Microsoft described its second-quarter earnings as “solid” but the company earned $20.89 billion for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, 2011 and it also posted $7.99 billion in profit – Nearly any other company would be ecstatic to have those numbers. Still, as a mobile site, it’s our duty to point out that Windows Phone continues to be a non-factor for Microsoft.
The Entertainment & Devices Division, which includes Windows Phone, had revenue of $4.24 billion for the quarter but I’d put that more on the success of the Xbox and Kinect during the holiday season (it sold 66 million consoles and 18 million Kinect devices). The mobile platform does get a brief mention in the official press release, though.
“In addition to the continued strength of our commercial business, this holiday season was the strongest in Microsoft history, thanks to good sales execution and compelling products like Xbox 360 and Kinect,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, said in a prepared statement. “We are seeing a lot of excitement for new devices, from Windows 7 Ultrabooks to new Windows Phones, as well as growing anticipation for Windows 8.”
I point out the lack of prominence for Windows Phone in Microsoft’s earnings because this may start to become the exception if things pan out the way Microsoft hopes. While the sales have been very small, Microsoft does have a lot of positives in the mobile space.
First of all, Windows Phone Mango is pretty darn good and it is on par with the competing iOS and Android platforms. We expect a new version (Tango?) to be introduced as soon as Mobile World Congress and that could bring the platform to the emerging markets and its massive audiences.
Additionally, Nokia is all-in with Windows Phone and we just saw the Lumia 900 at CES 2012 and this should just be the first of many high-profile devices it releases. While Nokia has been struggling to adapt to the smartphone world over the last few years, it still has an amazing economy of scale that few companies can match.
It’s not going to be an easy path though, as Android is exploding around the globe and Apple’s iOS juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down. Microsoft has some decent cards to play but it’s still going to take a bit of luck for Windows Phone to really break through to the masses.