Microsoft profits down during Windows 8 and Surface launch

In the three months during which it launched Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, the big M saw revenue rise but profits fall.

Windows 8 has sold 60 million copies, helping Microsoft to take a record amount of money. In the three months during which it launched Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, the big M saw revenue rise but profits fall.

In the final quarter of 2012, Microsoft took in a total of £13.61bn revenue. £4.1bn of that is profit. Revenue is up by 3 per cent on last year, but profits are down 4 per cent.

That might sound disappointing in the period that Microsoft launched a new flagship operating system, but in fact Windows revenues went up by a quarter, with 60 million copies sold. It's the business-focused Office software that's underperformed.

One reason for the reduced profit is that a boatload of cash was ploughed into marketing. With the launch of Windows 8 the click-tastic Surface advert seems to be in every blinkin' ad break. Sadly, Microsoft kept schtum about sales of the Surface.

The Surface runs the stripped-down Windows RT version of the OS that's designed specifically for tablets. The full version of Windows 8 appears on the Surface Pro , which debuts in the US next month but could take a while to reach these shores .

Meanwhile Microsoft is set to hike up the price of Windows 8 by an eye-watering 400 per cent next month.

This week Apple also announced its numbers, and has once again done boffo business thanks to the phenomenal popularity of the iPhone and iPad . In crazy upside-down finance world, however, Apple's record profits led to a dizzying drop in share price. Work that one out.

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