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back to article Microsoft: Ha ha, my Wall Street friends - THIS time the victory is OURS

Microsoft disclosed on Thursday its earnings for the first time since outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer announced the company's radical restructuring in July, and from all appearances, all is well in Redmond. The software behemoth reported profits of $5.24bn (up 17 per cent year on year) and earnings per share of $0.63 on record first- …

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I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

A recent plane flight with a tablet that can't edit office documents and that won't run the Windows-only legal programs I use spurred me in that direction.

But instead of a Surface Pro 2, I found an HP "Split X2" hybrid laptop/tablet thingey at BestBuy for less money with 10-11 hours battery time and a sweet new Haswell i5 processor. Beautiful device. I'm loving the top of the line Intel 4400 HD integrated graphics. It's even got room under the keyboard to stick an extra hard drive to add storage to the built-in 128GB SSD, and I can manually upgrade the RAM from 4GB to 8GB. And it's got 2 microSD slots - 128GB extra storage is also on its way for this thing. And its got a full-size HDMI slot - one of the big reasons I backed off from Surface Pro 2 and its mini-display port.

Anyway - Microsoft got my money today one way or the other.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Thank you so much Microsoft team. I was waiting this tablet. It is really great user friendly and smooth.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Quote

Anyway - Microsoft got my money today one way or the other.

Actually it should read

Anyway - Microsoft got A LOT LESS of my money today simply because they didn't build the type of device I was looking for.

The One-size-fits-all meme that MS seems to be sprouting these days is just what the market didn't need.

In the past you could compare HP, DELL etc etc devices and their specs and choose the one that suited your needs best. With MS entering the PC H/W space I am sure a good number of makers will simply give MS the finger and move onto something else reducing choice for the rest of us. But that is exactly what MS want. They want to be like Apple in this space. Control both the H/W and S/W but IMHO with far higher Garden Walls.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

> The One-size-fits-all meme that MS seems to be sprouting these days is just what the market didn't need.

Not to mention that it's an Apple trademark.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Interesting device. On paper (er, screen) those specs are compelling, but the build quality turned me off (it's not bad, but it's not as good as the Surface). I looked at it, the Yoga (nice, but too big), Vaio Pro (crappy keyboard), Vaio Duo (fiddley display contortions) and the Surface Pro 2, which I ended up getting. Reasons for the Pro 2 being 8Gb RAM, the display, the kickstand, the back-lit type cover, and the build quality. Another big one is that I expected it to just work (which it does ...so far).

The "just works" thing is big for me. My previous tablet was a Samsung Series 7 Slate. WiFi took a full two minutes before connecting. The Windows Update that followed the 8.1 update left WiFi with "limited" comms.

I. Just. Need. Shit. To. Work.

I agree that the display port is a negative when compared to full-size HDMI, but other than being a minor inconvenience when presenting, I don't need it (I don't use the Surface at home, where I have a beast of a PC with three 22" IPS displays and a Das Keyboard).

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Devil

Re:I. Just. Need. Shit. To. Work.

And now you have some.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re:I. Just. Need. Shit. To. Work. @hplasm

"And now you have some."

Oh hplasm, you're such a card ...

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Paris Hilton

Re: Re:I. Just. Need. Shit. To. Work. @hplasm

That was so funny - I had a spontaneous hplasm.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Ah, THAT is the reason:

Sony has two new units in the pipeline (Tab 11 and Flip 13/15) as well as the Duo 13 in production

Fujitsu just announced two new units (T904 and Q584)

Lenovo gives us two new versions of the Yoga and some more

Acer upgrades the R7

Samsung has a new "Ativ Tab3" out

Dell has the Venues out

...

They are all so pissed that MS is selling the Surface/Pro 2 tablet pc that they offer new products that fill the space above, below and level with the S/P2 by offering other CPU, other formats/sizes etc. in the convertible/tablet market. Actually we are getting MORE choice in the tablet pc segment than in years...

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Question on the HP:

Does this unit only come with a 128GB SSD or is there a "spinning metall" HDD in there as well?

Touch only or with an inductive stylus?

LTE on board?

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

I'm loving the top of the line Intel 4400 HD integrated graphics....

Not sure if troll?

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

@mmeier -

>Question on the HP:

>Does this unit only come with a 128GB SSD or is there a "spinning metall" HDD in there as well?

Mine came with only 128GB SSD, but you can order one from HP's website with the additional 500GB HDD under the keyboard, or I can open the bottom of the keyboard unit according to the online maintenance manual and stick my own HDD in there. I'll be going with #2, since I have a spare laptop HDD and an installation kit lying around. And one good point - even though the RAM is in the "tablet" portion (the detachable monitor), I've also got easy (enough) instructions from the online manual for upgrading that from 4GB to 8GB.

>Touch only or with an inductive stylus?

It did not come with a stylus. I read a review about some artist/photographer using one, they said it worked real well. I haven't used a stylus on anything since my 1999 Palm Pilot, so it wasn't something I was paying attention to.

