As expected, Microsoft has made its numbers, with deferred revenue providing the kicker. More later after the call.
[Update] Some fine people pointing out in comments that I said “made” rather than “beat”. Made doesn’t imply non-beat, and they did beat by $0.04 on the $0.46 consensus earnings. Still waiting for more color, but no-one should have been surprised by this given the previously-tipped change in deferred revenue policy. No nefariousness.
[Update^2] Post-call, I’m not seeing the level of concern around Vista uptake that I expected. The skew helped, with Premium doing better than Microsoft (and I and analysts) expected, but nevertheless, these are solid numbers. Sure, Microsoft had a more favorable tax rate than in recent quarters, which accounts for a penny or two, and the revenues, net of deferred revenues recognized, are not nearly so impressive, but this is still, I’ll admit, a better quarter than I expected. Could my favorite whipping company be being lifted by the rising tech tide? Strangers things have happened!