Where Microsoft's Money Really Comes From

It's no shock to see that with unglamorous but vital products like Windows and Office, Microsoft is basically printing money. But where's the Xbox? The Zune? Windows Mobile? Bing? Oh, they're there. You just have to look a little closer.

Microsoft's most visible products that aren't Windows and Office fall under two divisions: Entertainment and Devices, and Online Services. Xbox, Zune (both services and devices), cellphone software and to some extend Media Center all fall under E&D, which has been skipping from minor profit to minor loss for years. Online services, like Bing and Hotmail, have a more consistent track record, steadily bleeding money from the company month after month, with only the slightest hints of stopping.

Granted, Silicon Alley Insider's chart only covers of Operating Profit, so it doesn't reflect how much revenue each division accounts for, or in a broader sense, how important and large each of these products is within Microsoft. (you can obviously assume that, even if its division isn't making much money, the Xbox is considered a major product.) But still, it's hard not to see a trend: exciting, risky products—some of the ones we spend the most time talking about—don't make money. [SAI]

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`



So...how come the reverse is true for Apple? The exciting risky products are where they make all the money, but no(?) successes in the boring department.

No troll. Not the Zune perhaps, but in my head the Xbox at least should be doing well, even if it isn't at iPod/iPhone levels.

(Wondering if it isn't simply that the guts of the Xbox are significantly more expensive relative to the cost than one finds with Apple products.)