Roland Dürre
Saturday July 25th, 2009

Microsoft, Disappointing Amazon…?

That is the message the heading and content of the central article on page one of today’s Süddeutsche conveys.

What happened? At Microsoft, the turnout has dropped by 17 % to 13.1 billion dollars. The profit plummeted by 29 % to 3.1 billion dollars. At least, the profit is still a quarter of the turnout! An analyst says that the numbers are truly a disappointment.

But what is so disastrous about this? To be sure, we all know that Vista was not a business success, which is why customers are waiting for Windows 7, which allegedly will be available in October.

But that is part of the deal, isn’t it? You must be entitled to develop a model that is not immediately a huge success on the market. And Microsoft getting competition from Google and Apple is also not such a bad thing.

Mircosoft is now 34 years old and has performed like no other software company since it went public around 20 years ago. Isn’t Microsoft, too, allowed to take a break once in a while?
Further down it says in the SZ: “Adding to the disappointing numbers of Microsoft, there is the balance of Amazon. Amazon had a turnout of 4.7 billion dollars (that is a surplus of 14 %), while the profit decreased by 10 % (!) to 142 million dollars.

Being an Amazon customer myself, I actually feel how Amazon takes pains to keep on its course of expansion. Naturally, that costs money. The reasons given in the SZ are that “in the video game department of Amazon, real hits are sadly missing” and “a lawsuit involving Toys’R’ US also has a detrimental influence on the balance“.

Well, in the end I look upon the world with plenty of serenity. In fact, I cannot concur with what the article initially says about “the two IT companies have thus quenched all hope of a fast recovery in the technology sector“.

In my opinion, this is a careless and unjustified conclusion. Incidentally, the hope of a fast recovery was based on the fact that IBM, Apple, Ebay and Yahoo presented good balances this year.

However, thinking that the “wreck premium” cost 5 billion Euros in half a year and comparing this number with the yearly turnout of Microsoft and Amazon (in USD) really gives me pause. It seems like we in Germany have now lost all our understanding of big numbers.

(Translated by EG)

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