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Microsoft Has Record Q2 - Even Games Make Money

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Vista is a dog, let's make no bones about it - but with the formal release of SP1 next month expected to fix many of the errors which plague the OS and this week's announcement of record second quarter results, it looks like 2008 is off to a far better start for Microsoft than 2007.

In fact so good were the Redmond giant's Q2 results that it had a turnover during the period of $16.37bn, $2bn more than it has ever managed before. Compare this to Apple's record $9.6bn turnover in its recent Q4 figures (a 34.7 per cent increase of its previous best) and you'll see just how huge an entity Bill Gates' former employers are.

As for operating income, Microsoft saw this leap to $6.48bn while diluted earnings per share was up to $0.50 representing 87 per cent and 32 per cent increases respectively on the same period last year.

In terms of raw sales Microsoft confirmed that Vista licences have also passed the 100m mark (you poor people - just hold on one more month) while its Entertainment and Devices branch, which houses the Xbox and Zune brands, turned in a profit of $357m - the first time the division has made a profit. Thank you Halo 3...

"We are in the midst of another strong year with great momentum heading into calendar year 2008," said Microsoft COO Kevin Turner. "We continue to see healthy demand from both businesses and consumers in the United States and our growth in emerging markets is especially strong. Looking across Brazil, Russia, India and China, our field revenue reached a combined growth rate over 65% this quarter. As we look ahead, our Windows Server 2008 launch, with our virtualization solution, will further our quest to bring exceptional value to our customers."

All-in-all it's undeniably impressive stuff, yet the irony remains: Vista isn't as good as Leopard, Windows Mobile isn't as good as Symbian or the iPhone's cut down OS X and the Zune can't hold a candle to devices by Apple, Creative or SanDisk. So imagine if it got all those right... now that would produce a quarter to remember...

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