must be different in Ireland because in the US money does matter to the markets. And since they are both in the tech sector, the comparison is reasonable (unlike comparing Apple to an energy company).

Well the odd thing is that if you do a search on the word "profit" here, you will find a million threads stating that ALL that matters is profit, nothing else is important.

Apple is the best computer maker because they have the most profits for computer makers
Apple is the best cell phone maker because they have the most profits for cell phone makers
etc.

Except, that is, when Apple is not the most profitable.
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

Well the odd thing is that if you do a search on the word "profit" here, you will find a million threads stating that ALL that matters is profit, nothing else is important.

Apple is the best computer maker because they have the most profits for computer makers
Apple is the best cell phone maker because they have the most profits for cell phone makers
etc.

Except, that is, when Apple is not the most profitable.

Stop getting tangled in your own underwear.
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

Well the odd thing is that if you do a search on the word "profit" here, you will find a million threads stating that ALL that matters is profit, nothing else is important.

Apple is the best computer maker because they have the most profits for computer makers
Apple is the best cell phone maker because they have the most profits for cell phone makers
etc.


Except, that is, when Apple is not the most profitable.

People who make such claims are foolish.

But it is just as foolish to suggest that the numbers don't matter. In general, the bottom line is, indeed, the bottom line. But watch what happens when a company takes a hit on revenues. ANd not to minimize MS's performance, but their report does drive home the fact that making those software margins is close to printing money.
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

Exactly! Was DED too in shock to write this hit piece?

You need serious help with this! Or better yet why don't you start your very own blogsite where you you can gibber and spittle your unreasoned and irrational hatred of DED to your own continuing delight and futile sense of retribution for whatever slight you imagine he has caused you?

Do you stalk others in this same manner? Obsessive/compulsive behavior is very unbecoming.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

People who make such claims are foolish.

But it is just as foolish to suggest that the numbers don't matter. In general, the bottom line is, indeed, the bottom line. But watch what happens when a company takes a hit on revenues. ANd not to minimize MS's performance, but their report does drive home the fact that making those software margins is close to printing money.

reductio ad absurdum. After all, simplicity best suits the simple-minded.
post #15 of 68
You own a "for profit" business, the bottom line is to make money. Anyone that thinks otherwise, doesn't live in this world. Non for profit business is another story and should just be labeled 'charity'.

However, I knew that Microsoft's grasp on the world market was coming to an end when I saw the first Mac's enter into the US military's inventory. There is a def shift in the PC paradigm today.
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

Well the odd thing is that if you do a search on the word "profit" here, you will find a million threads stating that ALL that matters is profit, nothing else is important.

Apple is the best computer maker because they have the most profits for computer makers
Apple is the best cell phone maker because they have the most profits for cell phone makers
etc.

Except, that is, when Apple is not the most profitable.

I think youre misunderstanding the term and usage.

Saying that the best product is the one from the company making the most profits is patently false. I doubt youll find any reasonable person posting that here. Maybe at MacRumors, Digg or Engadget... but not here.

Saying that for-profit companies base success on profit is correct. I am sure youll find many posts on this site stating that very thing.
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post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

I'd bet Ballmer and Jobs care. I think it is interesting to watch Apple's amazing comeback story. And I think it is important because many (myself included) believe Microsoft's billions were gained underhandedly, to say the least. So a little comeuppance is well deserved, I'd say.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

reductio ad absurdum. After all, simplicity best suits the simple-minded.

Were trying to have a serious conversation here so keep your Harry Potter spells to yourself.
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post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by haruhiko View Post

Microsoft declined to give Windows Phone 7 sales figures during its earnings call, though the company had revealed earlier this week that two million WP7 devices had been shipped to carriers by the end of December.

I believe that's incorrect - although I didn't go back and check. My understanding was that Microsoft said that it sold 2 million Windows Phone 7 licenses to OEMs by the end of December. That doesn't mean that 2 million phones were shipped to carriers - there's some amount of time that must elapse between the time the OEM buys the MS Windows Phone 7 license and the time that the phone is assembled, packaged, and shipped. That means that the number of phones shipped to carriers must be less than 2 M - and the number in consumers' hands would be lower, still.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

Well the odd thing is that if you do a search on the word "profit" here, you will find a million threads stating that ALL that matters is profit, nothing else is important.

Apple is the best computer maker because they have the most profits for computer makers
Apple is the best cell phone maker because they have the most profits for cell phone makers
etc.

Except, that is, when Apple is not the most profitable.