>LTE on board?

No - and I did not want that, as I do NOT want another freaking contract.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

@Michael Habel - "Not sure if troll?"

- Good point. "Top of the line graphics" is a serious mis-statement on my part. It's the "top of the line" in terms of the Ultra Low Voltage integrated Intel graphics on Haswell chips. Most of the affordable devices are using the 4000 or the 4200. According to notebookcheck.net, the 4400 is comparable to a Radeon HD 7550M. One reviewer stated that he is running Assassins Creed 3 on the same laptop without any strain. Having just got it yesterday, I haven't tried any games on it.

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Thanks for the information. Looks like another unit to take a look at. HP is an "old hand" at tablet pc but their record is a mix of "hit, miss, OMG" and this looks like a "hit" if the stylus works

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Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

"My previous tablet was a Samsung Series 7 Slate. WiFi took a full two minutes before connecting."

Dunno what happened with yours but mines been fine since day 1

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A good result ?

So the consumer side went backwards and would have been much (22%) worse but for the Windows Pro contribution (which is probably mostly for business use anyway) and the commercial side increased revenues, but we have no idea if that was due to increased sales or increased prices for existing customers.

There is a suspicion that MS is surviving on its ability to gouge the business market. Long term that is not a winning strategy.

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Anonymous Coward

downgrade rights

Pro license allow one to install W7 instead. For those needing a new PC this year I've been recommending they get W8 Pro because there is the option to downgrade if (when) then don't like it.

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Re: A good result ?

There's a bigger suspicion the reg haven't analysed the figures in any depth. I look forward to the in depth report on how they massaged the figures this time. It just won't expect to see it here...

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Re: A good result ?

You also won't see any reports on how Google and Apple massage their figures, is my bet. But you probably wouldn't those even if they were published because they don't satisfy your irrational hate gland.

I don't know if there's somewhere that would do that article for you with the prejudicial editorial tone you'd prefer. cultofmac.com, maybe. Or you could start your own. tinfoilhat.com might be free and a whole lot of Reg commentards would read your "analysis" and quote it as gospel quite happily.

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Re: A good result ?

Actually dogged I'll just wait for the guys on the financial boards to run the numbers and untangle how the new reporting structure affects the results compared to previous years. The same guys that noticed Microsofts attempt at passing off Win7 sales as Win8 revenue last year will probably get there first... the Reg will (as usual) get there last, kicking and fighting not to lose their Windows advertising income.

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Holmes

Surface RT doing well?

"[...] revenue increase [...] attributed to Surface, and particularly to the 32GB model of the ARM-powered Surface RT [...]"

No shit Sherlock. They just wrote off USD 1 billion on their surface inventory. If they can't create at least a superficial appearance of success after this write-off, then Ballmer should be fired again!

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Probably just a bunch of accounting tricks.

But seriously, considering they increased the prices for damn near every product & service they sell to businesses and consumers, I'm not at all surprised they are making more. I also wonder how many Windows Pro are downgraded?

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Anonymous Coward

why compare apple and ms?

Why so much hate for MS? Apple and MS only really compete in the consumer market. Apple will never gain business acceptance until they hit 30% plus home desktop and this doesn't include ipads and iPhones as they are not business productivity devices. I owned a 27inch imac for 2 years and yes it was a lively piece of kit, but if i ever needed to do anything other than xcode i was straight back on my windows pc. Its just so much more efficient in getting things done. I just wish MS would get rid of the ribbon and bring back office 2003 interface. So in summary, i don't think you can compare a B2B business focused mainly on producing software to a consumer hardware company that happens to produce an OS. Totally different beasts.

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Re: why compare apple and ms?

Why the hate? have you really been asleep for the last 2 decades?

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Linux

Re: why compare apple and ms?

iPads and iPhones are used almost universally by SENIOR people in business (ie those who earn over £250,000 pa) on a BYOD basis because they are tools to do business on the move. Sure they're useless for things like coding and editing, but people who do those jobs don't make that kind on money.

If you want MS Office without the ribbon, try Open Office or Libre Office. On PC, Mac or Linux.

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Re: why compare apple and ms?

Since I work in IT for almost the last 3 decades and still don't understand the pure hatred that some fanatics have against MS. Sure they fought with hard bandages but ultimately MS won because the competitors where to stupid, to lazy or not good enough.

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Re: why compare apple and ms?

>> iPads and iPhones are used almost universally by SENIOR people in business<<<

Er no, I think what you meant to say was that SENIOR people in business almost universally use iphones and ipads.

The vast majority of iphone and ipad users are not senior business people.

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Re: why compare apple and ms?

Why so much hate for MS?

Vista.

After they did that to me I wondered how they were going screw me over again.

I still rate Server 2008 and have yet to find a viable alternative for Exchange,but I don't use those at home so unless I'm being paid to I tend to avoid MS software these days.

