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back to article Microsoft's 'record' quarter can't match Apple

If Microsoft hoped that reporting "record" quarterly results would send its stock skywards in Apple-like fashion, then it hoped in vain. On Thursday, the software giant announced fiscal-third-quarter revenues of $14.5bn, a 6.2 per cent leap from the same quarter last year, while net income rose 34.5 per cent to $4bn. Earnings …

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Megaphone

This will be a fun thread...

Well, I'd just like to say, (before this thread becomes 10,000 smug Appletards waving their e-censored bits around,) that I hope the business refresh comes through for Microsoft. Microsoft has been (slowly) changing its stripes of late. The problem is, it doesn’t know what it is changing into. Microsoft is really quite schizophrenic. One the one hand there are large chunks of the company trying to reach out to the open source community, open up their APIs and interoperate with the rest of the world. On the other hand the “old guard” still exists, and insists on having the control freakery of Jobs with the outrageous price policies of Ellison. Mix in the weird obsession with failing miserably at the Internet over and over again and you have a company that can’t remember where it’s been and hasn’t a clue where it’s going. The Microsoft of 2010 is a /lot/ meeker and less horribly evil than the Microsoft of 2002. I don't think that's due to design on their part, but simply Ballmer's incompetence as leader of the company. He hasn’t been able to pick a direction a steer the company down that path. At best he has prevented Microsoft from tearing itself into two or three pieces, all headed in different directions. I honestly question how long that can possibly last.

Either way, Microsoft is one of the big three (Apple, Google, Microsoft) tech providers that will shape the decade of 2010. (Will Sunacle be a fourth?) These big three will each have desktop OSes, mobile OSes, web services and probably server offerings soon. As much as it’s fashionable to hate on Microsoft, and we’ve spend decades doing so quite legitimately...

…I hope they stick around for a long while yet. Preferably with enough revenue and profit to be a threat; we’ll need them to keep the other two in check.

Now how’s that for a kick in the pants: we need Microsoft around to make sure the market has some competition. My word how times have changed...

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Funny, isn't it?!

"Now how’s that for a kick in the pants: we need Microsoft around to make sure the market has some competition. My word how times have changed..."

Good grief, kick in the pants indeed.

To other commenters who point out that Microsoft is not in the business of consumer devices, I think the point is that they would like to be - but they've not really succeeded. Only the Xbox is really a success device-wise.

If we give it a few years, will MS will a has-been dinosaur like Sun, maybe?

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Expired medication

I quote from your post "One the one hand there are large chunks of the company trying to reach out to the open source community, open up their APIs and inter-operate with the rest of the world."

Man, this is a real gem!

Microsoft ? Inter-operate after enjoying decades of successful proprietary user lock-in making them an absolute dictator of the PC market ? Open up their APIs after obfuscating them for such a long time and making sure nobody can match their products ? In a short two letter word: no

Yes, they're trying to reach out to OS community but at the neck level.

For your information I took the precaution of putting away my keyboard so it's only on my screen that I've sprayed my coffee but I can wipe it off without other consequences.

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@AC

Please actually read my post. Your summary suits Microsoft as a whole entity, but doesn't actually address what I said. "One the one hand there are large chunks of the company trying to reach out to the open source community, open up their APIs and inter-operate with the rest of the world."

Chunks of the company. As in, there are elements within the company (some quite powerful) that are agitating for interoperability and a more open stance. Again, as per the rest of my post, these elements fo the company are constantly at odds with the “old guard” and, well, the too-senile-to-find-their-ass-with-a-gps-and-a-Sherpa.

On the whole Microsoft is looking more than a little schizophrenic. It hasn’t chosen it’s path yet, and it is tilting at windmills all the time. That said, there is indeed a powerful movement within the company to legitimately reach out to the open source community and interoperate with other platforms. They recognise that this is required, is not only a sound business decision, but is in fact the only hope that company has for survival. Microsoft will never open source it’s software, (it can’t, it’s too encumbered with other people’s IP, and it would be a terrible business move.) It can however make sure that open source offerings can use its languages, work with silverlight, and interoperate with its APIs, protocols and other such things. This is good business; it keeps you relevant in a world where mixed environments are the norm rather than the exception.