Please name a computer maker who makes more profit than Apple.
And name a phone manufacturer who makes more profit than Apple.

Hint: Microsoft makes neither computers nor smart phones.
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post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by haruhiko View Post

As long as nobody can deliver a "better" and competitive Office product (to my surprise), M$ doesn't need to do anything to keep it running well. WP7, etc. are just like "hobby" to them.

I don't know about better, but OpenOffice is competitive. 95% of the commonly used features and 99% compatibility for free (I don't know the percentages, but they're pretty high).

The problem is not that OpenOffice is uncompetitive, but that most people buy Microsoft Office by default- businesses in particular.
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post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

Agree. Very childish. I just want a nice computer.
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

Please allow those of us who have suffered the taunts, the denigration, the laughter, the sarcasm of idiots like Michael Dell for over twenty years to gloat a little will you. Almost since the beginning Apple enthusiasts have listened to pundits tell us how irrelevant Apple is, what an insignificant niche player it is, what idiots we who buy Apple products are. We were second class web citizens who were regularly told to go away by web sites that worked only with Windows. We listened to John Dvorak castigate Apple for daring to enter the cellphone market. We listened to monkey boy Steve Ballmer babble on about rounding errors. Well, the smirks on the faces of the likes of Michael Dell and Steve Ballmer have been wiped off their ugly mugs. APPL is worth more than MSFT. AAPL took in more revenue than MSFT. AAPL has more cash on hand than DELL is even worth. All that's left is for AAPL to exceed MSFT in profits. I'm betting that Tim Cook wouldn't even take a phone call from Michael Dell these days.

So take your bitterness and stuff it
post #23 of 68
I'm glad the Xbox 360 and Kinect are doing well, I like them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I don't know about better, but OpenOffice is competitive. 95% of the commonly used features and 99% compatibility for free (I don't know the percentages, but they're pretty high).

The problem is not that OpenOffice is uncompetitive, but that most people buy Microsoft Office by default- businesses in particular.

I've been using OO.o for years, it is good enough for many, but for those who require Microsoft Office compatibility it leaves a lot to be desired. I think Microsoft Office is worth the price, after the student discount

I wish Apple would bring iWork to Windows, add needed applications to take on the full Office suite and battle Office in the enterprise, it can be done.

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post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This Apple versus Microsoft thing is immature. 5 Billion, 7 Billion, who gives a shit? It's like saying Apple is behind Exxon. It doesn't matter. It's not about the money.

Actually, it's all about the money. If you don't make a profit, then, you're right, the money doesn't matter, because you're out of business.

But MS and Apple are strong rival in most every area. That's why seeing where they're going financially is important. It let's us know how successful they are against countering each other's moves.

As far as Exxon goes, you're right. But even there, it's psychological. And psychology matters to investors. I'm one of them.
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I don't know about better, but OpenOffice is competitive. 95% of the commonly used features and 99% compatibility for free (I don't know the percentages, but they're pretty high).

The problem is not that OpenOffice is uncompetitive, but that most people buy Microsoft Office by default- businesses in particular.

It's not competitive because only around 2% of office software users use it. That's what competitive means. It's not the feature set, it's whether people will use it. Competitiveness isn't a simple thing to measure. But if there is the impression that something is not as good, and it isn't used because of that, then it's not competitive.

I've used OO, and it's clumsy. It's really not the same as using Office.
post #26 of 68
Something interesting in MS's financials:

http://e.businessinsider.com/view/z3t.31u/e2b9425f
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Please name a computer maker who makes more profit than Apple.
And name a phone manufacturer who makes more profit than Apple.

Hint: Microsoft makes neither computers nor smart phones.

Given that, isn't it interesting how people consider Apple as Microsoft's rival? Apple long back removed "Computer" from it's name. Apple is in consumer electronics and it is not a pure software company. It is in entertainment delivery business through it's iTunes, which Microsoft is not. If you look at it Apple is lot more unlike than like Microsoft.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by radster360 View Post

Given that, isn't it interesting how people consider Apple as Microsoft's rival? Apple long back removed "Computer" from it's name. Apple is in consumer electronics and it is not a pure software company. It is in entertainment delivery business through it's iTunes, which Microsoft is not. If you look at it Apple is lot more unlike than like Microsoft.

Not really. They compete in many areas. The fact that Apple also produces the hardware doesn't change that.

So, where do they compete?

Operating systems. People buy the Mac because of the OS, mostly.

Phones. It's not just the hardware, it's the OS again.

Tablets. Again, the OS.

