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Microsoft Hits $1 Trillion In Total Cumulative Revenue: Reports (mspoweruser.com) 130

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has hit a major milestone: $1 trillion in all-time cumulative revenue. The finding was first spotted by Jeff Reifman, a tech consultant. According to him, Microsoft hit the milestone in its last quarter. Interestingly, Apple also hit $1 trillion in revenue in 2015. As for profits, Microsoft currently leads the chart with $265.2 billion with Apple trying to close in with $261.6 billion. "You might expect a company to announce a milestone like this and bask in this incredible accomplishment -- but not Microsoft," writes Reifman. "It chose to stay silent as it faces increased public scrutiny for holding $108.3 billion in earnings offshore (an incredible 41% of its all-time profit) and its history of tax dodging at home in Washington State."Microsoft blog MSPowerUser says it independently verified the numbers. According to which, Microsoft's total cumulative revenue as of last earnings call is 1001.569 billion.
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Microsoft Hits $1 Trillion In Total Cumulative Revenue: Reports

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember when people said that MS missed the mobile revolution and was going to die. Good times.
    • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @12:45PM (#52077091)

      Remember when people said that MS missed the Internet and was going to die. Good times.

      FTFY - Damn kids don't know their history anymore. Now get off my lawn!

      • by cmiller173 ( 641510 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @01:01PM (#52077253)
        Remember when MS said windows would be for consumer PC's and OS/2 would be for professional use? Good times!
        • by haruchai ( 17472 )

          Yup, and I bet there's a whole group at IBM that curses Gates & Ballmer every time someone brings this up.

          • Not anymore, they all got laid off.

            • Who knew that H1Bs could curse louder than lifetime IBMers?!
              • What's the H1B count these days? Has it reached 655360 yet?

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        Microsoft indeed failed to capitalize on the Internet and mobile computing. But, they remain big mostly by taking away territory from IBM, who stumbled in their key market by focusing on short-term profits at the expense of customer goodwill. Business infrastructure is still a big market. MS is the New IBM.

        Note that MS is also not known for their customer goodwill, but they sucked less than IBM because MS out of habit kept a medium-term approach to planning. That's always been in MS's DNA. For example, they

    • Remember when people said that MS missed the mobile revolution and was going to die. Good times.

      How's that Windows Phone thing workin' out for ya?

      • by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @01:04PM (#52077283)

        How's that Windows Phone thing workin' out for ya?

        How much does MS get paid for every Android phone sold?

      • Actually quite awesome, so far the best mobile OS I have tried :D
        • Windows Phone is laughable: here on Brazil, a source of many jokes :P
        • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @02:35PM (#52078171)

          Actually quite awesome, so far the best mobile OS I have tried :D

          Everyone else says it sucks. This is from a while ago, but it's just as true now as it was then:

          I was speaking with my son the other night and he wants to replace his Galaxy S6.

          I said, "What about a Windows phone?" and then we both just laughed and laughed. It was like I'd told the funniest dad-joke ever.

        • Another happy Windows Phone user here.. I have devices on Android, iOS and WinPhone (in fact as I type this I have an iPhone in my left jacket pocket and a Lumia 950 in my right), and while it's far from perfect (some of the changes they made between 8.1 and 10 are utterly nonsensical, and at least a couple of times a week Edge decides it's just not going to load anything and you have to close and re-open it) WinPhone is the only one I don't find frustrating to use day-to-day. It certainly hasn't been what

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I don't really hate to admit it but I pretend I do. I actually like my Windows Phone. I still have 8 but I can get 10. It's snappy for as few resources as it has. I've had no problems. It has plenty of apps - it just doesn't have 8473 versions of a flashlight and 9803 versions of Candy Flappy Bird Crush IX - Revenge of the Flying Pig.

        • I am about to dump my Windows Phone because there are many apps I miss and many features I miss in the existing apps. Also the Beta version of 10 for my phone is unacceptably crashy.

          I upgraded for bells and whistles, but WP 8 was really good and Metro is perfect for single task devices.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            So I should stick with it?

            Sorry for the late reply - I ran out of posts. Even with the highest karma levels, you're limited to 50/day.

            Anyhow, I'll probably stick with it until it is EOL. I'm likely to get the Ubuntu phone next. I do like WP 8, a bunch. I've never come across something I wanted to do with my phone that I could not do with my phone - easily and quickly. So, I'm not missing any features.

            Then again... I text, email, make calls, surf the web, and check weather - maybe check video at my home in M

    • Huge oil tankers carry a tremendous amount of inertia. They keep moving forward long, long after the engine has been turned off. Hell, even in full reverse it takes a long, long time to stop them.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Great analogy! They're still the most efficient way to get oil moved and without them the global economy would collapse. Other solutions have been tried but in the end we all just continue to rely on huge oil tankers.
    • Remember when people said that MS missed the mobile revolution and was going to die. Good times.