The real shame, and that which I fear, is that these sensible and pragmatic forces within the company will be silenced or expunged. As much evil as they’ve done in the past...we can’t afford to lose them, or have them disappear into obscurity. Apple and Google are frankly far more terrifying than MS ever was. MS are greedy, money grubbing soulless bastards...but they are PREDICATBLE greedy, money grubbing soulless bastards. This is hugely important to business customers. They are a devil; but the devil you know.

Jobs has become increasing erratic over the past decade, and the control freakery isn’t something that any sane business would risk. (Your IT supplier is there to serve you, not the other way around.) Your data, your applications and your hardware need to belong to your business. They don’t belong to Apple such that any of it can be switched off, deleted changed or denied access at a whim. While this hasn’t (quite) happened yet, the man with the power is erratic enough that I wouldn’t stake my livelihood on his mental stability.

Google has been acting like a datakraken for so long they are about to get bitchslapped by regulatory bodies hard enough to send ripples down the rest of this century. Given their asstastic record as regards personal/individual privacy, any business that trusts Google with their data deserves to be erased.

What does this leave? Sunacle? Sure, like Microsoft they are evil...but a predictable evil. The only problem is that they in no way plan in the world of companies smaller than 500 people. SMEs just can’t afford their gear. If they were the only stable and trustworthy IT supplier left, this would be disastrous.

Linux? Are you kidding me? Linux is largely worthless as a “bet your company on this platform” unless the various strands of nerdraging idealists can start to hammer out actual standards that all distros agree to live by. I shouldn’t have different .debs or .rpms for each flavour of this OS; there should be one standard. There should be slow, vetted, methodical changes to the OS over time that allow businesses the time to adapt. (RHEL does this almost good enough...but even then stability in many places leaves a lot to be desired.) I don’t say this to bash Linux or deride it: I use RHEL, Ubuntu, Openfiler, DD-WRT, and various other distros every day of my life. I could not however, bet my livelihood on it.

So, we’re left with MS. They aren’t great, but at least with their software my data all lives in the confines of my business. I am less at the mercy of the erratic whims of the CEO than I am with Apple, (though MS has admittedly made some weird decisions...)

I find it encouraging that there are forces within MS that do seem to honestly want to work with the rest of the world and reach out to the various other communities of coders. I find it disheartening that the man in charge is such a poor leader that he can’t keep the various elements of his company from spinning off at different angles and ripping the company apart. Microsoft needs to sit back, think this whole thing over, and kick Ballmer the fuck out. Then they need to refocus on what they do best: providing a stable, predictable set of software tools for business use. The consumer stuff can and will flow naturally from that. They don’t need to emulate; they need to innovate. Stability, predictability, reliability and standards. When your competition is Apple and Google, these are what you have to play up; they are what the other two don’t have.

*please note, when I talk about stability, I talk about the stability of the company as a whole. I am not talking about software stability. Though that said, post windows 2000, MS has been doing wonders on the stability front as well. I have an XP box with 7.5 years uptime...

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@Trevor Pott

You seem to be a worthy opponent and I'd like to take back the harsh words I've said in the title of my previous reply to your post. Your response is well thought and well written, however it still doesn't convince me Microsoft could ever had good intentions towards OS movement.

