To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it has been the best of times and the worst of times at Microsoft. Overall, the software behemoth claims to be firmly in the black, reporting $4.93 billion in profit for the quarter ending March 31--a 65 percent spike year over year. Revenue rose 32 percent to $14.4 billion, thanks to voracious demand for Windows Vista, which was released in January, and Microsoft's evergreen suite of Office applications.
Unfortunately, while Microsoft's operating system demand was robust, revenue at its entertainment and devices division sagged like a perforated, unheated hot-air balloon during the quarter. The sector, which incorporates the company's Xbox 360, Games for Windows, Microsoft Game Studios, and Zune businesses, saw quarterly revenue slide 21 percent to just $929 million.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said that the entertainment and devices division's shortfall was not unexpected. He also claimed that Microsoft was still set to make its previously announced targets of selling 1 million Zunes during the company's fiscal year. Microsoft also still foresees shipping 12 million Xbox 360s by the end of the aforementioned period, which ends June 30.
For its full fiscal year, Microsoft now expects to rake in between $56.5 billion and $57.5 billion in revenue, with operating income expected to be in the range of $22.0 billion to $22.5 billion. During the quarter ending June 30, the fourth in its fiscal year, Microsoft anticipates some $13.1 billion to $13.4 billion in earnings.