Windows Phone worth $600 million to Microsoft

The Seattle PI has been digging through Microsoft's financials for 2011 and come up with a number for how much Windows Phone (and Windows Mobile) is worth to Microsoft - some $600 million.

The Seattle PI has been digging through Microsoft's financials for 2011 and come up with a number for how much Windows Phone (and Windows Mobile) is worth to Microsoft - some $600 million.

This number is the result of taking the $8.716 billion revenue from the Entertainment and Devices Division and subtracting from that $8.103 billion of Xbox revenue. Everything else adds up to $613 million.

Note: This $613 million number not only includes Windows Phone and Windows Mobile, but also Zune, Mediaroom, Surface and other hardware.

Microsoft's Windows Phone platform debuted last November in the US, so bear in mind that for nearly half of the fiscal year Microsoft was having to make do selling the old Windows Mobile platform.

Microsoft has been very cagey about how well Windows Phone has done (we’ve had all sort of numbers from Microsoft, but no actual sales figures). In fact, the most telling official word we've had is from CEO Steve Ballmer who, when referring to Windows Phone, said "in a year, we've gone from very small to ... very small." Then there was the whole update debacle that left some handsets bricked. Even offering a Windows Phone 7 handset for $0.01 hasn’t seemed to have helped boost user share.

Now, $600 million might seem dismal when set alongside what the iOS is pulling in for Apple ($13.3 billion from the iPhone in the last quarter alone). But while Apple has its ducks in a row when it comes to platform and ecosystem and as such is in a position to reap those rewards, it's still early days for Microsoft. Things will change ...

And we should start to see things turn around for Windows Phone when Microsoft’s deal with Nokia to become a major OEM for the brand actually results in phones going on sale. In exchange for the company’s loyalty, Microsoft is allowing Nokia to customize the Windows Phone OS so we might see some interesting innovation (then again, we might not ...). Right now it seems that Nokia’s first Windows Phone handset will be similar to its N9 flagship handset.

So, sure, $600 million is nothing compared to Apple, but then right now nothing compares to Apple. For an embryonic platform with a developing app ecosystem, I don't think that Windows Phone has done that badly, all things considered.