      Only people who said that were people who couldn't read a balance sheet. There are scenarios where they might struggle but realistically any company with enough cash to buy both Ford and GM outright isn't going away. They might change to something unrecognizable from their current form but they wont disappear. Windows might be doomed. Office might be doomed. But Microsoft isn't going away anytime soon unless they pull an Enron.

      • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

        They might change to something unrecognizable from their current form

        And despite what a lot of people here seem to believe, this is what has happened. Microsoft has completely flip-flopped on their stance on open source. (The company hasn't fully transitioned to open source, but I suspect few corporations with their size and history would be faster.) Windows was the bread-and-butter of Microsoft but now they're really not making much money off it directly. They officially support Ubuntu. Edge is a completely different animal from Internet Explorer. Microsoft is now a h

      • by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @03:14PM (#52078533)

        Even companies who caught the mobile revolution early at various points couldn't prosper.
        I remember when Nokia looked unstoppable, and later RIM / Blackberry.

        How the mighty have fallen.

        • Even companies who caught the mobile revolution early at various points couldn't prosper. I remember when Nokia looked unstoppable, and later RIM / Blackberry.

          That's because those companies got complacent and made some huge strategic errors without having the cash reserves to work through them. Microsoft has had it's share of mistakes and complacency but it has a FAR stronger balance sheet than RIM or Nokia ever did. Windows and Office were/are/remain phenomenal cash cows and they insulate Microsoft from many of their errors. At this point Microsoft has so much cash that they could simply hopscotch into a completely different industry if they needed to. They

    • Windows is dying. Microsoft is pivoting towards the cloud. See here for lots of supporting information [computerworld.com].
    • This one trillian dollar revenue is why Microsoft is literally begging for people to upgrade.

  • Meh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @12:38PM (#52077025) Homepage Journal

    . "It chose to stay silent as it faces increased public scrutiny for holding $108.3 billion in earnings offshore (an incredible 41% of its all-time profit) and its history of tax dodging at home in Washington State."

    Really, that a globally present company might have roughly 41% of it's revenue originate outside of the USA is 'incredible'? I'm surprised it's not higher!

    Also, why not attack the horrible state of our laws that this happens in the first place? Does anybody here seriously pay any more taxes than they have to? Tax avoidance isn't the same as evasion - the prior is the art of using legal loopholes, the latter is illegal.

    • Just wondering if the OP claims all the deductions they're eligible for or not.
      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        Just wondering if the OP claims all the deductions they're eligible for or not.

        What difference does it make?

        Suggesting the OP shouldn't take all his deductions if he thinks corporations shouldn't take all their deductions would only make an iota of sense if he wasn't already paying a vastly higher percentage of his income then the corps were complaining about.

        ie...fairness has nothing to with whether or not one takes all their deductions or not; it has to do with the fact the guy making 100k is paying 20+% in tax even after taking all their deductions, while the corporation making 2 b

    • So... the difference between avoidance and evasion is just the difference between legal and illegal.

      • So... the difference between avoidance and evasion is just the difference between legal and illegal.

        That's a rather large difference.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Really, that a globally present company might have roughly 41% of it's revenue originate outside of the USA is 'incredible'? I'm surprised it's not higher!

      Amazing how you totally misread that. It's 41% of it's all-time profit. That is, after all expenses are accounted for, they've got $108.3 billion offshore. And what's incredible about it is that they aren't investing a massive amount of that money in the US since that's where a large part of the internal development is. Even if we presume they're inve

      • Amazing how you totally misread that. It's 41% of it's all-time profit.

        Nope. Didn't misread it at all. Changed up the wording in a hope that others would understand better. The idea that a global giant gets most of it's income overseas shouldn't be a shocker.

        At this point I kinda love it when people make asses out of themselves assuming things about me.

        We are by pointing out examples of these companies that use legal loopholes as a basis for why we need the laws to change.

        I was talking more about the tone of the article, keep in mind that mine was the first non-ac post.

        nd what's incredible about it is that they aren't investing a massive amount of that money in the US since that's where a large part of the internal development is. Even if we presume they're investing the money abroad (which would be insane if they weren't), that tends to imply a lack of faith of getting enough ROI in investing in Microsoft itself*.

        MS is no longer a 'growth' company. Realistically speaking, it should be paying a steady dividend.

        Obviously, the real complaint is from stockholders who would rather see that $108.3 billion taxed and then given to them. That'd give them real results.

        Actually, they'd rather see

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Actually, it said 41% of it's *all-time* profit, which is very peculiar. Not revenue.

      Basically it's the bucket of money they have awaiting the next 'tax holiday' to repatriate. As you say, the fault lies with the governments allowing/essentially encouraging these shenanigans. A corporation can look at least somewhat good by voluntarily repatriating their money, but in reality their business won't get much out of such goodwill.

