Following arch rival Apple's exuberant sales figures, Microsoft also published impressive growth statistics. Eclipsing analysts' expectations of 9%, Microsoft's 4.07 billion euro profits is a 30% rise compared to the year before.
While profits grew fast, the pseudo-monopolist's turnover grew 'only' 8% to a total of 12.2 billion euro. After a period of crisis and – therefore – IT cost reductions, many companies have invested in new software packages during the last year.
Microsoft Stores to counter Apple?
Microsoft also announced to start applying an aggressive retail strategy, opening 75 new Microsoft Stores in the US alone in the next two years. The IT giant will also open stores outside its home market, directly challenging Apple's hen with the golden eggs – the Apple Stores.
This move comes as a surprise as the 11 existing stores have not yet generated any profit. Microsoft, being a software firm, can only display very few fancy products – which is exactly where its arch rival gets its buzz from. Another threat to Microsoft stores is that their products are also being offered by many other distributors.