Microsoft earning over $1bn a week

Raking it in
Raking it in

He may have left the building but, as Microsoft's biggest single shareholder, ex-CEO Bill Gates won't be feeling the credit crunch in his retirement. His old company has just announced revenues of over $60 billion (£30 billion) in the year ending June 30 – an increase of 18 per cent over last year.

Growth was driven by continued demand for the full range of Microsoft's products, from the latest versions of its server software to the Xbox 360 console and games – and even the much-maligned Windows Vista operating system, which has sold a frankly incredible 180 million licences since its launch in early 2007.

The $60 billion dollar question

"Delivering $60 billion in annual revenue is an outstanding accomplishment and a testament to the powerful combination of great technology solutions and strong execution by our partners and global sales and marketing teams," gushed Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft.

Such a strong year will give Microsoft a financial boost in its negotiations to swallow up Yahoo, which is stalled while Yahoo insists on a $33 a share deal, a ten-buck premium over its current trading value.

Microsoft's Turner expects revenues to grow again this year, reaching at least $67 billion (£33.5 billion) by next June.

That's despite increasing anecdotal evidence that open source and online software is nibbling away at Microsoft's core portfolio: the Telegraph group decided yesterday to move 1,400 of its journalists and staff from Microsoft's Office suite to Google Apps.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.