Microsoft delivers first quarterly loss

Microsoft has announced its first quarterly loss in its stock market history after it wrote off billions for its online advertising business

Microsoft had already prepared the ground for its first ever quarterly loss after it revealed it was writing off some of its Aquantive online advertising business to the tune of $6.2bn (£3.94bn).

The vendor told markets about that move a few weeks ago so the revelation that for the quarter that ended in June it had made a $492m loss came without the surprise it might have been expected to have been accompanied by.

The firm has never reported a quarterly loss since it joined the stock market but the deal for Aquantive, which it paid $6.3bn for, was torpedoed when it could not compete with market giant Google.

Revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter increased by 4% to $18bn and the vendor was putting the emphasis on what is to come rather than what has been with Surface and Windows 8 some of the highlights of its next fiscal year.

"We’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO at Microsoft.

“Over the coming year, we’ll release the next versions of Windows, Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and many other products and services that will drive our business forward and provide unprecedented opportunity to our customers and partners," he added.

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