back to article Microsoft records first ever revenue drop

Microsoft's reported its first ever drop in year-on-year revenue thanks to a combination of deteriorating PC sales and increased uptake of cheap netbooks. Revenue for its third fiscal quarter fell six per cent to $13.65bn, the company said Thursday, while net income plummeted 32 per cent to $2.98 bn. Earnings per share dropped …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Nice try!

    "The Windows 7 Starter edition planned for netbooks will only run three applications, and will not include Windows Media Center, the Aero interface or the ability to create multiple networks. Microsoft said it believes users will want this on a notebook running Windows 7 Home Premium"

    Trying to stir up some commentard rage? Even stupid f*cking Microshaft wouldn't be f*cking stupid enough to foist that one on netbook owners in established markets given that we now all know just how capable netbooks really are (you should see some of the things I thrown at my NC10!). As I vaguely recall recently reading here on El Reg, Win7Se is not just for netbooks but for any PC in emerging markets with little cash to spend on the full thing. A fact you conveniently forgot to mention!

    Still, with that in mind no doubt the Wintards, Mac fanbois and Linux geeks (Me? I'm still an Amigan at heart!) will be falling over themselves to slag each other off! So, mission accomplished I guess!

    Naughty Reg, stop whacking the bee hive!!

  2. James O'Brien
    Gates Horns

    Re: Microsoft Says...

    "Which it's trying to do. The Windows 7 Starter edition planned for netbooks will only run three applications, and will not include Windows Media Center, the Aero interface or the ability to create multiple networks. Microsoft said it believes users will want this on a notebook running Windows 7 Home Premium."

    Uhhh.....No! I could care less about the other stuff but the 3 application limit I can use up just by turning it on. Even on systems that arnt much better then netbooks sometimes in terms of specs I use more then that in about a minute so ill pass


  3. Anonymous Coward


    That's really all I have to say.

  4. Martin Owens

    My Job, made easy

    Do they know how easy it's going to be to convince netbook users who get shafted with this stuff to move over to Ubuntu?

    I'm looking forward to windows 7 already.

  5. Herby

    Oh, well. Better luck next year!

    Maybe they can use some of their CA$H to help the rest of the world. They seem to have a bit in their money bin to pay off everyone that gets in their way.

    Maybe Windows 8 will be the money maker. If it exists, or gets off the ground. Time will tell.

  6. Rob Moss
    Thumb Up

    Drop in revenue

    Nothing to do with their latest O/S being an unusable pile of rubbish that have caused a large number of potential buyers to switch sides to Mac or Netbooks running Linux?

    I would like to see the 07, 08 and 09 profits compared for

    - Apple

    - Asus / Acer / etc netbooks

    - Microsoft

    I would bet my left leg that we would see Apple and the Netbook manufacturers rising sharply, and Microsoft falling steadily!

  7. Roger Greenwood

    "will only run three applications simultaneously"

    Is the most stupid idea yet. This will cause much wailing and knashing of teeth for ordinary users. Go for it. People reading the tech. press won't be affected, as they won't get caught out, but Jane Average will.

  8. Phil Lewis

    Media Centre

    Who, on earth, would want to view media on a netbook?

    - Off to NOT watch some media on my Acer Aspire One with mplayer on Ubuntu.

  9. Geoff Mackenzie

    Oh dear

    "The Windows 7 Starter edition planned for netbooks will only run three applications simultaneously"

    I just don't even know what to say to that. Astonishing.

  10. mike


    Doesn't windows Mobile V4 (CE) allow more than 3 apps at a time ? Sounds like W7 is just too bloated to run on a net-book. Sounds like windows is going to be a memory guzzler for ever more.

    Ubuntu 8.10 runs amazingly, with desktop effects on the Aspire One. I installed it for a colleague at work, so that he could run VLC, and a host of other applications ... at the same time.

  11. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Not radical enough...

    The 3 apps limit is only the start...

    The Linux 5th column designing the coming IE Basick will only allow one tab to be open at any time, to save cycles and discourage indiscriminate and wilfully non-profit-making surfing.

    (Paris cos she's indiscriminate and wilfully non-profit-making...)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phew, it's a good job nobody's buying them pricey Apples

    oh, wait...

  13. Joey
    Jobs Halo


    "The Windows 7 Starter edition planned for netbooks will only run three applications simultaneously"

    So after the anti-virus and security packages load, what else can you do? I suppose that not being able to run a browser or email program when the security programs have loaded will enhance their effectiveness.

    Apple +15% : Microsoft -6%

  14. Anonymous Coward


    I seriously feel sorry for these guys. They dont deserve to be losing money. Its just not fair!

  15. Roger Greenwood

    "The Linux 5th column"

    Sounds as if they are well embedded.

    Why would MS shoot themselves in the foot when they could simply ensure that they discharge a high speed projectile perpendicular to the ground directly above a lower limb appendage?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure that the starter edition will only allow 3 apps at a time to make it a less desirable and so a cheaper option, nothing to do with hardware or bloat.

