back to article Microsoft posts first-ever quarterly loss

As was widely expected, Microsoft announced a loss of $0.06 per share for the fourth quarter, ended in June, which marks the first time the software giant has posted a quarterly loss in the 26 years it has been a public company. Most of that drop is attributable to a previously announced $6.2bn charge that resulted from Redmond' …

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Just like Google and Apple, I hate 'em, but soooooo glad I bought stock in 'em.....

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Facepalm

Well, they'll have to up the $5 per handset they extort from Android manufacturers then - after all, it's their only meaningful contribution to the mobile industry.

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Anonymous Coward

FAT32 is the reason and it is a sort of lowest common denominator in terms of disk filesystems.

Why not propose something different?

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Pint

Actually Mr Coward you have a point. Why can't Android use ext2/3/4 whatever? Its already using linux so technically this should be a cinch. If all access to it is done via a service layer then it's just the interface which conforms the the FAT32 API - and whoopie dee, didn't Oracle just "clear up" the confusion over whether API's could be copyrighted or not for us all last month?

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Anonymous Coward

Can you USB mount EXT from Windows?

I think you can but not easy. Same reason USB flash drives come with FAT32...

Doesn't the FAT32 patent expire next year?

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Windows

People lose faith

I think that covers it.

Personally I like working with both Win7 & Office 2010. I also think that adding Server 2003 into the mixture gives a pretty solid environment.

But would I have any shares of Microsoft I too would have sold them as soon as possible after the Office previews came about.

And before anyone goes off with: investments... (which by itself is a very reasonable point). Don't forget that a loss means it outweighs any foreseen investments + incoming profits (which is also a variable factor by itself). Unfair context but you could also reason that MS didn't get as much income as they anticipated.

My point being: if this were due to investments it would still indicate very poor leadership because you'd normally anticipate for that.

The more this story develops the more to I start to think we may see very drastic developments in the upcoming future.

Something I'm personally not looking forward to but heck... Their loss.

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Facepalm

The hits will..

Keep on coming.

This is just the start of a whole heap of bad decisions coming home to roost.

Can we please sack Ballmer ?

The giant sweaty monkey has to go

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Gold badge

Re: The hits will..

What if they sack Ballmer, only to put Sinofsky in charge. To you want that? Really?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The hits will..

I would say that Kevin Turner, COO, is next in line if Ballmer is out. Kevin Turner is one of the Wal-Mart crew with Randy Mott that rose the rising tide with Wal-Mart and for some reason people think he knows what he is talking about.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The hits will..

A Wal-Mart guy in charge of Microsoft? Yes please, if only to hasten the demise of MSFT.

I vote for Kevin Turner to be Steve Ballmer's successor.

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Silver badge

Bad data

Redmond says . . . that 50 per cent of desktop PCs worldwide now run Windows 7.

Just looking around my neighbourhood, most non-professional users are indeed using some form of MS-Windows. However, some use XP, most are still on Vista, and a couple bought computers recently which are running Win7. Whatever Microsoft does well, gathering realistic information isn't one of them.

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WTF?

Re: Bad data

Well looking around here,all 30 pc's are running W7 and 85% of the 3000 other machines are as well.

Still, I bow to your superior knowledge.

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Re: Bad data

And all a-few-thousand pcs in this building are running windows 7 ...

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Re: Bad data

What knowledge? I'm simply basing my comment on what I see regular people using. What you are referring to is no doubt correct in most work environments. Just because you and I use computers all day, doesn't mean that most people do. My point is that many more people have computers at home than at work, and all those computers in people's homes are not updated frequently and from what I can see are quite old by IT standards. A large (probably the largest) proportion of people don't work in an office or otherwise use computers at work. I suggest that MS is only "measuring" office or business computers.

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Re: Bad data

Clearly your neighbourhood == the whole world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad data

Yes, because you looking round your mate's PCs produces a larger and more accurate set of data than the breakdown of OS versions that access, say, windows update every month. What's the best selling car in the UK? Can you see what your next door neighbour has?

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They better get around to paying that EU fine before things get any worse.

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Paris Hilton

I may be a bit simpole here but.....

[QUOTE]In addition, Microsoft says it has another $540m in revenue related to the Windows 8 Upgrade program that must be deferred until next quarter, once the company has actually shipped customers the upgrades.[/QUOTE]

How have they got $540m from a product that is yet to be released and is available in consumer release for free ?

Are people so desperate to get it or are they assuming that everyone who is running it now will upgrade for $39.99 a pop ?

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Re: I may be a bit simpole here but.....

Ongoing annual contracts I presume.

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Re: I may be a bit simple here but.....

It can't be the annual contracts as Windows 8 is not yet available even to the corporates.

Maybe it's just an internal budget thing whereby they were alloted 2 Billion for the dev and only used 1.5.

I agree it's kinda strange ....

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Bronze badge

Re: I may be a bit simpole here but.....

There will be plenty of hardware vendors who will have already paid for Windows 8 licenses, ready to be able to sell those licenses with brand new PCs and laptops.