All the interoperability initiatives coming from them are one way, which is Microsoft's way. Their purpose is to help make all FOSS run on Windows because they can still control it (and silently kill it if necessary). We all remember the myth saying DOS is not completed as long as Lotus still runs on it, aren't we ? Yes it is a myth but can you trust Microsoft will not pull the rug under the feet of their competitors ? It's been so long since Microsoft stop competing and they deeply hate having to do that again. Microsoft shows friendliness to all FOSS projects except Linux. Why ? Because Linux is the arrow head stuck deep inside Microsoft 's flesh causing bleeding and pain (moderate so far but it is not going away). More and more companies are using Linux to escape from Microsoft stranglehold starting from software vendors (Oracle and IBM for example) and going down to corporate end users. You say Linux is largely worthless as a “bet your company on this platform”, however The London Stock Exchange and The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (and there are many more others) were not at all discouraged by the imperfections you mention in using Linux for their most critical applications. You know what will be a real proof Microsoft is willing to accept coexisting peacefully with FOSS ? Coming up with a proprietary closed source version of Exchange, Active Directory and (why not) Office 20xx all running on Linux as well as they run on Windows server. No, not to open source them, just to port them. If a client desires to use these Microsoft products on his existing Linux servers, why not ? Are you willing to bet this will ever happen ? I'm not, because Microsoft will never accept to lose control over end users choice.

For the rest, as I said, I pretty much agree with your opinion.

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An erratic claim

"Jobs has become increasing erratic over the past decade, and the control freakery isn’t something that any sane business would risk."

Care to expand on what Jobs has done over the last decade to warrant such a claim as being "increasingly erratic"?

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Xbox success

How much do Microsoft make out of selling Xbox's?

Last I heard they were running at a loss.

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Gates Horns

Yes, no, and maybe.

On one hand, I agree that yes, bits of Microsoft are reaching out to open standards, interoperability, etc... but only because in those areas, they don't have a frickin' choice.

Microsoft is being all friendly with open web standards now, because they've seen Internet Explorer's market share drop like a rock (in spite of dominance), with little indication of slowing down the free-fall. They've been watching more and more users install Firefox, Chrome, (and yes, even) Opera, etc. Even Safari has a substantial bit now. They're watching an increasing mobile market that has no use for IE-specific rigging at all. Now contrast all this with 2002, where IE was pretty much the only browser left standing, with something like 96-98% of the market. Now they're down to just under 60%, and again, still dropping.

Now contrast this with their antics in the Office realm, where they still own the market. The whole ODF drama (among similar) is a solid indication of Microsoft at its best shade of evil. They can afford to be evil here because... well, what exactly are you going to do about it? Sell your privacy and soul to Google Docs? Try and scrape by on OpenOffice? Puh-leeze. They know you're stuck with MS Office, and so do you. To that end, they've been leveraging the unholy crap out of it - expanding Exchange, latching on dependencies with SharePoint and OCS... and you'll find damned little reaching-out to the open source / open standards realm (unless they absolutely have to, as the presence of the half-compliant ODF plugin for MS Office has evidenced).

Long story short - unless it is obviously threatening their dominance in a given area, or they never had dominance, they'll stick to type.

Sun-Oracle, oh yes I can agree with you on. If there is one person capable on this Earth of being a greater C*nt than Steve Ballmer, it's Larry Ellison. 'nuff said about that, methinks.

On the Linux side, though - there's far too many companies (in a general sense) betting their futures on the thing - IBM, RedHat, even Cisco nowadays (guess what IOS is getting replaced with if the new Nexus and Mars product lines are any indication?) And that's just a top-of the head list...

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"Linux"

I’ll never convince die-hard fans of Linux of anything pragmatic or practical. Idealism often gets in the way of stepping back and thinking hard about the cons of one’s passion. That said, I will give it a swipe.

Linux is a grand set of applications and tools unified into what most people today would call “an operating system.” Taken as a single unit, a given distro can be quite stable, reliable and overall fantastic. If we were to have a conversation that (for example) RHEL was a fantastic operating system then I couldn’t disagree with the statement. For the niches it fills, it is quite possibly the best. Now, I’ve not played much with other enterprise versions of the various Linux distros, but I would hazard a guess that under pressure they show marked reliability. Being open source, if you hire enough programmers and pay enough stupendous amounts of cash you can make a given Linux distro dance around a flag pole. That is an obvious pro when we talk about “Linux.”