  17. Tom Cooke

    Three applications

    Haven't we all misunderstood? It's not "only three applications simultaneously", it's "only three applications will run on this OS - IE, MS Office, and Lookout". ***Falls off chair chortling ***

  18. Anonymous Coward


    ...Did nobody read my first comment (the first comment)?? You've all just fallen for the work of a troll... only, in this instance, the troll is the writer of the article!!

  19. Steve

    The world's smallest violin

    Can you hear it.... I can't, nor do I care.

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    It is a genuine shame...

    I am the first to bash MS but it is a little bit of a shame.

    When the world was young and innocent, MS could "borrow" a few ideas and instantly they wowed PC owners back in the day. A usable, graphical interface on a commodity PC? Only Apple, Amiga and Atari ST did GUIs on the desktop! ( No Gem on x86 does not count! )

    So even when Win95 was still causing as much trouble as Vista, we showed patience, we know that Bill would set us on the righteous path once more to PC nirvana.

    Then as the luster of XP has started to ware off and we get a slight peek of what's really going on under all that gloss we find that really MS were just lucky, like Jesus, like the Beatles, the Spice Girls and our own beloved Paris H. You got there first, you made the scene, then we all simply got bored with you!

    Give it 5 years, I'm sure the chair-chucker and his best mate ( does a lot of work for charidy, doesn't like to talk about it! ) will come back with something stunning and capture our hearts once more, but in the meantime I am off to carry on being productive with my overpriced but so-now-it's-already-yesterday, Steve J toy!

  21. EC

    Media on a netbook @Phil Lewis

    Well my hp mininote 2133 manages a bit of iPlayer and youtube well enough, with good sound and a good screen by portable standards. It will even play the odd .avi file.

  22. Julian
    Paris Hilton


    Microsoft are really getting the hang of shooting them selfs in the foot. Just when you think they might have learned some lessons after the debacle that was Windows Vista they manage it with Netbooks and Windows 7 Starter Edition (3 applications lol) D'oh!

    Paris cos she likes a lot more than 3 at the one time ;)

  23. Lewis Mettler

    another law suit coming

    No doubt Microsoft is planning to place those "restrictions" on the use of the NetBook unless you are willing to pay another $30 or so. Then viola, even the Microsoft netbook works like it should.

    It is called fraudulently selling a deliberately crippled system in order to get the customers money and then if they do pay more they finally get what was advertised.

    It is going to be the "vista capable" law suit all over again. Or, just fraudulent business practices.

  24. P. Lee

    3 App Troll?

    Or has someone been on a govt spin course. Trail something horrific so that when its revealed as only appalling people don't mind.

    I have a notebook. Netbook not required.

  25. Edward Miles

    I'm going to feel dirty...

    ...But a slight defence of Microsoft.

    Yes, you are only going to be allowed three apps running at a time, but:

    This does not include: antivirus, cmd, tskmgr, "Widgets" or (most importantly imo) explorer windows.

    You can have as many copies of one program open as you want. e.g. 5 MSN windows, Three firefox windows and Microsoft office.

    I'd still never use it, especially not with the plethora of designed-for-netbook Linux distros being released. But I feel people should not laugh at Microsoft's idiocy without knowing the facts. They should learn the facts THEN laugh at MSs idiocy!

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Glad I'm a penguin

    ... you don't need to worry about money when you don't have any pockets

  27. Dan

    @Edward Miles

    Interesting comment you make. So, if someone comes up with a lightweight sandbox-type thingy, could you run 6 instances of it, each containing a different productivity application...? Then again, as already implied by others, the people with the inclination to run something like that would avoid starter edition in the first place...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    <insert shoulder shrug here>

    Every time I think M$ has done hit rock bottom, in the stupid ideas department, some damn fool manages to find a shovel and starts digging deeper.

    They need to get some fresh blood in executive ranks; people who are willing to risk "wowing" the public and get us semi-interested again.

  29. mittfh


    Does that include or exclude explorer.exe and svchost.exe? :)

    Perhaps it can do a bit more, but they're downplaying as a major hint to manufacturers to avoid the Vista Basic fiasco (an OS which is still widely shipped on cheap 'puters).

    Meanwhile, if versions are already starting to appear on torrent networks, it'll give hackers plenty of time to perfect WGA circumvention by the time the real thing ships :)

    Oh, and the whole "back everything up and reinstall from scratch" tickles me...about six months ago the Mandriva 2008.1 --> 2009.0 update was offered over Software Updates (and hopefully in about a week's time, 2009.0 --> 2009.1). A couple of hours later, with virutally no user interaction apart from one reboot at the very end, and I'd got a new version of the OS on my box. Somehow I can't imagine MS offering Win 7 --> Win 8 over Windows Updates...

    Never mind the fact that "Windows 7" is pure marketing hyperbole - only this time they armtwisted the developers to extend it into the internal version number. From what I've seen in reviews of milestones to date, it's really 6.1 under the hood...

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