Re: Hiding corpses...
It certainly smells like an attempt to obfuscate the numbers, but it won't work. Shareholders aren't thick, they can add up the numbers themselves to see how the company as a whole has performed and compare that year on year.
I reckon the PC market downturn is due to Windows 8, not the other way round. People I know are sticking with what they've got rather than 'upgrade' to 8.
We all know that MS's strategy of putting everything online and grasping control with an app store just isn't working - that's what these figures show. And if it's not working you have to change something. The fact that they're not doing that (call that a Start Menu, 8.1?) smells awfully like someone (Balmer) attempting to keep their pride, which will probably end up costing MS shareholders a load of money.
Microsoft need to learn that change is something you bring in sloooooowly, and the best thing they could do right now is to give their customers the option of having 8 look and work like just like 7 did. Balmer will get turfed out, and his replacement will do just that and end up looking like a corporate hero. The only reason he hasn't been turfed out is because investors are convinced that 'Cloud' and such like are essential. However I'm convinced that it will turn out to be just another tech bubble.
There's also the issue with changes in laws. Here in the civilised world data protection regulators are getting increasingly worried about the extent to which Clouds allow companies to exploit an individual's private data. If they pass laws preventing that then the commercial rationale for offering punters Cloudy services vanishes, and so too will the Clouds themselves.
Oh, and to shift all those unsold Surfaces, they could do worse than opening them up, let us install other OSes on to them. At least that way there would be a reason for someone to buy the dammed things.