The con really revolves around the fact that “Linux” is not an operating system. It is a catchment term used to describe a series of operating systems that happen to share a few common roots. Now it is blasphemy to discuss this issue with The Faithful, but the fragmentation of the Linux community is its greatest weakness. The LSB project may one day be its salvation, but even LSB 4.0 doesn’t reach far enough, and there is still too much inter-distro infighting and politics to truly hope that real honest-to-god inter-distro interoperability might one day occur. This is the elephant in the room.

Regardless of the how and why it got where it is, Windows has a hugely prevalent skill base of users and administrators. It is (relatively) easy to use, the tools are (usually) laid out in a fashion that makes sense to non-programmers and (yes, dear friends) the operating system is robust, stable and reliable. In virtually all cases a windows program, driver or what-have-you that you buy in a store, download off the internet or otherwise acquire Just Works on a given windows system. It certainly has not always been the case, but (let’s ignore the abomination of Vista for a moment,) Microsoft has come a long way in the past decade with this “windows operating system thing.” Their branding and partnering exercises, certification procedures and other such programs have ensured that this massively complex spiderweb mishmash of ancient incomprehensible code and new, sleek revised hotness somehow works on an unbelievable diversity of equipment. What’s more, Aunt Tilly (or that pointy haired boss that went to a seminar) can get a program “for windows,” pop it in, and it goes. (I acknowledge there are always exceptions, but the % of these are pretty small.)

Let’s contrast this with “Linux.” What flavor of Linux are you running? Does that particular app/program/what-have-you come in the right colour packager for your OS? What dependencies does it rely on? Does your system have the right major version number dependencies? Do you have to shove that package through alien in the fading hope that it will comply? Are you reduced to compiling from source? Does the same program with the same name that you rely on in one distro even behave in the same manner (and respond to the same commands in the same way) between distros? (I’m looking at you, vi!) What about administration and management? Do the basic administration tools resemble each other between distros? Do they even use the same terminology for the same things? In too many cases, the answer to almost all of the above is something like a strangled choke followed by the sound of a sysadmin voluntarily plummeting to his doom several stories below.

So this means Windows isn’t competing against “Linux.” Windows is competing against RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu Server LTS and many other operating systems that share a Linux foundation. All of these various distros are busy competing with (and waging periodic “nerd-rage purity wars” against) each other. When a Windows house looks at Linux, they don’t know where to start. They might find a nice Ubuntu appliance they like, but huge chunks of the learning they did on RHEL is now invalid and they have to learn this new OS from scratch.

For some organization that decides to go whole hog on a given distro, say a stock exchange, bank or what-have you then they are picking an operating system based ont eh individual merits of that operating system. They are picking RHEL because RHEL kicks ass or SLES because of some other requirement. They are not choosing “Linux.”

Microsoft is perfectly aware of this. They don’t have to compete against “Linux.” They have to compete separately and individually against each of these distroes. None of these distroes have an office/productivity stack worth mentioning, nor a client operating system that is going to do them any real harm. They are competing on the server front and frankly...their offerings in that regard are pretty damned competitive. Unless and until a Linux distro emerges winner, and starts to build a truly competitive Office/productivity line of apps and servers combined with something that actually gives exchange, AD, MSSQL etc. a run for it’s money then MS can just sit back and watch the various Linux distros scratch at eachother. It doesn’t need to put much more time and effort beyond “vague FUD” into it; “Linux” harms itself far to effectively.

That said, if “Linux” ever got its act together and built a “reference LSB distro,” one to which all other Linux distros were guaranteed to be compatible...MS would sit up and take notice. Suddenly real ISVs would have a target. The industry specific software and applications that are what keep the Windows platform alive would have something to code to on the Linux side. One set of rules, one file system structure, one packager, one everything. Write to one reference distro, support against the one reference distro and that’s it. One set of dev tools, one set of mandatory base applications with one set of mandatory default configurations. Code your application for “Linux” and receive the happy knowledge that no matter the flavour colour of “purity” of the distro, you app will behave exactly the same. This is /the/ barrier.

