Microsoft's boosted their Windows sales totals by quietly moving money it previously assigned to other groups within the organization to its operating systems division. This little white bookkeeping lie was used to boost sales numbers for Windows this past quarter.
InformationWeek dug through Microsoft's latest quarterly report and found that money from the Entertainment and Devices division (EDD) which is responsible for the Xbox, Xbox 360, Zune, Windows Games, and Windows Mobile was moved out of their division and into the Windows, Server & Tools, and Office divisions. They believe that nearly $259 million was moved to boost numbers in the Windows division.
According to the report:
"The changes are evident when the Q1 fiscal year 2011 report (which covers the calendar period from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2010) Microsoft filed with the SEC on Oct. 28, is compared to Microsoft's Q1 report for fiscal year 2010, which it filed Oct. 23, 2009"
While comparing the two they noticed that Microsoft had added $259 million, or 6.5%, to its original total boosting revenues to $4.24 billion from $3.98 billion. They also found that $114 million was moved into the Servers and Tools division as well as another $111 million to the Business division which is responsible for the production of Microsoft Office.
A Microsoft spokesperson said that some of the accounting changes were due to a shakeup within the organization. After the departure of EDD chief Robbie Bach departments were restructured and parts of the EDD division were moved so the money had to be moved as well. The spokesperson wouldn't reveal what change led to the Windows division gaining $259 million.