Microsoft announces impressive earnings, revenues, profits and growth

Microsoft today published their financial results for the last quarter year and full year.

The data are impressive, beating even the most ambitious and optimistic of predictions. Microsoft's revenues, earnings, and profits are all up, and core markets continue to grow -- including conventional PC sales.

Predictably, as usual with positive stories about Microsoft, heartfelt pro-Apple/pro-Google commentators on blogs and in the press either pretend not to notice or do what they can to try and play-down the good-news. It is an inconvenient truth that does not sit comfortably with the prophecies of Microsoft's doom that they have been continuously preaching for the past ten years or so. They attempt to distract themselves and their readers by writing their usual payload of Apple/Google trivia and anti-Microsoft rhetoric. Thus, The Guardian's technology editor, Charles Arthur, takes the opportunity to insist in his coverage of the topic that PC sales have "peaked" -- as usual, implying that imminent long-term downward trend which never actually materialises. It's like one of those daft conspiracy theories that won't go away no matter how man times it has been utterly debunked. I won't even bother linking to Charles's article; it's too depressing and down-beat, and although he cites the numbers it reads more like an obituary. This is in stark contrast to his ceaseless passion for any information relating to Apple or Google, no matter how mundane or unimpressive. Like all good fanatical lunatic cults, when the predicted apocalypse doesn't happen, cult members are undeterred -- they produce explanations for their premature prediction, and move the goalposts to some time in the future. One day, the fanatics may even get it right -- because it is a scientific certainty that eventually all things will come to an end!

Some attribute Microsoft's success to Xbox, the market-leading consumer platform for gaming and interactive entertainment. Some say it's all about software for business/enterprise, like Microsoft's market-leading MS Office suite, Sharepoint, Exchange, Office 365, etc, etc.. Some choose to emphasise the cautious expectations proclaimed by some analysts for Microsoft's financial performance, at a time when the company is investing huge sums in numerous exciting developments in web apps and the Cloud. Others simply acknowledge that Microsoft's CEO was right. Steve Ballmer has been subjected to a sustained campaign of high-profile attacks and criticism just lately (mind you, anything anti-Microsoft is high-profile, because tech blogs and the press love to hate M$).

Personally, I try to look at Microsoft as a whole as well as scrutinising individual areas, and from this vantage point the whole package looks very healthy indeed.

21 July 2011

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