Microsoft Joins the Record-Profits Crowd on Office/Enterprise Strength
Microsoft (news, site) joins Apple and Intel in the record figures groove as gaming and big-business purchases push the company onward.

Microsoft's Growth Accelerating

Sales of Office enterprise apps have propelled Microsoft to a record year figure, almost US$ 5 billion up on the previous year. The quarterly revenue figure was up 30% on last quarter, recording US$ 17.3 billion with a 1% dip in revenue from Windows sales.

That and the huge success of Xbox and Xbox Kinect on the gaming front are supporting the still loss-making Online division, which cost the company US$ 728 million. The Bing search engine is now up to 3.5% of worldwide search.

This caps off a week of record-breaking activity with Apple and Intel both racing ahead of the game, with only Nokia (Microsoft's new mobile partner) providing the major negative. The leap in business software sales suggests that enterprises are reallly getting into gear with Windows 7 and Office updates.

An Enterprise Future

For the future, Microsoft can now confidently bank on its enterprise clients to remain within the fold, having signed large numbers of new contracts, which should run over many years. Despite the temptations of the cloud, many businesses are sticking with Microsoft.

With an annual profit that grew 23% to $23.2 billion, the company has plenty of reserves to ramp up its cloud enterprise investment, or buy companies to strengthen its hand in the battles with Google and others. Its recent Skype purchase should complete in October, giving its upcoming mobile offering with Nokia a major boost.

Looking into 2012, Microsoft confirmed previous estimates of 3% to 5% growth from 2011 of US$ 28 billion to $28.6 billion, it said. How much of that will come from Windows 8 tablets or Windows 7 Nokia mobiles remains to be seen.