Last Thursday, Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings, and Wall Street was so impressed it took the stock down 5 percent by mid-day on Friday.
You probably know the big news: Apple turned a bigger profit than Microsoft last quarter; Windows sales are down 4.4 percent compared to last year; Office turned a very healthy $5.25 billion profit; and Entertainment, pulled and prodded by the Kinect, rose an astonishing 60 percent in revenue over last year.
Here are some of the details that you may have missed.
Windows Phone 7 was nowhere to be seen. Aside from a very brief nod in the conference call -- acknowledging the de facto takeover of Nokia and the 13,000 apps currently being offered to all 10 Windows Phone 7 app buyers -- nary a syllable was spent on Microsoft's most portable program. We still have no idea how many copies of Windows Phone 7 have been activated, how many apps have been sold, or when the cut-and-paste NoDo update will go out to everybody, including Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus owners. Not a breath about the 4,000 layoffs at Nokia escaped either.
Office 2010 numbers drew hosannas and sighs of relief, with consumer purchases largely credited with driving up sales by 21 percent vs. the same quarter last year. I attribute Office's popularity with consumers to the simple fact that so many new PCs now ship with the 30-day trial of Office 2010, and a large number of consumers buy licenses directly from Microsoft, cutting out the middleman -- excellent marketing.
The general uptake of Office 2010 in the enterprise is said to be fivefold greater compared to the analogous time in Office 2007's history. Personally, I attribute that to the Ribbon: Companies were loathe to upgrade from Office 2003 to 2007, especially when Office 2007 first rolled out, because of the learning hump incurred by the Ribbon. With Office 2010, resistance isn't as high because, four years later, many Office users are inured to the Ribbon. IT departments figure Microsoft isn't going to bring back menus, so they may as well switch. I also give a begrudging nod to the re-appearance of the File menu in Office 2010, which lessens the Ribbon sting a bit.