Solve this, and you would see apps pop up on Linux from Photoshop to “Dave’s downloadable home movie maker.” Fail to solve this, and Linux will get steamrollered by companies like Google who decided “screw the local OS, we’re putting it all in a browser,” Microsoft who can say “code it this way and it will work on 90+% of all computers every where,” or potentially Intel which may have enough force to make MeeGo the “standard” and push some of these other distros unwillingly into compliance or obscurity.

So does “Linux” matter to Microsoft? Is it “arrow head stuck deep inside Microsoft 's flesh causing bleeding and pain (moderate so far but it is not going away)”? No. It’s like a colony of ants living on your lawn. You wonder periodically if they might be able to cause some damage to your house because of their numbers (are they carpenter ants you ask,) but you realise if they get uppity you can throw so white dust on them and kill enough that it will be a while before they are back.

Microsoft is far better to be worried that Apple might get uppity and decide to make a place for the servers or office/productivity markets. They may be control freaks, but in corporate IT that is a mark in their favour, not against them.

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An erratic apple.

Well, I will try not to make this a long one, but briefly touch of what I see as elements contributing to the idea of Jobs becoming “increasingly erratic.”

The basic tenet of this claim rests on the understanding of Jobs as something of an unholy control freak. This isn’t something I came to believe thanks to El Reg and the reporting on items such as the itunes store, but rather by reading various biographies of him, and mostly stories of working with him at Apple in the early days. A little bit of history and research shows that he has always maintained an incredibly rigid control of not only his employees and the company he runs but the flow of information both into and out of that company.

When I compare and contrast Jobs and the Apple Corporation circa 2002 to Jobs and Apple over the past three years there appears to be quite a divergence. There are more “slips.” Information coming out of that company that shouldn’t (according to traditional Jobsian patterns) be emerging. Some of these are items that have turned into legitimate PR gaffes, even more some are slips from The Man Himself. (Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.) Jobs circa 2002 just didn’t make these kinds of mistakes. Certainly not with the regularity we are seeing them now. Jobs, and Apple with him have “declared war” on partners that make little to no sense. (Tilting at Google? Breaking the “gentleman’s agreement” that existed? Going after Adobe I can almost see, but doing it before HTML 5 is done, dusted, ratified and implemented everywhere?)

Once, Jobs was the very pillar of predictability. He not only epitomized “controlling the image projected to the public,” but viciously enforced the ideal at Apple. Now he himself is responsible for some of the greatest gaffes that company has committed, and his policies as applied to items like the app store have become the subject of much debate and controversy.

Slowly, Apple has gone from a company with an image of rock solid stability and reliability that you could bet your business on. Slowly it is becoming (even to the non Reg reader) one of a company guided by the fickle whims of an unpredictable OCD megalomaniac. Regardless of wether or not you believe Apple’s tech is “the best,” you have to see that this isn’t good for the company.

Apple didn’t get where it is by selling “the best stuff.” Many companies were born, sold a few things and then disappeared into obscurity selling hardware, software and other technologies far superior to Apple, Microsoft or Google. Apple got where it is today because it sold an image. It sold an idea; fashion, style, easy of use, reliability. Computers that weren’t for “nerd,” computers that just worked, computers you could bet the farm on.

For Apple to be on the one hand still pimping this image while on the other making publicly embarrassing mistakes that betray the exact opposite true...that is erratic.

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Linux

LSB is bad news

Less with this already!

Any package is compatible with any Linux distribution if you build it from Source Code. Which is (1) the proper way to do it, and (2) not hard.

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@A J Stiles

Which is grand if you are a programmer but of zero helpfulness or value to the entire rest of the world. There is nothing "proper" about having to compile an application in order to run it.

Not to mention that having to compile an application precludes the use of closed-source applications. A non-starter for many organisations in the real world. Nice happy happy idealism, though it doesn't help real people actually use their computers at all.

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Like I said: Less with the FUD

"There is nothing 'proper' about having to compile an application in order to run it."

