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Microsoft Windows Phone revenue at less than $613m a year

updated 11:05 am EDT, Mon August 1, 2011

Windows Phone, Mobile revenues still miniscule

An investigation into Microsoft's SEC filing for its fiscal year has revealed that the company made very little on its mobile platforms for the entire year. Of the nearly $8.72 billion in revenue from the company's Entertainment and Devices group between July 2010 and last month, just $613 million belonged to something other than the Xbox 360, the Seattle PI found. The figure left Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile making no more than the amount combined.

Mobile revenues were most likely considerably less. The E&D group also includes mice and other peripherals, Mediaroom IPTV services, Surface touchscreen tables, the Zune MP3 player line, and the Zune Marketplace.

Microsoft has often been deliberately secretive with Windows Phone's sales, which many interpret as a sign they would be disappointing. After saying it had shipped 1.5 million devices to carriers in December, it kept quiet and has left it to analysts to get details. CEO Steve Ballmer more recently gave off-hand confirmation of slow sales when he commented that Windows Phone had grown from "very small to very small" nine months into its history.

Nokia is expected to give Microsoft's phone revenue a kick when its first WP7 phone launches in the fall, but the numbers are small even when factoring in Microsoft's purely software-based model. Apple in contrast made just over $13.3 billion in iPhone-related revenue for the spring quarter alone.

The shortfall helps explain Microsoft's blanket approach to suing or pressuring Android manufacturers. Being unable to compete in actual sales, the company is believed to be making more on Android patent licenses than its own platform. Limited international reach, a lack of equality in features until the Mango update, and an actively hostile retail base that often steers buyers towards Android or iPhones are all considered factors.

By Electronista Staff


  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Ballmer laughed at the iPhone

    I wonder if he is laughing now.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000


    The truth is...

    Microsoft never been a key player in mobile space, they try very very hard to push their Windows CE plateform for the last decade and they pull the plug killing all effort from third party developer. Microsoft fail to establish a legacy in many of their product beside Windows PC and Office PC, and now they come back with a new unfinished Mobile OS c*** made for mass market, stripped of all WinMo 6.5 enterprise features and Apps.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Here's An Idea ...

    "... and an actively hostile retail base that often steers buyers towards Android or iPhones are all considered factors."

    Did anyone ever imagine that one day retailers would be steering people AWAY from Microsoft products and TOWARD Apple and other folks' products? Steve Jobs did. Steve Ballmer didn't.

    Memo to Ballmer: instead of wasting money on your copy-cat Microsoft Stores, why not just rent cart space in malls to promote the Windows Phlop 7? That way you could park even closer to the Apple Stores ... literally half an aisle closer!

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000


    Re: Here's An Idea ...

    That look like the latest Microsoft ads I seen for the first time yesterday, where they bring a Microsoft Store in a household for a women to made up her choice on a expensive Sony Viao.

    Microsoft are in a strange position, they don't sale any product, they sold licences for OEM corp, so why Microsoft should sold third party product who licence their stuff? Once you buy something from a Microsoft store, which company customer are we? Can I bring an Samsung, LG, Sony computers or cell phone to a Microsoft store for service under warranty?

  1. bonzo77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    I like our strategy

    "I like it a lot. Right now we are selling millions and millions and millions of phones. Right now apple is selling zero. Let's see.".

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Ballmer's last act?

    Everyone keeps waiting for Ballmer to be fired or to be forcefully encouraged to retire. I think if Windows 8 is released as a hybrid desktop / tablet OS that is the "full Windows experience" on an ARM-based tablet, the board might be forced to kick him out.

    Ballmer clearly has no concept of where mobile technology is heading. And Apple is heading there so fast that the traditional Microsoft "copy whatever Apple does" strategy leaves them trailing. Badly.

    But what can Microsoft do? The vast majority of their profits are from legacy desktop PCs. Windows + Office. They're trapped. Burdened with backward compatibility. Locked into milking their corporate IT customers who themselves have been locked into Microsoft solutions for generations.

    Ballmer will, sooner or later, be replaced. Probably by an outsider in an attempt by Microsoft's board to shake things up. Bring in new blood. And he/she will end up like Carol Bartz at Yahoo. Beating a dead horse.

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