Microsoft has stunned the market after recording its first loss in more than two decades, announcing it would lose $US492 million in the fourth quarter of the year.
This comes after recording a $US5 billion profit last year.
While the loss is mostly attributed to a $US6 billion writedown of advertising group aQuantive, which the company purchased in $US6.3 billion, it’s also been partly attributed to a deferral of revenue to the tune of $US540 million.
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That deferral comes because of an offer to have users upgrade to Windows 8 for just $US40. The software launches in late October.
The Windows and Windows Live division also saw revenue fall by 13%, with profit down 18%.
The Business division of the company continued to lead, with Office as its main product. The success in that department has helped the company sustain demand even as PC sales fall.