The economy as a whole helped to drag Microsoft's profits below where they would have liked them last year, but the company's first quarterly report in the new decade is quite different in nature. Put simply, Microsoft
is beaming once more as it rakes in monumental profits, thanks in no small part to the highly successful launch of Windows 7
Last October, PC users who were fed up with Vista's annoyances were given a way out (multiple ways out, if you consider the various versions of Windows 7), and evidently quite a few took advantage of the opportunity. Revenue in the Windows division alone shot up 70% during the last quarter, which helped to overshadow other divisions that were either flat or down. Still, this is all a great sign of what's to come, and even Microsoft has stated that consumer demand is now "healthy." That's quite the contrast compared to consumer demand 9 or 10 months ago.
For the quarter ended December 31, 2009, Microsoft reported net income of $6.66 billion, a devilish figure that the company will gladly take. A year ago this same quarter, net income sat at "just" $4.17 billion. The performance beat even Wall Street's estimates, as the company sold through some 60 million Windows licenses. That little fact means that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system
in the company's history, and we have a hunch it had just as much to do with Vista's bad reputation as it did with the high quality of Windows 7.
Now, if only Microsoft would go ahead and come clean with Windows Mobile 7, maybe we could look forward to yet another record-breaking quarter as consumer flock to upgrade from WinMo 6.