Microsoft profits down during Windows 8 and Surface launch

Windows 8 has sold 60 million copies, helping Microsoft to take a record amount of money. In the three months during which it launched Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, the big M saw revenue rise but profits fall.

In the final quarter of 2012, Microsoft took in a total of £13.61bn revenue. £4.1bn of that is profit. Revenue is up by 3 per cent on last year, but profits are down 4 per cent.

That might sound disappointing in the period that Microsoft launched a new flagship operating system, but in fact Windows revenues went up by a quarter, with 60 million copies sold. It's the business-focused Office software that's underperformed.

One reason for the reduced profit is that a boatload of cash was ploughed into marketing. With the launch of Windows 8 the click-tastic Surface advert seems to be in every blinkin' ad break. Sadly, Microsoft kept schtum about sales of the Surface.

The Surface runs the stripped-down Windows RT version of the OS that's designed specifically for tablets. The full version of Windows 8 appears on the Surface Pro, which debuts in the US next month but could take a while to reach these shores.

Meanwhile Microsoft is set to hike up the price of Windows 8 by an eye-watering 400 per centnext month.

This week Apple also announced its numbers, and has once again done boffo business thanks to the phenomenal popularity of the iPhone and iPad. In crazy upside-down finance world, however, Apple's record profits led to a dizzying drop in share price. Work that one out.

[Source: CNET]