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Re: why compare apple and ms?

"iPads and iPhones are used almost universally by SENIOR people in business (ie those who earn over £250,000 pa) on a BYOD basis "

what are you yapping on about?? just look at your own (pulled out of your arse) figures. That figure is well into the 1% earners so are you saying less than 1% of the population uses apple? Sales figures would disagree.

Oh and lots of my junior staff have iPhones and a lot of them are on about 10% of your mystical number. Btw, i'm well into that 1% and not an Apple product to be seen...not even Quicktime

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Meh

Surface RT wrote off, new reporting units created...

... and Microsoft is now doing better than ever (even though it's difficult to compare these results with 'ever'). I'm shocked, I tell you.

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Anonymous Coward

You guys.....

MS could find a cure for cancer and most of you on here would find something to slate them for!

"....yeah they may have found a cure for cancer, but what about man flu?? Eh? MS are rubbish!"

Change the tune guys, its dull.

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Re: You guys.....

How dare you sir! Don't you know that showing the slightest hint of the merest intention of possibly even faintly praising Microsoft is viewed as heresy here. Off to the stake with you!

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Re: You guys.....

Have to agree; reading a lot of the Reg's contributing journalists and most posters you would swear Android's world domination is assured with the iStuff for the rest mostly richer folk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You guys.....

You'd think with all the money the Microsoft lot are hoarding they could find a cure for cancer.

Gates is still the richest man, so he ain't giving away much money at all, that's all a nice bit of PR.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You guys.....

Sorry?

Tens of billions given away and that's your comment?

Idiot.

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Re: MS could find a cure for cancer

...and it wouldn't be so much a cure as a life long dependency on buying the medicine from them.

And you'd get malaria as a side effect.

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Have I got this right?

Did I understand correctly; Office is now split over three different waring divisions?

Or is this just for accounting purposes?

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The doomed Surface RT even selling...

I also see the Surface RT selling since price reductions and the improvements in Windows 8.1.

I think Wozniak mad a very interesting point yesterday why the iPad Air has such little storage relative to its price? Not everybody wants to be in the ICloud where we never own content and its all DRM hobbled.

This is where the Surface RT and 2 can compete as old legacy laptop users who want to bring their MP3 and movies can do fairly easily in the Surface versus an iPad, plus when the Surface fills up they can just plug in an external hard drive, or swap SD cards, ok you can access your content over a wireless hard drive in the iPad however its not as neat and does not suit the traveler or the user who just wants basic plug and play then copy.

Great times for the consumer as this 3 way competition is brilliant and will drive innovation in all companies and platforms. Lets have a small bit of credit and balance when analyzing all platforms.

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Lies, damn lies and statistics

"profits of $5.24bn (up 17 per cent year on year) and earnings per share of $0.63 on record first-quarter revenues of $18.53bn (up 16 per cent)...Nothing could please investors more, and Microsoft's shares climbed more than 5.6 per cent during after-hours trading on the news".

Now, taking a look at the MSFT share price performance (what investors care about).

Year to date returns:

MSFT = +3.14%

S&P500 = +4.08%

So there you have it. An investor would have done better by just investing in an Index fund.

One for Eadon...MSFT FAIL!

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Anonymous Coward

It's not like you usually get a choice of OS when you buy a common laptop.

Windows "sales" figures excluding OEM licences would be interesting.

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That's the Devices & Consumer division, which is the one where people having a choice go to. It's not doing too well.

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What's even better, many people buy a retail version of Win7 and replace 8. Someday they will realize there are choices. I took one (Mint15).

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft in profit shocker

after burying a massive load of losses in a previous really bad quarter.

How are companies allows to play these games? Surely Sarbox should be preventing them writing off "reserved Billions for Xbox RROD and then allowing them to claim profit the next quarter? Isn't that really misleading accounting? Ditto for Surface writeoffs,. Are shareholders REALLY that stupid not to understand this?

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Re: Microsoft in profit shocker

Sarbanes Oxley has no relevance to 'writing off' - its to do with accuracy and timeliness of presenting the accounds. The fact they clearly stated what they did keeps them within GAAP

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft in profit shocker

Do you have ANY idea what you are talking about?????

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Anonymous Coward

We hate office 2013. It causes us to spend roughly $60 per system in tech support because most of our customers can't activate it - even the techie people, and we end up having to activate by phone. Of all the stupid !$#!@!$#$ set ups, thank you Microsoft for costing us any profit margin every time we have a customer that wants it on their machine.

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I am extremely skeptical that Surface sales has increased. I rarely if ever see anyone using a Surface tablet except at a MS event. Even then only see someone every few months using a Surface tablet. Personally I think MS is fudging and shifting numbers to make it seem as though Surface sales has some signs of life.

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Can't say about the RT version but Surface Pro I have actually seen in their natural habitat more than once. They are less common as "youtube on the bus" or "student on the campus green" units, that's where Fragmentdroid and iThingy have their home.

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