Gaming. Many people have bought a PC rather than a Mac because of games. That's changing slowly now. But Apple's iOS products are challenging the game machine makers, of which MS is a prominent member.

Software. iWorks and iLife work against MS's products there too.

Online presence. Apple doesn't have a search service, but Mobileme does compete with some of MS's online services, and is expected to compete more before too long.

I'm sure if we take some time, we can come up with more.
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Not really. They compete in many areas. The fact that Apple also produces the hardware doesn't change that.

But where don't they compete...

Microsoft is in the following area that Apple is not:

- Search
- News (as in MSN)
- ERP & CRM
- Maps
- Database Servers
- Servers (now Apples dumping Xserver)
- Email Servers
- Web Languages
- Whatever you class Silverlight as
- Gaming platforms (as in DirectX)
- Games Consoles
- Surface
- A whole load of other software products (Amalga, Forefront, Money etc)

Then if you compare things they do that are the same there's still huge differences particularly with strategy.

- Operating systems. Apple basically just makes them to go in there own products and then trys to sell the device. Microsoft on the other hand make os's that end up in everything from PC's to cashpoints. For MS it represents a huge part of their income, for Apple it does not.

- Phones. Apple make a phone that represents about half of there profit. MS make an OS for a phone that probably hasn't made a profit.

End of the day both company's made a similar amount that was huge.
post #30 of 68
Microsoft can't go on using one-time techniques to embellish its quarterly results.

The eventual downfall will just be worse when it finally happens.
post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

But where don't they compete...

Microsoft is in the following area that Apple is not:

- Search
- News (as in MSN)
- ERP & CRM
- Maps
- Database Servers
- Servers (now Apples dumping Xserver)
- Email Servers
- Web Languages
- Whatever you class Silverlight as
- Gaming platforms (as in DirectX)
- Games Consoles
- Surface
- A whole load of other software products (Amalga, Forefront, Money etc)

Then if you compare things they do that are the same there's still huge differences particularly with strategy.

- Operating systems. Apple basically just makes them to go in there own products and then trys to sell the device. Microsoft on the other hand make os's that end up in everything from PC's to cashpoints. For MS it represents a huge part of their income, for Apple it does not.

- Phones. Apple make a phone that represents about half of there profit. MS make an OS for a phone that probably hasn't made a profit.

End of the day both company's made a similar amount that was huge.

Some of what you have down there i already listed as areas in which they do compete. In addition, some of the ones you list that aren't congruent with what i put down are areas in which they do compete, though maybe not directly.

I already said they don't compete in search, though there's some evidence that they might in the future.
MSN doesn't really count, as MS is pretty much out of the news business.
ERP and CRM are areas in which Apple isn't working on now.
Maps is an area in which Apple IS working on. They bought a mapping company last year.
Apple's Server OS works well for database use, and is used for it.
Yes, they dropped servers, but MS doesn't make then either, and as I just mentioned, Apple's OS X Server software is used in other Apple machines in a lot of installations.
E-mail server is the same thing. You don't have to reach here by breaking out each function of the server OS's.
What web languages are you talking about?
Silverlight and Flash are platforms that Apple opposes, so there's definitely competition there. MS is trying to sell it, and Apple is denying it access to iOS devices.
I already mentioned gaming. The iOS devices certainly do compete with MS there, and will do so more in the future. There have been demos from iOS developers showing the iPad being used as a console already. Apple also sells far more games than MS ever will.
Surface is interesting, and while the first was a waste, the new ver 2 looks pretty good. But Apple has patents in an area that's very similar, and we may see something come out like that.
Apple doesn't need to have a one to one product catalog to be competing. I don't know why you think they do, or are you just trying to prove something that you can't?

The fact is that in 75% of the big money areas of their business, they compete fiercely. They will in the future.
post #32 of 68
Quote:
As of Thursday, Microsoft's market cap was $248 billion, compared to Apple's $316 billion.


Now, here's a business plan for Apple:

1- Buy Microsoft;

2- License Mac OS X 10.7 to every PC maker, perhaps rebranding it as Windows X;

3- Dump Mac OS X Server in favor of the highly profitable Windows Server;

4- Dominate every market segment with PCs, servers, smartphones, music players, etc.

5- Dump the less profitable Microsoft ventures like Zune, etc.

6- Become the Evil Empire.


post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Bottom line: Windows and Office are a ripoff.

