Microsoft operating profit by division

I saw this chart here.

MSFT operating profit by division

Ignoring for a nano second the dreadful line/area approach instead of the far easier to interpret column style, a couple of things jump out at me.

Didn’t Windows, and Microsoft get a up-tick from the Win 7 release?

And secondarily, isn’t Office absolutely flat over the same period? Even though Sharepoint has allegedly become a billion dollar product over the period (revenue not profit), and Great Plains was integrated into MDB in 2006, not sure if thats in the chart or just before – if its in it didn’t have a profit impact did it?

Look at March 2007 the official start of the Oww starts now campaign for Vista of Office 2007.

I don’t think you could look at the chart and say Office client has been a runaway success, to me considering the success of the server tools side of Office, it looks like Office 2007 client has lost impact.

It won’t come as news to some of you that I think the ribbon is the all time most expensive mistake Microsoft has made so far. I wouldn’t be so blinkered to say this chart categorically proves it, but it certainly doesn’t show ‘our fastest selling ever’ either.

I suppose I could dig out the underlying numbers to see a bit more clearly, in particular I would have expected a bit of a drop when they stopped selling 2003, although perhaps the heavy influence of EA and SA enterprise licensing hides the retail story.

Anyway, how do you interpret this? to support your preconceived idea or disprove it?



4 Responses to “Microsoft operating profit by division”

  1. Ross Says:

    I think the whole chart including that data is utter rubbish. MS have made a lose on the xbox? And Office and Tools/server are almost identical is shape. Don’t buy it.

  2. Charles Hall Says:

    There are too many factors that get rolled into profit to make it clearly indicative of trends (it could be selling like hotcakes, but costly to produce, or it could be affected by how they recover of their investment in development). A revenue chart by product line would be more insightful for the conclusions you would like to draw.


  3. Jon Peltier Says:

    This chart is crapola. It’s a stacked area chart, so the pattern of the higher areas is imposed on the lower ones, and the competing patterns make all but the lowest area hard to read. Having some curves that switch from positive to negative make it even harder to read.

    A nice unstacked line chart using the original data would be much more informative.

    It’s hard to tell, but it looks like the Office band is roughly the same thickness, except for the quarter before and the quarter after Office 2007 came out. The quarter before saw lower revenue as people held off purchasing. Then these folks purchased after the release of 2007. I doubt there were any more sales of 2007 that quarter beyond the folks who decided not to buy the prior quarter.

  4. Scott Says:

    The ribbon is an abomination. Taking the buttons that have been in the same spots for years and senselessly re-arranging them is Microsoft giving its user base the finger.

    Somebody get the “Insider” a copy of Tufte’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” stat!

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