Microsoft earnings peaked 5% in the last fiscal year on the back of healthy runs on the mobile and gaming front. Kinect and XBOX performed famously as Microsoft reaped a healthy harvest from increased popularity and sales, both unanticipated by the software giant.
The growth in the devices and entertainment division of Microsoft, pegged at 15%, is primarily from the high interest in the XBOX Kinect, a motion sensing device that connects to the XBOX.
Microsoft is however set to benefit handsomely when its partnership with Nokia begins to pay off later on this year. The partnership, which has already seen the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 will see Microsoft finally able to compete effectively in the smartphone market against the likes of Apple and Google.
The other big beneficiary will obviously by Nokia, who have ditched their Symbian OS for Windows Mobile. The launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 to the North American market to critical acclaim has pundits rehashing their previous pessimistic predictions on the future of Windows Mobile and Nokia.
Through these short but sure steps, Microsoft is positioning itself for a major push into the mobile device market. Previously hampered by low-grade hardware and partners who had no significant marketing channels, Microsoft are now in a plum position to hit their competitors where it hurts. It also helps that Microsoft have a strong engineering pedigree that can see then create better and faster iterations of their software.
Microsoft now have the huge task of convincing app developers to ditch Apple and Google and come work for them in creating a Windows Mobile App Store. This will obviously come in at a time when app stores are cropping up all over as everyone seeks to cash in on the app mania currently engulfing the smartphone market.