back to article Microsoft: Profit DECIMATED because you people aren't buying PCs

Microsoft has weathered a difficult three months: despite signs of growth in cloud computing, overall sales were dragged down by dwindling demand from consumers. Revenues of $21.73bn in Microsoft's third quarter of fiscal 2015, ended March 31, met analysts' expectations. However, sustainable growth still eludes the software …

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  1. elDog Silver badge

    Everything that's new is crap

    Well, that is too strong and I'll be roasted for it.

    MS has spent way too much time playing with the UI for the supposed ultra-desktop/mobile interface.

    The OS is OK, not great. The "Accessories" and "Office" are also OK but have some decent competitors, even in the Windows world.

    Sometimes peoples just need to acknowledge that "their" time (30 years!) has come and gone. They need to actively help future developers learn from their mistakes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everything that's new is crap

      Yup. Nobody wants windows 8, not consumers, not businesses. Xbox one has tanked beyond even Sony's wildest dreams. Office has been stagnant for years.

      Even in the corporate space things aren't rosy, business are going web apps (like JIRA) that run tomcat and run it best on Linux.

      1. paulc

        Re: Everything that's new is crap

        windows 8.1 is fine if you use a decent replacement shell and default it to the desktop interface rather than the craptastic tiles...

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Everything that's new is crap

          windows 8.1 is fine if you use a decent replacement shell and default it to the desktop interface rather than the craptastic tiles...

          You don't even have to bother with a replacement shell, so long as you train it to stay away from Tile City. Win8.1 is faster than Win7 on the same hardware. It's more stable. It's a better all-round OS in every way, except for the damn tiles. Once the tiles are banished to the lowest tier of Hell it's quite usable and useful. The main problem is that the tiles keep trying to break out of Hell and have to be forced back where they belong.

          Could someone please locate Sinofsky and save a penguin or two by feeding him to a leopard seal? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_seal

        2. h3

          Re: Everything that's new is crap

          It is fine if you used 7 properly to begin with.

          Windows key and type part of the name of the app.

          All the keyboard shortcut keys are still the same (And there are other useful ones like windows + x).

          Powershell is improving (Can be added to 7 but if people cannot figure out the above well ....)

          Windows "Professionals" who are not using Server Core are even worse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everything that's new is crap

      So Microsoft are over a billion a quarter ahead of AWS with Azure - and that's without even counting some of the services that run on it! Makes sense as most large corporate seem to be moving onto or at least testing Microsoft's cloud services...

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Everything that's new is crap

      True, but: Microsoft can afford to lose billions every year for the next decade so the odds are that *some* truly epic product will slip through the corporate kill-filter and revitalise the business.

      Microsoft do have a lot of really smart developers - on the management side, ... not so much.

    4. illiad

      Re: Everything that's new is crap

      and yup!... everyone is getting sick of MS 'moving the goalposts' ALL the time!!! - turning what used to take 2 clicks into 5 clicks.. and hiding away a 'not much used' (except by design geeks!) function so it is not even possible to see it in the normal way.... >:(

      as irritating as when you take your car in for full service and upgrade, you find they have moved the gear stick from between the seats to some fancy lever on the dash, that you have to press and slide - they thought it would look nice, and as an after thought add a 'safety' thing so you dont 'accidentally' push it... :(

    5. illiad

      Re: Everything that's new is crap

      setting up this new win8 server.. found another stupid thing... NEWB ALERT :) :)

      changing the workgroup - instead of saying

      "To rename this computer or change its domain or workgroup, click change"

      Win8 says "To rename this computer, click change" ...

      so... I thought , damned MS!! It has put it somewhere else!!!!! >:(

      cue long search for where... Had not even done the 'user access to network' stuff yet...

      and guess where I found the workgroup settings??????????????

      1. dmacleo

        Re: Everything that's new is crap

        my 8.1 using classic shell shows just like win 7 does.

        to rename or change domain or workgroup click change.

        nit sure how it looks w/o classic shell installed

    6. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Everything that's new is crap

      Reality bites!

      When Windows95 came out the general public were getting their first taste of the "inta-toobs" and MS hit a spot. Other than the Sony Playstation, most consoles ( Sega, Ninntendo ) were seen as kids toys, serious gamers used PCs. MS managed to convince people that they needed to keep upgrading to retain that "first time" experience and keep playing those state of the art games. Sadly the wheels have long since come off that wagon, the average person has that laptop/PC they bought 3 years ago and it's still good enough for using the "da toobs" to email Granny in Canada and to satisfy little Johnny's need to play Minecraft. Outside that Johnny can play his "Kill a Brown Bad Guy" game on his PS4 as he can have it in his room, he has a mobile phone and probably a tablet for everything else. When most people need to write a formal document, they can simply use Google office apps through a copy of Chrome, no need to buy and install huge office apps suite these days, most people simply want to bang out a formal letter to the GP or the local council and Google through a browser is adequate.

