Microsoft posts first quarterly loss in 26 years - $492 million down

Microsoft has posted its first ever quarterly loss since becoming a public company 26 years ago. In its earnings report for financial year quarter 4 (April - June 2012), it reveals that the company made a loss of $492 million (£313.3 million), primarily blamed on the $6.3 billion it blew on online digital advertising company aQuantive, only for it to be a massive flop.

Revenues, however, were up both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, so not all is doom and gloom for CEO Steve Ballmer and the rest of the software giant. It posted $18.06 billion (£11.5 billion) revenue for FY Q4 2012, up from the $17.41 billion (£11.09 billion) in fy q3 2012 and $17.37 billion (£11.06 billion) in the same quarter last year.

Also, Microsoft is about to to embark on a heavy release schedule for major updates to its most popular and lucrative franchises. Windows 8 is coming on 26 October, while Office 2013 and Windows Phone 8 are expected to hit anytime from November. The next quarter is already looking far rosier.

Ballmer is obviously more upbeat about the coming months and year. "We delivered record fourth quarter and annual revenue, and we’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history," he said.

"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."

Pic: (cc) Georg Holzer, www.georgholzer.at