Microsoft Posts First Loss As Public Company

Microsoft is set to release new phone software and a new web-oriented version of its Office suite of applications [AFP]

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, has reported its first quarterly loss as a public company as it took a previously announced hit for writing down the value of its ailing online unit.

The Redmond, Washington-based company reported a net loss of $492m on Thursday, or 6 cents per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $5.87bn, or 69 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding the multibillion-dollar write-down, which was signalled earlier this month, and factoring in some deferred Windows revenue, the company actually exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, boosting its shares in after-market trading.

“It looks good, given the dicey economic environment and the weakness we already know about in PCs,” Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, said.

After several years of stumbling behind mobile and Internet trailblazers Apple Inc and Google Inc, and a decade-long static share price, some expectation is building that Microsoft can re-establish itself as a tech leader with its new, touch-friendly Windows 8 system, due out on October 26, and an accompanying tablet of its own design.

Read the whole story: Aljazeera

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