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Microsoft's Windows-and-devices group again records lower revenue

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 1, 2016
But declines in the 'More Personal Computing' division were less than the previous quarter, with Windows revenue down 8%

Windows accounted for the largest slice of MPC's revenue -- $4.9 billion by Computerworld's estimate -- even though, like smartphones, the OS's money-making efforts were down from the same quarter in 2014. Microsoft said Windows licensing was off 8% overall, with sales to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) down 5% as computer makers sold a dwindling number of new machines.

Those numbers were improved from a year prior, when Windows revenue was down by double digits.

Microsoft's chief financial officer boasted that the downturn in Windows revenue was smaller, percentage-wise, than the PC industry itself, which according to research firm IDC, fell by more than 10% in units shipped. "Our total OEM business declined 5% this quarter, outperforming the overall PC market," said Microsoft's Amy Hood in the earnings call on Thursday.

The company did not divulge any new numbers for Windows 10 uptake: The executives stuck with the 200-million mark touted earlier this month and repeated the claim that the new OS was setting records. "I've never seen a Windows release in the enterprise with this level of accelerated deployment planned," Nadella said, echoing commentary this week by Gartner's Steve Kleynhans.

Hood also said that MPC revenue beat the company's internal projections, but didn't say by how much. She cited only the Surface as a contributor to the rosier-than-expected results. "Between all of those hardware products, as well as our gaming performance, another sort of hardware component in quarter, we did a little better than we had expected in our launches," Hood noted.

Surface revenue in millions q4 15 
Surface revenue set a record in 2015's December quarter -- $1.35 billion -- but Microsoft no longer provides data that lets outsiders calculate the profit margin of its hardware line. (.) (Click to expand.) Data: Microsoft


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