      MS needs people to keep upgrading their hardware, that's generally the only time your average Joe P actually upgrades their O/S. I can put money down and show you that most of my rellies are still using XP or Windows 7 and they're happy, change is tough. MS keeps faffing around with the interface and average person doesn't like it. Most people still see a PC like a fridge or washer, just a device to get things done. They don't expect the fridge to change every 9 months!

      MS are damned lucky that Apple kit is expensive. I have at least one relative who got absolutely fed up with Windows 8 inability to do simple things like edit a home movie. My wife lent them her Macbook and with just the bog standard OSX apps, her video was edited and output in 30 minutes with no previous experience. They were going to get a new Windows laptop, now they've decided to spend a little more and get a Macbook. Plenty of IT people are setting up Linux desktops as most people simply need a browser. With Google Office apps online, those are good enough for most people.

      1. RudeUnion

        Re: Everything that's new is crap

        Yup. I've consulted at two companies in the last 5 years and more developers and IT operations techs are getting Mac laptops because of simplicity and Unix

        1. Spoonsinger

          Re: Everything that's new is crap

          "Yup. I've consulted at two companies in the last 5 years and more developers and IT operations techs are getting Mac laptops because of simplicity and Unix"

          No idea what that is about. The only thing I can think is that those 'developers' are doing web page type stuff - which is basically type setting without the messy ink stuff.

    7. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Obviously MS are not using enough glue in their hardware offerings...

      Glue-seller Apple makes a tidy profit.

      Ever since 8.1 came out, I've bought a small flood of windows gadgets. One commonality to all those purchases was rock bottom prices. $100 tablets (shocking not bad), $50 smartphone (nice), $190 laptop (sweet!), $60 Win OS for my son's gaming PC.

      I'm happy that they've got their Mojo back. Android is pathetic next to Win 8.1 based gadgets. Still have the droid thingies, but I'll pick up the Win gadgets now.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be patient, it's coming!

    UEFI SecureBoot + Windows 10 + Windows App store + forced cloud + subscriptions = profit

    All Microsoft has to figure out is forcing users somehow to actually buy a PC even if they do not need/want it and, kerrr-ching! Nirvana is for them!

    1. Jonathan 27

      Yeah...

      Yup, copying Apple is their plan alright.

      1. Paul 129
        Windows

        Re: Yeah...

        They might have moved to slow on this one. Have they jumped the shark and heading for their digital moment?

        1. Thorne

          Re: Yeah...

          Windows 8 was a wasted opportunity. If done properly (AKA differently) it could have made a massive difference.

          What they ended up with was a touch interface forced into a non touch environment and the start of a Apple style walled garden.

          Maybe 10 and Hololens might turn everything around?

          1. GX5000

            Re: Yeah...

            Hololens is a perverted dream that will lead us into a Cloud.....

      2. Ole Juul Silver badge

        Re: Yeah...

        Yup, copying Apple is their plan alright.

        Oh good. I hope they move out of the desktop market and concentrate really hard on watches.

        1. David Lawton

          Re: Yeah...

          Microsoft copying Apple? So whats new? Thats all they have done for the last 25 years. Even Apple poke a little fun at it http://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/RedmondStartYourPhotocopiers.jpg

          You only have to look at Windows 10 to see how many things they are adding that either Mac OS or Linux has had for ages. Notifications Bar, Multiple Desktops (although only a measly 4).

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Yeah...

            Windows 8 was clearly a move to copy what Apple was predicted to do (unifying desktop/laptop and table/phone API). Except Apple was too clever to actually do it... Thank heavens.

          2. bvonr

            Re: Yeah...

            With WTP10061 you can have as many desktops as you want. As far as I can tell there is no limit.

    2. chekri

      Re: Be patient, it's coming!

      UEFI secureboot = better security

      Windows 10 - its great, try out the tech preview

      Windows App store - Easier access to applications

      Forced cloud - Umm no, there is nothing forced on the user whatsoever

      Subscriptions - an option in addition to the traditional perpetual rights, use whatever suits you

      nice try but you are clearly talking out your backside

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Be patient, it's coming!

        > UEFI secureboot = better security

        Only if you run NSA approved operating systems. Doesnt like it when you want to dual boot into an OS tat you have complete control over.

