- Microsoft is divided into five segments. The Windows & Windows Live Division gets 75% of its revenue from selling Windows to computer manufacturers, to be pre-installed for end users. The remaining 25% comes from sale of miscellaneous hardware products and online advertising on Windows Live.
- In the Windows Division, most growth over the last year was business sales (+11%) while consumer purchases went down (-1%). A substantial part of the drop in consumer PC sales was from netbooks (-32%).
- Employee severance expenses were $59 million in 2010 and $330 million in 2009. Why the huge change? Microsoft: "In January 2009, we announced and implemented a resource management program to reduce discretionary operating expenses, employee headcount, and capital expenditures."
- Research and Development costs took up 15% of Microsoft's revenue, or $9.0 billion, in 2011. That investment is well-protected -- by 26,000 U.S. and international patents, and another 36,000 pending.
- Kinect for Xbox 360 is the fastest-selling consumer electronics device; confirmed by Guinness World Records.
- If you'd bought $100 of Microsoft stock in June 2006, six years later it would be worth $122.71 (compare to $115.61 for the S&P Index, or $157.48 for the Nasdaq Computer Index).
What, if anything, does this say about the corporation and its future? Microsoft's product focus is split between entertainment/gaming and business services, while the company's prior breadwinner - bundling software with new PCs - is taking a back seat. As stated in a note from their CEO, Steven Ballmer: "increasingly, we will view ourselves as a devices and services company." It sounds closer to Mattel than the Evil Empire. Regardless, Microsoft's diverse selection of both patents and products provides a foothold to compete against intimidating rivals like Google, Apple, and Salesforce.com.