Like I said, less with the FUD.

Compiling an application from source is NOT difficult and NOT time-consuming.

It IS, however, the best way to ensure that the application actually does what it is supposed to do: you can be reasonably sure that at least one other person somewhere in the world has had a look "under the bonnet", so to speak, and if they saw anything they didn't like, they'd have made a noise.

If you really cannot be bothered compiling applications from source (and just how difficult is it to spell `make install` anyway?), then at least choose a distribution on the strength of their package repository. (Which basically means Debian or Gentoo.)

"Not to mention that having to compile an application precludes the use of closed-source applications" -- Good, it's *supposed to*. The sooner people start insisting to read the ingredients before they take a bite, the better as far as I'm concerned. The closed source business model has held computing back, and must die.

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Megaphone

Fanaticism

In the real world computers are used by people who quite frankly shouldn't be compiling their own programs. You are spreading FUD by attempting to make people believe that compiling a program is simple. Compiling a program, (especially on Linux) is far more complex than typing "make install."

You have to understand things like what packages are installed, how to deal with missing dependencies, file structure, where items are and should be located...

In other words you would have Aunt Tilly require the knowledge of a fairly experienced systems administrator or programmer just to be able to check her e-mail. In the real world sir, there are actually non-nerds who need to use computers every day.

You are a shining example of why Linux will never, ever be dominant. Your attitude in this thread has made my point for me far better than I ever could.

Thank you.

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Jobs Halo

Yeah baby

The war isn't over yet you poor suffering Windows zealots!

Apple will become more valuable than Microsoft very soon.

It's a shame we will no longer be able to type M$ however the joys of having IT finally dragged out of the dark ages far outweigh this sadness...

Apple are leading the way into the mobile computing space and the future and there is NOTHING you urban-myth quoting, virus-riddled, registry-licking PC weenies can do about it.

Happy days.

:)

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Boffin

@AC

If you read the article carefully, you will see that Apple have already passed Microsoft, dropping into position as the second most valuable company.

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OK, where do we start on this one?

Firstly, colours nailed to the mast. I buy and use Apple gear at home and work, and personally think I'm better off for it, and would probably endlessly gripe at having to use Windows (for a few days anyway) ... BUT...

... we really don't need Apple supporters like this. I could understand the reaction if you'd just published an unquestionable paper bringing down the whole edifice of sub-atomic physics or something and people were attacking you personally, but THIS unreserved gloat; all over a choice of computer?

Please don't live your life judging YOUR worth solely by how others on whom you pin your faith are doing. It demeans humanity for a start. And yes, Windows users are included. Some of my very best friends use Windows, and we get along fine. Life's too short.

Bill? To show that an Apple fan can put that icon on their post and not suffer any detrimental..... hang on... why's my skin shrivelling up and going green.... I can only see images of Ballmer through my three eyes... must resist...

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What?

Either you are being sarcastic or you are just another numpty that gives Mac users a bad name.

Here is why Apple are thriving... They know their market and its Consumers and Creatives. They really are not going after the stagnant business market. Never have been really. Could not give a toss about it probably. That market belongs to Microsoft.

Microsoft on the other hand are trying their (pathetic) best to break into the Consumer market... and I don't see them being successful... Zune anyone?

Its irrelevant if Apple are more valuable than Microsoft. It changes nothing

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Coat

@@AC

>you will see that Apple have already passed Microsoft

...still rather stunning performance [too good] but in reality Apple only has 88% of the MS market cap. Its only passed it on S&P 500 which is float adjusted - ie doesn't count all holdings. I doubt all that many folk are dumping Apple shares for MS, but if that were that the only option many would be taking it.

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Fanboi much?

So 14.5 bn > 13.5 bn, but let's talk more Apple with percentages? Oh, by the way, my software startup has made a 8600% revenue jump in the past 3 months. My investors are going to love this - if you're tiny, anything you do can be made to look good!

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Jobs Horns

Comparing Apples with ...what?

