Microsoft has posted a loss of $192m (£122m) for Q2, 2012 – the company’s first quarterly loss since it first went public 26 years ago, in 1986.
By comparison, a year earlier it posted a profit of $5.9bn – so what went wrong? Primarily, it’s down to Microsoft writing down the value of ad business aQuantive – which it acquired in 2007 for $6.3bn, in an attempt to compete with Google – by $6.2bn.
It’s not all bad news, though, as revenues over the quarter rose by 4 per cent, to a total $18.1bn.
Going forward, Microsoft seems to be banking on the success of Windows 8, which it is calling the most important redesign of the OS in a decade, and which aims to create a unity between desktop PCs, its traditional home territory, and Tablet and smartphone-orientated version of the OS.
“We delivered record fourth quarter and annual revenue, and we’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history,” says Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer. “Over the coming year, we’ll release the next versions of Windows, Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and many other products and services that will drive our business forward and provide unprecedented opportunity to our customers and partners.”