Microsoft today posted its earnings results for the fourth quarter of financial year 2011.

  • Revenue was $17.37 billion, a record for the fourth quarter, 8 percent higher than the same period last year.
  • Operating income and net income were $6.17 billion and $5.87 billion, increases of 4 percent and 30 percent year on year,
  • Earnings per share were 69¢, a 35 percent increase on the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the year as a whole:

  • Revenue was $69.94 billion, up 12 percent on 2010.
  • Operating income and net income was $27.16 billion and $23.15 billion, representing growth of 13 percent and 23 percent respectively.
  • Earnings per share rose 28 percent, to $2.69.

Highlights were the Entertainment and Devices Division, the group that incorporates Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and Windows Phone – Quarterly revenue was $1.49 billion, up 30 percent year over year – fuelled largely by the strength of Xbox 360 and Kinect. For the year as a whole, revenue was up 45 percent over 2010 to $8.91 billion.

Server and Tools posted strong figures with revenue for the quarter of $4.64 billion, up 12 percent year on year, and full year revenue of $17.10 billion, up 11 percent for the year. This growth was attributed to Windows Server, System Center, and SQL Server.

Online services revenue grew by 17 percent year on year to $662 million for the quarter. Full year revenue was $2.56 billion, up 15 percent. The growth came on the back of a 20 percent increase in advertising revenue, primarily driven by search. The division continues to make losses, however, and in spite of the revenue growth, the losses also grew, up 9 percent to $2.55 billion. Profitability for Online Services remains elusive.

It was overall a great year for Microsoft. Now we know why Steve Ballmer was so confident. 🙂

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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