Microsoft has posted record financials for the first quarter of its 2014 financial year, with revenues rising 16 percent to $18.5bn, and profits up 19 percent to $6.3bn. However, buried in the numbers was some worrying news on Windows OEM sales.
The results easily beat Wall Street estimates, with Microsoft seeing growth in numerous areas of its business including "commercial licensing", which rose from $8.9bn to $9.5bn.
This covers numerous products such as Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, volume licensing of the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office for business, and Skype.
Meanwhile, its "commercial other" line of business rose from $1.2bn to $1.6bn quarter-on-quarter. "Commercial other" includes cloud services such as Office 365 and its Azure platform.
The one area of its business that saw a decline was "device and consumer licensing", which dropped from $4.6bn to $4.3bn over the quarter. This covers areas of its business such as Windows Phone OS sales, patent licensing and, notably, overall sales of its Windows operating system to OEMs.
In total it fell seven percent, although Chris Suh, general manager of Investor Relations at Microsoft, said this was better than the firm had expected.
"Our Windows OEM business performed better than expected, declining seven percent versus our expectation of a mid-teens decline," he said.
However, the seven percent decline included sales of its Windows Pro operating system version, which is generally used by enterprises. As such, excluding Pro sales and focusing on the consumer Windows sales, it actually fell by 22 percent.
Microsoft will be hoping a strong holiday season and renewed interest in devices with its new Windows 8.1 operating system will lead to a better set of results for the next quarter.
Outgoing chief executive Steve Ballmer said the results underlined the success Microsoft was having in many areas, and he touted the ongoing hardware push by the firm as a key market for the future.
"Our devices and services transformation is progressing and we are launching a wide range of compelling products and experiences this fall for both business and consumers," he said.
"Our new commercial services will help us continue to outgrow the enterprise market, and we are seeing lots of consumer excitement for Xbox One, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and the full spectrum of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone devices."
Microsoft is obviously keen to move on from a lacklustre period that has seen poor sales of its initial Surface devices and a muted reaction to its Windows 8 operating system. However, with new Surface devices in the market and Windows 8.1 now available, things may at last be looking a little brighter for the firm.
Ballmer himself was not on the earnings call and no mention was made about any developments around the search for his replacement.
Much of today's AI is narrowly focused on specific tasks - a far cry from the general AI envisioned by the early pioneers
US space agency believes the crater could have preserved ancient organic molecules from the water that flowed there billions of years ago
Valve quietly closes down hardware initiatives launched following Windows 8
Scientists create a virtual reality simulation of a black hole sitting at the centre of the Milky Way
Simulations like this can help people understand complicated systems in the universe in a better way