Ok, so Apple are making huge profits, from what? iTunes and the iPod/iPhone devices, and the new iPad?

And so how are their server (lol) and desktop products going (64-bit Snow Leopard, finally, such as it is, lol)?

Sure, MS don't have any sexy consumer devices right now (and I can't imagine them ever getting into that space), because despite their paltry efforts in the past (*cough*Zune*cough*), they are not device manufacturers. And it's glitzy consumer devices that earn the big margins, not licensing boring OSes or software suites.

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious MS shill is obvious

"And so how are their server (lol) and desktop products going (64-bit Snow Leopard, finally, such as it is, lol)?"

2.94 million Macs sold in the March quarter, thanks for asking.

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FAIL

RE: Comparing Apples with ...what?

"Sure, MS don't have any sexy consumer devices right now (and I can't imagine them ever getting into that space)"

What about the XBox and XBox 360?

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Gates Horns

WHAT?!!!

DID YOU SAY SOMETHING!? I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER MY XBOX!

(It's know wonder I wear headphones.)

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Xbox success

Is that the same Xbox that has lost them billions over the last 5 years?

Is that the same Xbox 360 that was rushed to market to get a head start on the PS3... and due to its piss poor design and manufacturing had an initial 70% failure rate coming off the production line?

You might see it as a success because you can buy one and hundreds of games for it but I am not sure from a financial position Microsoft could claim it a success.

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IT Angle

Slow & steady will win the race

If I owned any stock I'd rather see it fare steadily and slowly trend upward than skyrocket one quarter. Such surges aren't sustainable. Fads will come and go, as they always have.

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FAIL

iPhone and Android

"Clearly, Klein is hoping for future growth from a forthcoming wave of products around Office 2010 and Windows Phone 7."

So their future growth is dependent upon Windows Mobile 7...? They're pretty screwed then - haven't they heard of these iPhone and Android things that people are choosing over their Windows Mobile OS?

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N2

Microsofts offerings

Just look less attractive to the opposition with each release.

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I wouldn't trust the Win7 numbers...

Every machine we've installed for various clients has been downgraded to XP. Even a bunch of high-end engineers who regularly buy new laptops as soon as their existing ones slow down. The reason - the various (and sometimes expensive) apps they have accumulated over the years do not work on Win7 - and in most cases there doesn't seem to be any plans to release Win7 versions.

One engineer has just accidentally bought a Win7 laptop which does not come with XP downgrade. Now realising that the printers can't be connected, the apps don't work etc it will either by sent back or they'll simply buy another one and dump it. This all gets marked up as Win7 sales!

This is why the monopoly has to be broken - at the moment MS make even more money from producing poor quality products than they would from producing an OS which didn't slow up and could be upgraded without breaking all the existing apps.

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I doubt apple is complacent

Apple are on top in mobile now and Microsoft has been below average in everything mobile up to now - but remember up until recently their competition was Symbian - who wouldn't be average with that to compete with.

I'm sure there are some in Apples board room that look at the Xbox and the outstanding lead Sony had with the Playstation - look at it now.

I'd bet on Microsoft giving Apple more trouble than Google anytime soon, stripped down plain platforms designed around serving adverts aren't going to excite anyone.

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Look at it now...

"I'm sure there are some in Apples board room that look at the Xbox and the outstanding lead Sony had with the Playstation - look at it now"

If Apple made a product that lost billions over the last 5 years like the Xbox has... Then I dare say the board would form a lynching party and string up the CEO for letting his company (and stockholders) bleed dry.

Worldwide sales figures

1. Wii – 67.4 million, as of 31 December 2009[8]

2. Xbox 360 – 39 million, as of 1 January 2010[30]

3. PlayStation 3 – 33.5 million, as of 31 December 2009[31]

When you consider that the 360 was on the market a full year ahead of the PS3 and that the rise in PS3 sales has been astronomic over the last year (+44% as opposed to the 360 +3%) I am not sure the 360 will be in the number 2 position for long.