Since Microsoft have not yet delivered Windows 8, that income cannot be declared as profit until delivery has actually been made; hence the fact its been deferred

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Re: I may be a bit simpole here but.....

MS does this with every Windows upgrade. It enables them to claim enormous immediate sales of the new release, and in fact engineer more or less whatever initial sales figure they want.

It's based on US accounting regulations that say you can't recognise sales until you have made ALL the deliverables available to the customer. So those Windows 7 licences OEM's are buying in the usual huge quantities (or quite possibly more, because of the threat Windows 7 might not be available at the current price for very long), include a free upgrade to Windows 8. And because Windows 8 is a not yet available deliverable, MS is not recognising the sales until after W8 can be downloaded. So it's not really a Windows 7 OEM sale is it? It's a Windows 8 sale that is not currently deliverable, but has the right to use Windows 7 meantime.

And that's how MS can say to the world "our most successful Windows launch ever". It's a monopoly, and they simply relabel a suitable bunch of sales of the old version to look like the world eagerly CHOOSING the new product.

So when, in due course, MS brags about the incredibly successful launch, you'll know their claims are entirely meaningless, won't you? You didn't think MS could afford to take a RISK with a Windows release did you?

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Silver badge

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

Outside of the Geekville city limits Linux on the desktop is a joke. When some of the lappy companies offered it, no one wanted it.

Unfortunately for MS, Win 8 is also a joke. Most people will stick with Win 7.

I agree with the rest. MS has no direction now, and almost everything Ballmer touches turns to crap. Me-too catch-up won't keep MS alive for long.

Momentum and cash reserves will keep the party going for a while. But neither are infinite.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

Vunerable? We made more money last year, and sold more licenses than we have ever done before. Desktop declined a whopping 1%, which you would expect in the year before a new version. Server and tools just keeps flying on up though. Must be all those developers who dislike us eh? The $6 bill is an accounting decision. It probably could have been written off overtime, but when you have had such a stellar year it sometimes pays to take the hit upfront.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

I wonder what you would have found if you'd expended any energies into finding out where MS is successful?

It's like the end of Animal farm: "MS bad, Linux good."

Well, I've got news for you, it's much more nuanced than that Linux is great at some things, it sucks at others, MS are great at some things, they suck at others.

As for Bill Gates being the least visionary person in computing. Yes, if your vision was "A computer on every desktop" he's done that so there is no more vision, now he'll just have to stick with pesky "end to malaria" type visions.

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Anonymous Coward

"When some of the lappy companies offered it, no one wanted it"

I always take a look at those offers, but every time I look I find it's cheaper to get a Windows laptop and install Linux myself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

Bill was at least a geek and knew what he was doing. Ballmer is a numbers droid.

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Silver badge

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

Indeed, the dinosaur is staggering, but you missed the big issue:

MS managed to post a loss despite record (and quite mind-boggling) earnings. So they manage to spend money faster than it's coming in, even though it's coming in quite fast. What if one of their big earners stumbles, e.g., because world and dog decides that they can live without the newest version of MS Office?

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Re: the dinosaur is staggering

I'm more than happy to slate MS for a lot of things, but it's more than a little harsh - not to mention wildly inaccurate - to say Redmond ruined Nokia, don't you think?

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Angel

Re: "Outside of the Geekville city limits Linux on the desktop is a joke".

You're right...

That's why I'm always laughing when come the end of the day, I pause any Windows VM I'm running and shut down my work laptop running Ubuntu.

Then I turn and watch my exasperated colleague (who has to get the train) freak out because his Windows laptop has X amount of updates to do: "Please do not power off or unplug your machine..." This seems to happen at least once every week.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Outside of the Geekville city limits Linux on the desktop is a joke".

So... you run Windows then? And obviously you've paid for it then? You know, since you have to pay for licences even for VM's. Microsoft couldn't really give two shits what you do with it, so long as you've paid for it.

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Re: "Outside of the Geekville city limits Linux on the desktop is a joke".

Being a boring spreadsheet company is no bad thing...

...if you can make a spreadsheet people actually want, isn't a bloated PoS, and has an even remotely usable interface.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

@Eadon. A long list those 18 points but this isn't GCSE Business Analysis so I won't award a grade E. You ought to re-read what you've written and consider how much is relevant, how much is opinion or wishful thinking, and how better to express what you are trying to say.

Large businesses such as Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Oracle, SAP all have challenges to remain relevant and its equally possible to draw up a list of negatives for each.

Possibly the low point for Microsoft was the attempt to buy Yahoo! at a highly inflated valuation. If Microsoft has moved away from that crazy acquisition phase paying stupid money for Danger etc. their financials are diverse and continue to look fine. All this quarter shows is the effect of the foolish acquisition of aQuantive.

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Re: the dinosaur is staggering

It's like the end of Animal farm: "MS bad, Linux good."

