Microsoft Says PCs May Have Missed Fourth-Quarter Estimates

Dina Bass, reporting for Bloomberg:

Microsoft Corp. said industrywide sales of personal computers will probably be lower than analysts had projected in the fourth quarter because supply was hurt by flooding in Thailand.

Analysts have estimated that total PC shipments fell about 1 percent in the quarter, Tami Reller, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Windows unit, said at an investment conference. The actual number is probably lower, she said. Bill Koefoed, Microsoft’s general manager of investor relations, echoed those remarks at a separate event.

This spin is a little too cute for my tastes. It seems like what Microsoft is trying to argue is that “PC sales” are down, and therefore Windows licensing sales are down, too. But sales of the Mac and iPad are up, not down, for the same quarter. It’s not “PC sales” that are down in the abstract, but Windows PC sales specifically.

Thursday, 12 January 2012