The only news these days about Microsoft is all bad: Its terrible quarter, lagging Windows 8 sales, the Surface's flameout, and an inability to gain much mobile traction. But it's reality check time: This is a company that will continue to rake in tens of billions of dollars annually for as long as anyone can see.
I've certainly written my share of recent stories pointing out Microsoft's shortcomings, including a potentially dying consumer market for the company, continuing bad news with the Surface, the growth of Chromebooks eating into Windows 8 sales, and more.
They're all true. So is Microsoft ending its fiscal year with a not particularly good earnings report. And Microsoft itself has warned that Windows sales in the next quarter could decline by 15 percent.
Put it all together, and you might imagine a company on the brink of irrelevancy and insolvency.
But take even a cursory look at Microsoft's most recent earnings, and you see just how solid the company is. For the quarter ending June 30, it had $19.9 billion in revenue, up from $18.1 billion a year previous. So why was the quarter such a bad one? Because analysts had expected revenue of $20.7 billion. As for net income, it was $4.97 billion, $0.59 per share. A year previous the company had a net loss of $492 million, and a loss per share of $0.06.
Think of it: Nearly $20 billion in revenue, and $5 billion in net profit for a single quarter, and the world predicts a company's demise.
It's easy to forget that Microsoft still has a near monopoly on traditional computers, a near monopoly on productivity suites, whopping sales in servers and tools such as SQL Server, and a near stranglehold on enterprises worldwide.
None of those businesses are going away. Microsoft will continue to reap billions in revenues and profits every year for as long as anyone can predict. True, it's struggling mightily in mobile, and still hasn't made serious inroads into Google's search dominance. But Microsoft still has a shot making headway in both markets, with mobile success more likely than in search.
But even if it doesn't, Microsoft is not going away any time soon. It will continue to rack up billions in sales and profits, and while doing that, remain the tech universe's favorite whipping boy.