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Happy

@Trixr

"And so how are their server (lol) and desktop products going (64-bit Snow Leopard, finally, such as it is, lol)?"

Apple sold 2.94 million Macintosh® computers during the quarter, representing a 33 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

lol

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Silver badge

33 percent unit increase

Yeah, and thanks to that soaring success, Apple has finally broken past the 10% market share limit.

Uh, but only for the USA. In the rest of the world, Apple is still loitering at 5% market share.

So yeah, lol.

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EWI
Jobs Halo

@ Trixr

Graphs of Apple's revenue, broken down by division:

http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-in-case-you-had-any-doubts-about-where-apples-revenue-comes-from-2010-4

And Microsoft's:

http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-microsoft-operating-income-by-division-2010-2

By the way, nowhere do I see commented-on that Microsoft's Windows 7 was very heavily discounted in advance (no doubt helping adoption this time around). I personally got two Win 7 Pro licences free via academia, and bought two Win 7 Home licences for half-nothing off Amazon.

Mind you, they're all now the secondary boot OS on various Snow Leopard Macs...

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Stop

Hardly a reasonable comparison

While Apple is doing undeniably well, it is fundamentally a selfish company.

Microsoft is in no way doing badly.

However, Microsoft is not a 'selfish' company.

By this I mean very simply, what is the full economic impact of Apple's turnover, and what of Mircosoft's?

Apple, for better or worse, are a full service company. The design, build, configure and sell their products. True they have a few outlets that sell Apple product's (and this has grown steadily with their iPod/iPhone productline), but their core business ethic is 'keep the profit for themselves'. And there is nothing at all wrong with that. Its why businesses exist afterall. THey might start for noble and lofty reasons, but they keep going for cold hard cash.

Microsoft's bottom line, however, is only part of the Microsoft economic story. As it stands they're doing pretty darned well. However, if you factor in the third party economy, the resultant figure has to dwarf anything Apple could currently dream of. Remember that here we have multiple vendor's for PCs and phones, we have multiple vendor's for direct software sales and business licensed sales, there are the consultants, the developers, the management teams, the derived products and solutions (and by this, I don't mean generic Windows programs, I mean programs reliant on MS tech e.g. SQL Server, Exchange, Office etc).

I'm glad Apple are doing well, their products (like them or loathe them) keep everyone else on their toes. But you really can't compare Apple and Microsoft in any simple comparison. The companies just aren't in the same business, regardless of what cross over exists.

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What are you smoking?

While Apple is doing undeniably well, it is fundamentally a selfish company.

Microsoft is in no way doing badly.

However, Microsoft is not a 'selfish' company.

Either you have failed to make your point or you are waffling.

Apple make hardware and the core software that hardware needs to run it.

Microsoft are principally a software company providing Operating System and Application software.

Where the hell does "Selfishness" come into it?

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market cap

As of today, according to the stock market, Apple as a whole is worth $245bn, while Microsoft is worth $271bn. I'm not sure where the idea that Apple was bigger came from but there's not much in it, given that it's only a few years ago that Apple overtook Dell. Dell are now worth a measly $34bn. For comparison, the other biggies are IBM ($168bn), Oracle ($132bn), Cisco ($157bn) and Google ($173bn). Have I missed anyone?

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Coat

Profit!

With these massive profits apple shareholders must be looking forward to a huge dividend eh?

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FAIL

MS is a thief, nothing more

"However, Microsoft is not a 'selfish' company."

Yes, they are just a monopoly and they are going to stay that way: Either you sell hardware(PCs) with bundled MS-OS or you won't sell any MS- products.

That's as tight lease as you can get. It's not called MS-tax for nothing, obvious abuse of monopoly.

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Black Helicopters

Reality Check

while this news can certainly be enjoyed in the short term. we need only remember what happens when Steve-0 sneezes and what a Jobless Apple has looked like in the past. If anything were to happen to Steve, life will go on, MS and Linux will go on, and no one will be able to sell their proprietary Apple stock fast enough.

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