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January 24, 2014

No Balls-up at Microsoft

Steve Ballmer can leave with his head held high(er).

By CBR Staff Writer

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can leave on a relative high, with the firm beating predictions to report a 14% increase in revenue to $24.5bn for its latest quarter.

The search for new CEO began after the company announced the impending departure of Ballmer in August 2013, and reports suggest that the company is near to finding his successor.

But despite a widely-acknowledged failure to move more quickly on mobile devices, Ballmer may leave the company in better shape than believed, with its devices and consumer segment growing 13% to $11.91bn.

Revenue for its tablet device, the Surface, more than doubled to $893m in the second quarter compared to $400m in the first quarter, while commercial revenue was up 10% to $12.67bn.

During the second quarter, Microsoft delivered 7.4 million Xbox console units, which includes 3.9 million Xbox One consoles and 3.5 million Xbox 360 consoles.

Ballmer said the company’s commercial segment continues to outpace the overall market, and its devices and consumer segment had a great holiday quarter.

"The investments we are making in devices and services that deliver high-value experiences to our customers, and the work we are doing with our partners, are driving strong results and positioning us well for long-term growth," Ballmer added.

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Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, saw its share of the search market jump to 18.2%, while it experienced 34% growth in search advertising revenue for the period.

Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said the company delivered record revenue as demand for business offerings remains high.

"These results reflect our focus on execution, cost discipline, and long-term shareholder value as we continue to drive the strategic transformation of the company," Hood said.

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