Week in Microsoft: Q2 Earnings, Surface Pro Incoming, and Sweet Rumors

Microsoft This Week

After a quiet week, probably due to the CES hangover, Microsoft is back in full force. Top stories for this week includes a Microsoft bailout for Dell, record $21.5 billion Q2 revenue, and an official date for the imminent launch of the Surface Pro. Here are the summaries for the week of January 21st-27th:

Record Q2 Earnings, MSFT Forgot It’s Post-PC

arrowsApple wasn’t the only one posting recording earnings this week. Microsoft posted a recorded $21.5 billion in operating incomes for Q2 FY 2013. A 2.7 percent increase from the same period last year. Net income came in at $6.38 billion.

Despite a decline in PC sales last quarter, the Windows division tops $5.88 billion in revenues. The division’s performance is helped by the 60 million Windows 8 licenses that Microsoft announced they’ve sold to OEMs. Whether that will translate into actual hardware sales this quarter is still to be seen.

The Entertainment and Devices Division on the other hand took a sharp decrease in revenue. Only 5.9 million Xbox 360 consoles were sold during last quarter, a decrease of 28% compare to the same quarter last year. It’s about time for Microsoft to announce the Xbox 720.

Windows Phone, which is in the E&D division, saw an increase of $690 million this quarter due to strong license sales to partners like Nokia and HTC.

Microsoft Investing $3 Billion Into Dell

dellIn other financial news, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft is working on a deal to invest $3 billion which will take Dell private. Dell has been in talks with banks and private investors to finance a buy back from the public and become a private company.

The news has been a mixed message for PC makers. Could this move come back to bite Microsoft in the future as PC manufacturers are pushed away by Microsoft’s own ambitions?

The alternative is equally hard. Could it be feasible for Microsoft to let Dell cease into irrelevancy? The investors say no. Investors are looking at this move as just a deal and nothing more. In exchange for the deal, Dell could in the future offer signature PCs free of bloat-ware.

Mark Your Calendar for the Surface Pro

surface pro

Microsoft finally announced the launch date for the Surface Pro, mark your calendar for February 9th. This one has been long in the making. Microsoft promised it 3 months ago and finally it’s almost here.

The Surface Pro specs will pack a punch compared to its Surface RT sibling. It will run on an Intel 3rd-gen Core i5 with Intel HD 4000 graphics. The display will be a 10.1″ screen with full HD (1920×1080) resolution. Two front and rear facing 720p HD cameras. All that firepower however will result in a sacrifice of battery life. The Surface Pro battery life is estimated to be half of the Surface RT.

2013-01-27_022918Microsoft also announced new patterned keyboard accessories and a Surface-branded mouse for separate purchase. The Surface RT will also expand into 13 Europeans countries including: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

More information was leaked about the distribution locations. Costco is expected to carry the Surface RT according to an insider tip to WPCentral. That said, we have seen no further details on whether Costco will carry the Surface Pro.

Rumors: Lumia EOS and Lumia Laser

nokia lumia eos

rendered concept
(image credit – mynokiablog.com)

According to multiple sources, Nokia is working on a super flagship that could make their future Windows Phone 8 handset a killer device. Leaked by The Verge and WindowsPhonino, the ”Lumia EOS” will be a true successor to the 41 mega-pixel monster that the PureView 808 was.

The current Nokia Lumia 920 was expected to carry the 41MP PureView since the PureView 808 was launched six months prior. Sadly that wasn’t the case. However, if this rumor turns out to be true—which is very likely, the market for point-n-shoot cameras could dramatically decrease in the near future as more PureView-type smartphones flood the market.

The PureView 808 was the last Symbian phone Nokia made. It can capture images with quality that rivals mid-range DSLR cameras and also does loss-less zoom. I’ll leave the readers to their imagination when it comes to the PureView 808 sensor and the night shot performance of the Lumia 920.

Another yet rumored Nokia device this week was the Lumia Laser. This could be the Lumia 920 that is finally coming to Verizon after the 6 month exclusive deal with AT&T expires. However, more details point to an aluminum device instead of the poly-carbonate shell Nokia uses for most of their smartphones.

Software Updates

  • Microsoft finally caving into Google’s power play. Microsoft indicated that they will add support for IMAP, cardDAV and calDAV to their Windows Phone platform.
  • Outlook mail client is coming to the Surface RT
  • Windows Phone 7.8 SDK available for developers. Finally, the mysterious Apollo update is coming to last-gen Windows Phone 7.

That’s all this week, folks. Rest assured for another update next week.

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