Win8 sales 'solid,' help Microsoft post record revenue

There's been a lot of doom and gloom about Windows 8's popularity lately, but judging by Microsoft's latest quarterly results, at least some of the negativity was unjustified. The software giant is touting record revenue for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on December 31, 2012, including revenue growth of 24% for its Windows Division.

Here are the revenue and net income figures for Microsoft as a whole:

  Q2 FY'12 Q1 FY'13 Q2 FY'13
Revenue $20.89 billion $16.01 billion $21.5 billion
Net income $6.62 billion $4.47 billion $6.38 billion

And here's a breakdown of revenue for each one of Microsoft's main divisions:

  Q2 FY'12 Q1 FY'13 Q2 FY'13
Windows Division
$4.74 billion $3.24 billion $5.88 billion
Server and Tools $4.77 billion $4.55 billion $5.19 billion
Online Services
$0.78 billion $0.70 billion $0.87 billion
Microsoft Business
$6.28 billion $5.50 billion $5.70 billion
Entertainment and Devices
$4.24 billion $1.95 billion $3.77 billion

The Windows division's Q2 FY'13 figure includes deferred revenue from Windows 8 pre-sales, by the way, which means there's more than a quarter of sales in there. If you take pre-sales out of the equation, the Windows Division saw somewhat less impressive revenue growth of 11%.

What about unit sales? Microsoft says more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold "to date." To put that in perspective, after the (similarly timed) Windows 7 launch, Microsoft said over 60 million Windows 7 licenses had been sold "through the second quarter [of its 2010 fiscal year]." Note the difference in time scales—"to date" vs. "through the second quarter." It sounds like Windows 8 took a few extra weeks to reach the same milestone as its predecessor.

Nevertheless, according to Reuters, Windows revenue for this past quarter was "slightly ahead of analysts' average expectations." The news agency also downplays the dip in the Business Division's sales, quoting Edward Jones analyst Josh Olson as saying, "It's a pause before a product launch, which is typical." Office 2013 has already hit release-to-manufacturing status, but it's not scheduled to hit stores until some time later this quarter.

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