In the second quarter of Microsoft's fiscal 2014 (the fourth calendar year of 2013), the company exceeded expectations to post a significant rise in revenue and profits over the same period last year. On $24.52 billion in revenue, Microsoft achieved $6.56 billion in net income, both of which are a rise on last year's $6.38 billion net income from $21.46 billion in revenue.
In the earnings report, Microsoft revealed that they managed to ship 3.9 million Xbox One consoles in the quarter, which is slightly less than the 4.2 million PlayStation 4s Sony shipped in 2013. The Xbox One was the top selling console in the United States in December, which could be due to low PlayStation 4 stock at many retail locations, but nevertheless the next-gen console battle remains quite close.
Revenue from Microsoft's tablet line, Surface, more than doubled in the quarter, rising from $400 million last quarter to $893 million. Sales were likely boosted by the release of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, which featured similar designs to their predecessors, but packed more powerful internals and other refinements including Windows 8.1 out-of-the-box.
Bing income increased thanks to more users using the search engine over market-leader Google, and although Office and Windows revenues fell, Microsoft was glad to report 3.5 million Office 365 Home Premium subscribers. The "soft" PC market is having an effect on the Redmond company, but the diverse product range of Microsoft seems to be carrying it quite well.
The Xbox One is the successor to Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console. It features an eight-core x86 CPU with more than 5 billion transistors, 8GB of system memory and a 500GB hard drive. The system includes a Blu-ray drive, 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI In/Out and USB 3.0. Every Xbox One ships with a Kinect and with this generation Microsoft is pushing to become a de facto TV companion going beyond gaming.
The Surface 2 is the follow up of last year’s Surface tablet from Microsoft. The Surface 2 is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and comes in two versions versions, 32GB and 64GB of storage with 2GB of RAM. Last but not least, the Surface 2 packs USB 3.0 and HD video out.
The Surface Pro 2 is powered by an Intel Haswell processor and comes in different versions, 64GB and 128GB of storage with 4GB of RAM, as well as 256GB and 512GB editions with 8GB of RAM. The Surface Pro 2 is the follow up to last year’s Surface tablet from Microsoft sporting USB 3.0 and a mini DisplayPort ports.
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