Thursday, April 19, 2012

Microsoft FY12Q3 Results

Isn't this the best time ever to be in tech! I love it. And I love profits, too!

I know, I just lost half of you there.

But it's amazing. The amount of competition and change and adoption makes me nothing but giddy. If you're a PlayStation fan-boy then you have to at least love the competition Xbox brings to make PS better. And same for Xbox. Same for Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The competition between iOS, Android, and Windows is awesome, especially if you're a developer or service being wooed day-in and day-out.

Inside Microsoft, we'll constantly flagellate ourselves about how other competitors are leapfrogging us. But it's good to see, starting way back when I said Microsoft Has Turned The Corner, the amount of collaborative integration that has happened to make the whole far greater than the sum of the parts. A snippet from that post from near three years ago:

Redemption takes a while. Time is needed to allow perception to change and to re-earn trust and respect.

Windows 7 re-earned trust and respect. Windows 8 is a big turning point. It's not perfect. It's no true iPad compete story: it's different. However, it would not have existed without the iPad. Thank you, Apple. RIP Steve. It's a big reboot of the Windows developer story in a way that is fresh and semi-consistent, visually, across phone and Xbox (and slowly across our web properties, too).

Our developer story is still concerning. Windows 8 is blazing it's own trail, which is different than WP and different than Xbox. For now. It's not that I want to write the same app between all the platforms, but I do want no-friction traversal for a Dev to start on one, have a great idea, and switch over and start on the other, without muttering, "WTF, this is completely different." We have a chance to get there and that vision needs to be revealed soon.

Consistency is one thing, quality is another. I was reading that HBR article about Steve Jobs leadership lessons and the first thing I thought about it: Steve Jobs would not have let almost any of those new Xbox apps ship. He would have torn them to pieces. I think this is a case where we so desperately wanted out partners to support the new Metro that we gave in to mediocrity. And once it's there, it's there for good. This is where we really need to clamp down or what is prime real-estate is going to turn into a flea market.

So anyway, how are we doing? I'd say we're on the upswing with endless challenges. We turned the corner and did indeed manage to get out of the bad side of town. Profits are up, people are writing appreciative come-back articles, and I really don't have much of an ax to grind (well, except for the premier software company being completely incapable of creating an enlightened review model, let alone lately keep some key young talent). Go-go-Microsoft!

Some links on today's earnings:

See you next quarter!

-- Comments