Yep. Apparently there are more masochists in the world than I thought. Here’s what GMSV reports:
On Thursday, Microsoft announced record quarterly sales and profits, also beating the projections, but this time, the sound you heard was a collective sigh of relief.
Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter rose 32 percent to $14.4 billion, and net earnings rose to $4.93 billion, or 50 cents a share, from $2.98 billion, or 29 cents a share, in the same period last year. Both figures benefited from the deferral of $1.67 billion of revenue from the previous quarter to account for the Windows and Office upgrade coupons distributed late last year. Even better, from the analysts’ point of view, was that there were no unpleasant surprises in the company’s outlook, with earnings forecast between $1.68 and $1.72 a share for fiscal 2008, and revenue between $56.5 billion and $57.5 billion.
What it all boiled down to was that, fears and perceptions aside, Windows Vista and Office 2007 have gotten off to strong starts. Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said consumer sales of Vista surpassed the company’s own expectations by $300 million to $400 million. “There is very good acceptance from a launch perspective for the product. It’s early days, but we’re encouraged by it,” Liddell told Reuters.
Analysts were happy to exhale. “I think it’s a very good quarter, but more important, guidance is essentially in line with what the Street is expecting,” said Sarah Friar of Goldman Sachs. “Everyone was so terrified guidance would have some sort of issue.” And any speculation that CEO Steve Ballmer was on the hot seat seems to have cooled for now. “This is a solid, even strong report from Microsoft, and should do quite a bit to assuage the fears that CEO Steve Ballmer was on his way out the door,” writes CNBC’s Jim Goldman. “He had a rough year last year with high-profile product delays and production issues. I think just about everyone thought he was on the ropes. … This report goes to show that his plan is underway and working, at least for Vista, and should buy Microsoft some more time as it tries to come up with the next-generation moneymaker that will alleviate the company’s near total reliance on the sluggish, mature personal computer industry.”
On the other hand…
SALES OF PC CHIPS were weak in January and February this year, falling 12 per cent in the quarter, year on year.
According to Bruce Diesen, senior analyst at Terra Securities ASA, “inventories and expectations for Vista were too high at the end of Q4.”
And, of course, there’s this…
We had MS reps in about a month ago touting how wonderful Vista is. We have about 10k client computers, about 40% Macs mind you. Still that leaves us with about 6000 systems that run some flavor of Windows. The vast majority of that is Windows XP Pro 32bit w/ SP2. We manage all of our Windows clients with Server 2003.
We just rolled out about 500 new IBM/Lenovo business class machines for a small project. All of those machines officially come with Vista Business.
However since we have no plans to roll out Vista on the desktop anytime soon since it is “cludgeware,” we are allowed to “downgrade” our license to XP and still be in MS compliance.
We are in K12 education in the NE USA. I would imagine this is happening all over the country with business sales. Perhaps globally. You would know that better than I given that your HQ is on the big island across the pond. :)
Officially the computer goes out the door with Vista, it arrives on site, Vista gets blown away and our image of XP Pro is put on. MS still counts the box as a Vista sale however.