For the first time in 20 years, Apple’s quarterly profits were higher than Microsoft’s.
Alhough Microsoft’s earnings last quarter were up overall, revenue from the Redmond company’s Windows operating system, a key moneymaker, fell 4.4 percent. The sagging Windows sales were mitigated by Microsoft Office sales, which was Microsoft’s top performing sector for the quarter. Experts attributed the declining Windows sales to the rise of tablet computers, which have cut into the sale of personal computers. While tablets have sold well — especially Apple’s wildly popular iPad, Microsoft has struggled to serve up a viable tablet competitor or tablet operating system.
“People could think about the tablet as a replacement for their traditional PC,” said Harry Wang, director of mobile research at Parks Associates. “In some circumstances it could significantly impact PC sales because of cannibalization.”