Bottom line: Apple makes money selling toys, Microsoft makes money selling tools, two different markets.
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post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Some of what you have down there i already listed as areas in which they do compete. In addition, some of the ones you list that aren't congruent with what i put down are areas in which they do compete, though maybe not directly.

I already said they don't compete in search, though there's some evidence that they might in the future.
MSN doesn't really count, as MS is pretty much out of the news business.
ERP and CRM are areas in which Apple isn't working on now.
Maps is an area in which Apple IS working on. They bought a mapping company last year.
Apple's Server OS works well for database use, and is used for it.
Yes, they dropped servers, but MS doesn't make then either, and as I just mentioned, Apple's OS X Server software is used in other Apple machines in a lot of installations.
E-mail server is the same thing. You don't have to reach here by breaking out each function of the server OS's.
What web languages are you talking about?
Silverlight and Flash are platforms that Apple opposes, so there's definitely competition there. MS is trying to sell it, and Apple is denying it access to iOS devices.
I already mentioned gaming. The iOS devices certainly do compete with MS there, and will do so more in the future. There have been demos from iOS developers showing the iPad being used as a console already. Apple also sells far more games than MS ever will.
Surface is interesting, and while the first was a waste, the new ver 2 looks pretty good. But Apple has patents in an area that's very similar, and we may see something come out like that.
Apple doesn't need to have a one to one product catalog to be competing. I don't know why you think they do, or are you just trying to prove something that you can't?

The fact is that in 75% of the big money areas of their business, they compete fiercely. They will in the future.

My point is that they both have a lot of products that the other one doesn't have a competing product for, and in a lot of cases where they do there still not necessarily competing. Going back through that list..

- Maps. Yes Apple bought a mapping company, but they have yet to release a product and who knows what form it will come in.
- Servers. Dropping the XServer means they've dropped out of the serious server business. Your not going to get anything serious running off a Mac mini and you can't put a power mac in a server room.
- Web Languages/Just Languages in general. How about ASP.NET. MS make a lot of money selling tools and the languages as a platform. As far as I can tell Apple arnt doing anything serious in this area.
- Silverlight. As you say they oppose it but this is still technically not competing with it.
- Gaming. iOS is currently only competing with WP7, they don't have a console and are therefore not competing with Xbox.

The companies get compared because of where they both started, and the fact they both make a popular OS. But they have completely different strategies and in a lot of cases are selling to completely different markets. You can't say MS has beaten Apple in getting there OS in petrol pumps because Apple has never tried. In the same way you can't say Final Cut Studio has beaten MS because MS don't have a product in that area.
post #35 of 68
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post #36 of 68
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post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, here's a business plan for Apple:

1- Buy Microsoft;

2- License Mac OS X 10.7 to every PC maker, perhaps rebranding it as Windows X;

3- Dump Mac OS X Server in favor of the highly profitable Windows Server;

4- Dominate every market segment with PCs, servers, smartphones, music players, etc.

5- Dump the less profitable Microsoft ventures like Zune, etc.

6- Become the Evil Empire.




Be careful what you wish for. A world with only Apple will be sad indeed. If Steve likes your software great, if he doesn't you are screwed. Believe it or not, free interprise is what this country was founded on. "Strong Armed" Control Freaks are great as long as you have a choice to pick something else if you like.

Speaking of which, can someone (non-trolls) explain why the "state of the art" iTunes is a 90MB download? I have an iPod and a Zune HD. The Zune software Rocks!!!!!!! (As does the Zune HD) It also looks like it was developed since 2001, not 1994 like iTunes. Come on Apple, lets be serious. For a company that prides themselves on innovation and "user experience", what the heck is the deal with iTunes??????
post #38 of 68
i don't understand what the big rivalry is anymore. most Apple customers are also Windows users since most iphone/iPad users run Windows and not OS X.

apple seems to be abandoning the enterprise market and Microsoft has embraced it at the expense of their consumer products. the Windows/Office cash cow is slowly going away and being replaced by all of their application server products which are too many to name

windows phone 7 is a hobby
desktop versions of windows are like the Mac is to Apple. stable cash flow to fund growth somewhere else

when Microsoft took over computing it didn't bankrupt IBM or Oracle. they still have a nice high end niche that they make a lot of money on. Apple will rule mobile computing and MS will have their enterprise customers
post #39 of 68
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post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Unless I missed something, the article has a nice chart but no explanation. What exactly does "online" mean in that context, and how significant can it be given the better-than-expected earnings they just posted?

Bing, basically.

Online services revenue climbed 19% but it looks like MS is still bleeding money from this area.
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Hmmmmmm...
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