Microsoft reports strong Q4 revenue thanks again to Windows 7 sales

Microsoft announced on Thursday, a record fourth-quarter revenue of $16.04 billion for the quarter ended June 30.

The financial figures are a 22% increase from the same period of the prior year. Microsoft says this revenue growth was driven by a strong performance from Windows 7, which has sold more than 175 million licenses to date. “This quarter’s record revenue reflects the breadth of our offerings and our continued product momentum,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer. “The revenue growth, combined with our ongoing cost discipline, helped us achieve another quarter of margin expansion.”

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting the software giant to report a profit of $0.46 per share on revenue of $15.26 billion, Microsoft beat these expectations with $16.04 billion and profit of $0.51 per share. Kevin Turner, chief operating officer, said the revenue was down to strong sales in the enterprise with Windows 7 and Office 2010. "“Our transition to cloud services is well underway with offerings like Windows Azure and our Business Productivity Online Services, and we look forward to continuing our product momentum this fall with the upcoming launches of Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Kinect," said Turner.  

Windows 7 was released nine months ago today, on October 22, 2009. The OS originally released to manufacturing one year ago. Microsoft announced that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history, selling over 175 million licenses to date. The company is projected to sell 300 million by the end of 2010.

Microsoft's success with Windows 7 began before the product was even widely available. Released in October 2009, the operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple's Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks. In early February it was revealed that Windows 7 had reached 10% market share in just three months.

Windows 7 has also driven an uptake of 64-bit computing. According to ChangeBASE research, conducted with senior IT decision makers, more than 65% of businesses hoped to migrated to Windows 7 within 12 months of its release. Over 50% of those migrating will be choosing the 64-bit route. Microsoft confirmed earlier this month, that nearly half of all Windows 7 PCs run 64-bit versions.

Screenshots of a Windows 7 post RTM build showed up on the web in February, fueling speculation that Microsoft is compiling early Windows 8 builds. The successor to Windows 7 will likely be available in 2011 as an ex-Microsoft worker penned July 2011 as the RTM date for Windows 8. Microsoft is expected to build a 'Windows Store' app store into Windows 8 and Kinect-like functionality.

Microsoft is currently readying its first Service Pack for Windows 7. A public beta version was made available recently with a final release expected in the first quarter of next year.

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