Microsoft officials have talked in the past about the company's billion-dollar business club -- the handful of product groups that regularly contribute a billion dollars or more to the company's coffers.
(Some of these billion-dollar contributors are now up to $2 billion, such as the SharePoint unit, as its leaders said publicly last week.)
Microsoft's Server and Tools Business currently houses six of the $1 billion businesses, according to STB's chief financial officer Curt Anderson. Anderson addressed attendees of UBS' Global Technology Conference on November 15.
The six STB businesses generating $1 billion each, according to Anderson:
- Windows Server
- System Center
- SQL Server
- Visual Studio
- Desktop access business (remote desktop services/desktop virtualization)
- Enterprise services business (consulting and support)
The first four already were on Microsoft's previously disclosed $1 billion list -- as were a number of non-STB businesses, including Windows, Office, Xbox, Unified Communications; SharePoint; Dynamics (ERP & CRM); and online display/search advertising. Desktop access was on Microsoft's list of up-and-comers in 2010. And I'd assume Office 365 is on the $1 billion list, as well, by this point, as Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner made it clear earlier this year that Office 365 was well on its way to surpassing SharePoint as Microsoft's fastest-selling product ever. (Turner also said he'd personally intervene in sales when necessary to avoid losing any Office 365 deals to the competition.)
The enterprise services business mentioned in the STB list above is not Global Foundation Services, i.e., the team that runs the Microsoft datacenters powering Office 365, Azure, Bing, Xbox Live, etc. GFS is part of Microsoft's Online Services Division, not STB. However, Enterprise Services is responsible for supporting some of these Microsoft-hosted services.
Recently, in fact, the Windows Azure team blogged about a revamp of its support offerings to include five different support options, ranging from free, to high-end/premium, for Azure. When I asked Microsoft officials what changed in terms of previous Azure support and these new tiers, a spokesperson said "the previous support offerings were limited in comparison and only provided basic support with no mechanism for faster response times or proactive engagement without a separate Premier contract."
What's likely to be among the next Microsoft businesses to cross the $1 billion threshhold? If STB officials have their way (and internal projections are met), Embedded (which became part of STB back in 2010) could be added to the list.
From a job posting on the Microsoft site: "If you like working in a growing team that delivers solutions to the world of embedded devices and has an aggressive goal of reaching $1 billion in revenue in the near future, the Windows Embedded team is the perfect place for you!"
Guess it's not too hard to see why STB is now the second largest business unit at Microsoft (after Office)....