In spite of all the recent "Microsoft is dead" articles, it looks like the company is still quite alive, at least when you look at its just-reported Q1 fiscal 2011 results.
The company reported fiscal first quarter net income of $5.41 billion, or 62 cents a share, on revenue of $16.2 billion, up 25 percent from a year ago. Sales of Windows 7, Office 2010 and Xbox all contributed to the strong quarter.
A number of financial analysts and company watchers (including yours truly) have wondered whether the company's seeming lack of an immediate strategy to directly address the growth of the iPad and Android consumer slates would come back to bite it. Not too surprisingly, Microsoft officials are insisting that Windows PCs and tablets are what customers want and what they will get.
Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said during Microsoft's earnings call today that he was confident that the growth of tablets would expand the overall market for PCs. Bill Koefoed, head of Microsoft investor relations, said the company had not seen a "material shift" from low-end PCs to tablets. In other words, as Silicon Alley Insider paraphrased, "iPad? What iPad?"
Based on the latest numbers, it's easy to see why the Softies are claiming they aren't worried. Results for the combined Windows/Windows Live division were impressive -- even when they were adjusted for the deferral of $1.47 billion resulting from the Windows 7 upgrade program. (That program involved sales of Windows 7 to OEMs and retailers before general availability to consumers in October 2009.)
According to the company's breakout:
"Microsoft estimated that total worldwide PC shipments from all sources grew approximately 9% to 11%. OEM revenue increased $1.8 billion or 93%. Including revenue and units associated with the Windows 7 Deferral in the prior year, OEM revenue increased $364 million or 11%, while OEM license units increased 5%. The OEM revenue increase was driven by PC market growth, PC market strength among business customers, and the mix of versions of Windows licensed, partially offset by lower Windows attach rates in China and year-over-year changes in inventory in our distribution channels. Other revenue increased $125 million or 13%, driven primarily by commercial and retail sales of Windows 7."
Microsoft execs continue to insist that there are slates/tablets in the pipeline from a variety of partners, some of which will debut this year and some next year.