Microsoft reports revenue of $21.5B, earnings of $6.38B

Now it's Microsoft's turn to show Wall Street just how well it's doing -- and all eyes are on Windows 8 and what CEO Steve Ballmer calls "our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows."

After the close of trading today, Microsoft reported a quarter that came in just a bit shy of what Wall Street was looking for. Not exactly a Google performance, but certainly not Apple either.

The world's largest software maker said it earned $6.38 billion, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $21.46 billion in its latest quarter, which ended in December. That's a drop from the year ago quarter, when Microsoft earned $6.62 billion, or 78 cents a share. The results are also slightly below Wall Street estimates of 77 cents a share on revenue of $21.53 billion.

Microsoft's second-quarter report comes amid little Wall Street enthusiasm -- the stock is about 16 percent off its 52-week high of $32.95, reached last March -- and intense concern over Microsoft's core Windows business. The stock, which rose slightly today, was down 1.3 percent in after-hours trading.

Yet the Windows Division posted strong growth, with revenue up 24 percent from the year-ago quarter to $5.88 billion.

In a statement, CEO Steve Ballmer said:

Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers. With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we'll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.

One sour point: The company saw weaker sales of its Xbox game system over the holidays. Microsoft said the Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of $3.77 billion, a decrease of 11 percent from the prior year period.

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