Microsoft announces record holiday earnings for 2011

Microsoft has announced record earnings for the quarter ending Dec 31, 2011. Sales of Xbox 360 and Kinect were mentioned as “compelling” drivers in a holiday season that capped off the quarter with an overall company-wide revenue of $20.89 billion, 5% up on the same period last year. “In addition to the continued strength of our commercial business,” said COO Kevin Turner, “this holiday season was the strongest in Microsoft history.”

While the company saw growth in its Microsoft Business, Server & Tools and Online Services divisions (with only Windows & Windows Live posting a decline), the biggest surge was seen in the Entertainment & Devices Division, which posted a 15% revenue increase over the holiday quarter for 2010. Turner attributed much of the company's positive results to “good sales execution and compelling products like Xbox 360 and Kinect,” devices for which Microsoft boasts install bases of 66 million consoles and 18 million sensors respectively.

In light of the unexpectedly positive quarter, the company's posted revised expense projections for the next year, with expected operating expenses down $400,000. It'll be interesting to see whether the company can convert the past quarter's high uptakes into continued growth, both within the Xbox division and from new product lines.