The real end of Freeware Farm

All distros are equal but some are more equal than others

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Angel

Re: the dinosaur is staggering

@AC: 10:41

What's a grown-up doing in here? Get out now before we taunt you some more...

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Thumb Down

Re: "Outside of the Geekville city limits Linux on the desktop is a joke".

"I turn and watch my exasperated colleague (who has to get the train) freak out because his Windows laptop has X amount of updates to do"

So rather than tell him how to hibernate Windows, you laugh at him? Nice.

There's a word for people like you but I don't think i would get past the mods, even on El Reg.

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Facepalm

Re: @AC 09:44

No idea how your reply is related to my comment, but the clue was in the keywords "work laptop". Personally I paid £0 for the license.

To answer you're other question, It's not technically an VM... it's a physically separate partition accessed via a VM - no idea what Microsoft classifies this as but I get the job done and get out in time. Downvote away...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 09:44

Als... Do you have some sort of Magic OS in your Windows VM that doesn't need updating, otherwise you'll still need to go through the update at some point.

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WTF?

Re: @Medium Dave

Hey... the clue is in "pause my VM" - personally I never use hibernate. However I've shown him my setup a number of times... he doesn't seem interested, most people aren't. Somehow the promises of greater efficiency and reliability are not enough of a pull.

I'm amazed at how you've managed to extrapolate such knowledge of who I am from one comment, though without even reading it.

For the other downvoters, I was making a lighthearted comeback to a snarky comment about Linux on the desktop... no need for the intense hate.

So far I've even resisted the urge to remark on how many Windows fanboys are here today...

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Unhappy

Re: @AC 12:22

I'd have thought it obvious that I fire up the VM at a more convenient time and let it update...

Of course the joke starts to get lost if I try to deconstruct it any further. I suppose in that sense I've already failed in trying to defend it.

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Re: "Outside of the Geekville city limits Linux on the desktop is a joke".

"This seems to happen at least once every week."

That's a bit odd (or untrue) considering that MS only release updates once a month.

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Re: @Medium Dave

Not everybody needs or wants to use VMs. I'm currently running Chakra Linux with XP, W7 and Ubuntu VMs but it's not a setup I'd recomend to anyone who doesn't need it - it's heavy on the drives, takes ages to keep them all updated and tuned and needs a bucketful of memory. I don't file these under "greater efficiency and reliability", I file them under "PITA but useful for work" (besides, flicking between XP and W7 VMs on a desktop cube looks cool).

Your collegue would do much better to hook hibernate up to the lid close so he can do a quick bunk at beer o'clock. You'll both have update Windows at some point, then he can laugh at you while you also update Ubuntu.

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"Most of that drop is attributable to a previously announced $6.2bn charge that resulted from Redmond's botched acquisition of online ad service aQuantive."

So they paid too much for it. How embarassing and now its official: Microsoft are losing money for their shareholders.

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Alert

Past the peak

No one needs Win7, it's just a default OS and a Vista Service pack

Upgrades to MS office are increasingly pointless.

You can be as productive on Office 2003 and XP.

Desktop Linux still is not quite right, but MS determined to make Win 8 as rubbish as possible.

Many people just using Internet or could use Open Office.

Most future MS Windows and Office will only be "pre-installed". They are in slow decline. If Apple brings out a 1/2 price Mac Book/Mac Air running iOS on ARM (They'll never call it an iPad + keyboard but that's what it will be) then MS is looking at rapid decline as their own systems have poor legacy compatibility and a minority need it.

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Windows

Re: Past the peak

"You can be as productive on Office 2003 and XP."

I used to think the same until I actually started working with Win7 and Office 2010. Vista and Office 2007 were ok but an annoyance - the ribbon on Office 2007 didn't quite work as promised and I still find now that I struggle to work well on Word 2007.

However - Office 2010 really seems to have got it right the Ribbon has been in improved in little ways, File menu for example, and to me those little changes that make applications easier to use are what it has made a big difference to actual productivity. In terms of nice little basics in Win7 then windows snapping to half the screen and the screen grab tool make everyday tasks much easier than in XP / Vista.

In XP I have to have little applications installed to perform these tasks and in my corporate environment I'm not allowed to install those anyway. Building basic helpful tasks into the OS really helps productivity.

And for any accountant out there, Excel with more rows than the 66k limit definitly helps productivity.

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Re: Past the peak

You've managed to completely contradict yourself there...

"You can be as productive on Office 2003 and XP."

"MS is looking at rapid decline as their own systems have poor legacy compatibility and a minority need it."

Office 2003 and XP are legacy systems so these 2 statements are in direct contradiction....and I and most people (except those who cannot deal with change) will tell you that Win 7 and Office 2010 give you a big productivity boost.

Also, have you used Win 8? If not, you can't pass comment on how 'rubbish' they are trying to make it.

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Thumb Down

Re: Past the peak

When you have woken up and stopped enjoying that lovely daydream do post again with something more closely in orbit around Planet Reality.

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Anonymous Coward

RIP

GOOD BYE TO BAD EGGS

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