        > Windows 10 - its great, try out the tech preview

        You mean the one that has broken the Start menu? How great is that?

        > Windows App store - Easier access to applications

        I buy hard copies. I'm not interested in vaporware that can be revoked at any time, for any reason.

        > Forced cloud - Umm no, there is nothing forced on the user whatsoever

        Except it's enabled by default, and users who arent tech heads wont know where or how to disable it.

        > Subscriptions - an option in addition to the traditional perpetual rights, use whatever suits you

        Except given Microsoft's history, it weont stay an "option" for long, and will become a requirement.

        > nice try but you are clearly talking out your backside

        Says the guy who has been reamed so hard and often by MS, he can no longer tell when his own arse is speaking.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. GX5000

          Re: Be patient, it's coming!

          Thanks for saving me a lot of typing....let's not forget we really haven't seen Win10 under any stress with that tinker toy preview GUI either.....

          I should retire, too many opinions stated as facts really make me cry in my beer.

          Cheers.

          End of line.

      2. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: Be patient, it's coming!

        Windows Vista was Great in the preview too. They added the suck to the release version so this time we shall see how it looks like when it's done.

      3. Fat Northerner

        Re: Be patient, it's coming!

        >UEFI secureboot = better security

        Is this what's stopping me from slotting an SSD in?

        >Windows 10 - its great, try out the tech preview

        Don't want it.

        >Windows App store - Easier access to applications

        Don't want it. I want to own the software.

        >Forced cloud - Umm no, there is nothing forced on the user whatsoever

        How do you disable all cloud, for all time, for all applications at install?

        >Subscriptions - an option in addition to the traditional perpetual rights, use whatever suits you

        I don't rent anything.

        >nice try but you are clearly talking out your backside

        Say what you like. I'm not upgrading.

    3. Antonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: Be patient, it's coming!

      "All Microsoft has to figure out is forcing users somehow to actually buy a PC even if they do not need/want it and, kerrr-ching!

      That'll be the ENFORCED obsolescence (sabotage) mechanism now trundling towards W7 then. Vista and 8 being stillborn and 9 not happening at all, it's next stop "UEFI SecureBoot + Windows 10 + Windows App store + forced cloud + subscriptions = profit"

  3. Russle

    This seems to be the worst report ever in the history of MSFT stock.

    Shareholders are mad.

    Microsoft profits have dropped 12%

    Windows Phone revenue drops another 16%

    Windows OEM revenue drops 22%

    Xbox revenue down 24%

    Office revenue declined 41%

    What is going on in Redmond?

    This is the worst quarter ever for the company.

    1. e_is_real_i_isnt

      Easy - Microsoft is settling towards a realistic value that represents their actual worth after riding a monopoly bubble buoyed by mostly legal, but also mostly unethical treatment of their competitors.

      Too many times they pre-announced unavailable products to cut off competitors that could have added some valuable features to software, but instead crippled their sales efforts out front, while being slow or misleading when providing support to developers of competing products. Look at the spark that is left in Quantrix as compared with the complicated heap of Excel.

      I look back at what the computer industry was like before MS was moved into a dominant position by a very ignorant and essentially stupid IBM's approval and am saddened by the sudden crippling of the pace. If this was aviation we'd have DC-3s with turbojet engines, but no pressurized cabins.

      1. Mikel

        Nadella can put lipstick on this pig, but he can't make it soar.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This seems to be the worst report ever in the history of MSFT stock.

      Shareholders are mad.

      They are indeed if they are still holding stock. Unbelievably, it went up after yet another loss announcement. Maybe they didn't catch all the dodgy traders in Hounslow? :)

      What is going on in Redmond?

      Karma?

      1. Paul Shirley

        "Unbelievably, it went up after yet another loss announcement."

        ...they noticed Ballmer hasn't tried reclaiming his job, so there's still hope!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guess what happens

    When you make a major change in you user interface every couple years - people start thinking you don;t have a clue what you are doing.

    And they go else where.

    Microsoft keeps saying just wait for _________. You fill in the blank - I gave up keeping track.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Guess what happens

      "When you make a major change in you user interface every couple years - people start thinking you don;t have a clue what you are doing.

      And they go else where."

      That might be true for the few people that actually pay attention and have any degree of interest.

      But the vast majority just buy what is available at the time.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Guess what happens

        "But the vast majority just buy what is available at the time."

        Or hold off buying hoping the next one will be better.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guess what happens

        But the vast majority just buy what is available at the time.

        I think it's more that the vast majority just buy what OEMs install.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Guess what happens

          "I think it's more that the vast majority just buy what OEMs install."

