Microsoft profit dips on Windows 8 investment

Microsoft has reported a dip in profit as it increased marketing investment to boost sales and awareness of its Windows 8 operating system.

windows 8

The technology company launched Windows 8 in October as it looked to bring its software more in line with the touch and app-based technology of rivals such as Apple and Google.

The launch was backed with a series of global marketing campaigns which it said would help the brand “break from the past” and be more “motivating”, “emotional” and “culturally relevant” than previous campaigns. Investment in sales and marketing in the three months to 31 December rose 14.5 per cent year on year to $4.3bn (£2.7bn).

The increased investment in marketing appears to have dented short term profit from the launch. Although Microsoft reported record revenue of $21.5bn (£13.6bn) – up 2.7 per cent year on year – profit fell 3.7 per cent to $6.4bn (£4.1bn). Microsoft says it has sold more than 60 million Windows 8 licences since launch.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive, says: “Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers. With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.”

Elsewhere, rival Samsung also reported results today (25 January). The Korean company’s profits surged 76 per cent to 7 trillion won (£4.2bn), which it owed to the continued success of its Galaxy range of smartphones, which outsold Apple’s iPhone for the fourth quarter in a row.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here