Amy Good, Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer, speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Nigel, California, on October 2, 2018.
Philip Pharaoh | Getty Images
Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood admitted on Tuesday that she had found a way to talk about the success of her long-running Windows operating system, whose revenue growth has skyrocketed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is understandable because personal computers do not attract as much attention as new technologies – such as cryptocurrencies or augmented reality.
But Windows, which began in 1985, still brings Microsoft tens of billions of dollars a year in very lucrative revenue, with more than 1.4 billion devices running Windows 10 since 2015 or last year’s Windows 11. Windows accounted for nearly 80 percent of the market. in 2021. , compared to about 11% for Chrome OS with Google support and 8% for MacOS from Apple, according to IDC technology researcher.
After Satya Nadel replaced Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, the company shifted its focus from Windows, deciding to highlight its cross-platform services and cloud infrastructure.
But the story that Windows is a key revenue factor for the company became known during the pandemic. In 2020, Microsoft said that people spend much more time on Windows 10, and revenue remained the same in 2022. In the fourth quarter, revenue from Windows grew by almost 20%.
Hood emphasizes the power of Windows during Microsoft’s revenue calls, and the last two have advertised faster-than-expected sales growth for device makers, thanks to a strong PC market, especially commercial devices that bring in more revenue from each license.
On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss at the firm’s technology, media and telecommunications conference asked Hood about her sudden “more positive tone” about PCs during recent earnings calls.
“I had to talk about Windows,” said Microsoft’s chief financial officer.
“The usefulness of this device and my inability to accurately explain it can be a problem, people are only now realizing, ‘Wow, it’s just clear Windows matters.’ No, ‘said Hood,’ I’ve just figured out how to talk about it. And so in reality the device with the big screen over the last couple of years has reminded everyone of the role it plays. Have more PCs for households and spend more time behind PCs.
“We continue to see this even with the hybrid. And so there is work to be done. And it plays a big part in many of the work that needs to be done.”
The rise of Windows has also benefited other parts of Microsoft’s business, such as consumer subscriptions to Office 365, search advertising, Internet browser and game market share, she said.
“This is the form where any form of review I received this year should say, ‘She forgot to talk about Windows for a long time.’ And now we’re going to fix that because you see it in users, you see it in use, you see it in the market, ”Hood said.
Shortages of supplies have cut sales of Windows, as well as PC Surface and Xbox consoles for months, and on Tuesday she said that although restrictions are still present, device manufacturers are stepping up.
“I’m an optimist,” she said. “I’m more optimistic about what Windows can mean to the user. Now we can continue to improve, integrate more, do what you like, easier. For me, it’s Excel. For others, maybe something else is fun.”
WATCH: Microsoft announces new app store principles