          And that's probably part of the problem. If the customer doesn't like what the OEM installs then they're less likely to buy. If MS only allow the OEM to install what the customer doesn't want then we see a slump in both PC & MS sales. MS blames the PC sales slump for their own low sales but to some extent that slump might be a thing of their own making.

    2. Antonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: Guess what happens

      "Microsoft keeps saying just wait for _________. You fill in the blank - I gave up keeping track."

      How long have you been waiting?

      Hang in there. I'm sure Windows __ will be everything you're hoping for...

      "DOS being fairly cloned has had a dramatic impact on our pricing for DOS. I wonder if we would have it around 30-40% higher if it wasn't cloned. I bet we would!"

      Bill Gates, 6th August 1989

      "DOS remains the backbone though of both our software businesses. It is under extreme attack by high quality clones like DR DOS."

      Bill Gates, 1st December 1989

      "On the PR side, we have begun an 'aggressive leak campaign' for MS-DOS 5.0. The goal is to build anticipation for MS-DOS 5.0, and diffuse potential excitement/momentum from the DR DOS 5.0 announcement."

      "DR DOS 5.0 Competitive Analysis," 2nd May 1990

      "On the desktop, we have a strategic win today (monopoly). We must keep the desktop."

      Microsoft Executive Staff Retreat, 10th May 1990

      "There is an obvious conflict quickly approaching us, and I get the feeling we are not very prepared PR wise. The conflict is Windows 3.1 and DR-DOS. Apparently DRI is quite aware of our plans to not test with DR-DOS, our plan to not let them enter the Win 3.1 beta program, and our plan to detect the presence of MS-DOS and warn the user they are on an un-tested OS if MS-DOS is not detected."

      David Cole, 7th November 1991

      "What the guy is supposed to do is feel uncomfortable, and when he has bugs, suspect that the problem is dr-dos and then go out to buy ms-dos. or decide not to take the risk for all the other machines he has to buy for in the office."

      Brad Silverberg, 10th February 1992

      "the design preview has not leaked to the press are you surprised do you wish it would if so when"

      Steve Ballmer, 9th June 1992

      "Who at Microsoft gets up every morning thinking about how to compete with these guys in the short term -- specifically cut their revenue. Perhaps we need more focus on this. . . . "

      Bill Gates, 21st July 1993

      "WOW -- If you are REALLY still telling the field the RTM is Sept 30 -- and if you are REALLY serious -- we have a ton of work to do VERY fast?!! Is this just propaganda mail???"

      Mike Appe, 7th April 1994

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Joke

    Don't worry MS Shareholders - we have a cunning plan!

    Dear MS Shareholder,

    We are trully sorry for these very dissappoining results. Don't worry as we have a plan to increase our revenues and profits again.

    As you may know, we have already announced price rises for MS-Sharepoint, MS-Exchange and other server related products. Today, we announce that these price rises will be imposed as of today and will increase by 10% accross the board.

    We are confident that the extra revenues will return our profitability to previous levels within the next reporting period.

    Yours

    Sataya, Captain of the good ship Titanic (a.k.a Microsoft)

    See Icon but is it really that far fetched?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't worry MS Shareholders - we have a cunning plan!

      @ Steve Davies 3

      Come on the Titatanic reference is unfair, I was thinking more Captain Francesco Schettino and the Costa (lotta) Concordia

  6. herman Silver badge

    Death March

    MS is a slow motion train wreck, or a software death march. Despite spending huge amounts of money and heroic effort, every new product is a dud. It reminds me of those that came and went before it: Control Data, Digital Corporation, Sun, Silicon graphics...

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Death March

      But at least their kit was good...

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Death March

      Nonsense! They have this whiz-bang new market strategist at the helm who will certainly sort things out - granted, the bloke is freakishly short of stature and there are rumours he has been stealing underpants in the past for some unknown reason but that is surely just malicious gossip...

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Say what you like about Nutella

    But he can bullshit with the best of 'em if the stock went up after that.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trick one...

    Maybe M$ should provide what people want, not what they want us to have (subscriptions & "value add" software)?

    The latest generation of software & consoles are about what is taken away, including property rights & privacy. M$ aren't alone in this, but they are the most financially exposed.

    Hope Munich sets a fire under their collective a**es.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trick one...

      Munich. Yes. That project is truly terrifying to MS!!!! They are deeply, deeply worried that this shining example of a well executed, successful project will lead to next year being the year of Linux on the desktop. Gulp!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trick one...

        @AC

        The French police have proven you can do a nation wide desktop roll out using Linux.

        French Police Linux

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