Microsoft posts disappointing financial results ahead of Windows 8 launch

Microsoft has published its financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, posting a revenue of $16.01 billion (£9.96 billion).

The figures mean the company has seen an 8 per cent fall from the same period last year, and falls below the $16.42 billion (£10.22 billion) analysts had predicted.

However, these figures don’t tell the whole story, with Microsoft deferring an additional $1.36 billion (£846 million) of revenue generated from its Windows Upgrade Offer, pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs and its Office Offer. The reason for this is that these products and fulfillments don’t take place until later this year.

Windows 8 is due to go on sale on 26 October. It’s a pivotal moment for Microsoft, with a huge amount invested. So while these latest figures make for interesting reading, it will be the next lot of financial results that really indicate Microsoft’s fortunes. 

At least Microsoft managed to coordinate the timing of its results correctly. Google was forced to suspend trading on Nasdaq after its own disappointing financial results were published prematurely.

The results were announced in a press release that included the strap line: “Pending Larry (Page) Quote.” Cue “Pending Larry” trending on Twitter, with even a fake account being made in the gaff’s honour - @pendinglarry.