Microsoft's last earnings report revealed three plump cash cows: $3.6 billion operating income for the quarter in the Office division, $2.9 billion in Windows, and $1.8 billion in Server and Tools, not to mention that tidy $32 million profit in Entertainment. Yet there was one absolute disaster: the $728 million loss for the Online Services Division.
Every time this happens, there's a hue and cry about splitting off the Bing gang and letting them sail in a different direction. It happens a lot. Microsoft started reporting its online financial vagaries in fiscal year 2002, when the effort was known as MSN. Since then, Microsoft has admitted to a net loss of almost $9 billion. This past quarter, the Online Services Division took in a mere $662 million in revenue, but ended up spending almost $1.4 billion.
Let me put that in perspective for you: According to ComScore, in June 2011, Microsoft and Yahoo sites had a combined U.S. Explicit Core Search market share of 30.3 percent. Three months earlier, in March, ComScore says the combined market share ran 29.8 percent. That's an increase of 0.5 percent from the last month of the first quarter of the year to the last month of the second quarter of the year.
I had to look at U.S. search market share because Bing is going absolutely nowhere in the international search market. Research firm StatCounter shows the total market share worldwide for Yahoo and Bing runs between 6.8 and 8.3 percent -- and the combined share has taken a nosedive from 8.15 percent to 6.77 percent between March 2011 and June 2011. Bing alone, according to StatCounter, has tumbled from 4.21 percent to 3.24 percent internationally in those three months.