Microsoft's profits fall

Software King of the World, Microsoft, has seen its quarterly profit fall again.

The reason being given is that the outfit is about to release a new version of Office and so punters are not interested in buying.

In the figures, which were announced last night, Windows 8 was shown to have had a solid but unspectacular start. While it would be tempting to write Microsoft off as a child of the 1990s when it could release a new version of Windows and start coining it in, the truth is a little more complex.

The world has been in a long running recession and Vole’s biggest buyers in the corporate sector looked at Windows 8’s spec and saw nothing that added value to what they had. Companies are not fond of people putting their greasy paws on computer screens, and besides, they want to defer increasing their hardware bill until the economy picks up.

Profit at the world’s largest software company slid to $6.4 billion in the fiscal second quarter, from $6.6 billion a year ago.

Overall sales rose three percent to $21.5 billion, which was pretty much what Wall Street thought would happen.

The biggest factor weighing on Microsoft was a 10 percent hit in Office sales, which took into account the loss of deferred revenue relating to discounted upgrades to the new version of the software.

Josh Olson, an analyst at Edward Jones, told Reuters that this was just a pause before a product launch, which is typical.

Windows sales jumped 24 percent to $5.9 billion, slightly ahead of analysts’ average expectations, which had been gradually lowered over the last few months.

Microsoft said it has sold more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses since its late October launch. This is in line with Windows 7 sales three years before, so given the state of the economy it is not that bad.