      • Basically it's the bucket of money they have awaiting the next 'tax holiday' to repatriate.

        President Trump will let them bring it all in, as a memorial and homage to himself.

        • And if he does, it should be similar to the Internet boom of the mid-late 1990s.

          We are talking at least $2 trillion.

          Government is covetous to spend it directly, though, rather than have business invest it.

          • I'm expecting it to be like the Reagan recovery. And then everyone will say how great Trump is for decades to come, just like they say it about Reagan now.
      • Actually, it said 41% of it's *all-time* profit, which is very peculiar. Not revenue.

        The two values are not precisely the same, though they are tied together. I was hoping that the vocabulary/term change would wake people up.

        And yes, the problem is that they can't 'bring back' the money without paying lots of taxes on it, so they don't. They can spend that money while it's still overseas doing overseas stuff.

        • by Junta ( 36770 )

          It's just weird that they are holding over a hundred billion dollars in earnings held at all, regardless of what country it lives in. Hoarding 41% of your all-time earnings seems wrong for a 30+ year old company. That suggests a failure to reinvest or return value to shareholders.

    • Why is my tax paying lower-class ass subsidizing these corporate welfare queens [goodjobsfirst.org] ?? Great research site BTW...
      • Why is my tax paying lower-class ass subsidizing these corporate welfare queens [goodjobsfirst.org] ?? Great research site BTW...

        You're not subsidizing them. Whatever taxes corporations pay ultimately get paid by you and other individual taxpayers. The only difference is that if the tax is paid by a corporation the taxpayers can't as easily see that it came out of their pockets. Corporate taxation is just a way to hide the tax bill from the people who pay it. As a side effect, routing those tax payments through corporations also takes control over what segment of the population pays the taxes out of the hands of lawmakers and puts it

        • by plopez ( 54068 )

          It's not that simple. WHen corporations are squirreling tens of billions offshore that money is *never* taxed.

          • It's not that simple. WHen corporations are squirreling tens of billions offshore that money is *never* taxed.

            The only reason they're leaving it offshore is because a bunch of it will get taken if they try to bring it home. Eliminate the corporate income taxes and they'll bring the money back and use it where it will do the economy some good... and in the process, get taxed.

        • You're not subsidizing them. Whatever taxes corporations pay ultimately get paid by you and other individual taxpayers. The only difference is that if the tax is paid by a corporation the taxpayers can't as easily see that it came out of their pockets. Corporate taxation is just a way to hide the tax bill from the people who pay it.

          So why do corporations lobby so hard to prevent effective corporate taxation?

          • You're not subsidizing them. Whatever taxes corporations pay ultimately get paid by you and other individual taxpayers. The only difference is that if the tax is paid by a corporation the taxpayers can't as easily see that it came out of their pockets. Corporate taxation is just a way to hide the tax bill from the people who pay it.

            So why do corporations lobby so hard to prevent effective corporate taxation?

            The reason corporate taxes are bad, in a global sense, is they hide the tax bill from the taxpayers. That's a problem with the relationship between taxpaying voters and their government. Taxpayers should care because they need to know what they're paying. Governments care because -- in many cases -- they don't want taxpayers to know what they're paying, because the taxpayers might object and register their objections in their votes.

            Corporations don't care about this issue of government/taxpayer transparen

            • It occurs to me that I could have given a pithier answer to your direct question. How's this:

              Corporations consider taxes just another cost of doing business, but one that is a large and complex distraction from their core business expertise. It requires them to build up big tax-management and tax-mitigation organizations, and often to do silly things, to no beneficial effect. It doesn't actually *hurt* them, because all of their competitors have to do the same thing, but all of them have to "keep up with

            • Though I disagree with the conclusions you come to, this is actually a rather clearly written and reasonable response. Kudos.
    • I have two tracts with this: money isn't wealth (finance is significant) and the whole concept is ridiculous.

      Cupertino is my favored example for the moment. Apple makes $42.25 billion in revenues and $32.25 in operating expenses, employing 13,000 people at their Cupertino HQ with a combined salary of around $2 billion. Cupertino mayor claims Apple is "abusing them" by avoiding taxes; never mind that Apple pumps 6% of its operating expenses into Cupertino, money which it collects from business all over

    • by vivian ( 156520 )

      It's bad that companies like Microsoft are able to avoid paying tax by keeping all their earnings off shore.
      What's even worse though, is that the money is just sitting in hidden bank accounts instead of being reinvested in the economy - all that money is basically just sitting in a black hole, not employing anyone, not being used to develop new technologies, and basically just a massive drain on the economy.
      Even if they just spent it all on blow and hookers, the money would at least have a chance of being r

  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @12:39PM (#52077039)

    The interesting thing is Apple is a hardware company (makes things) while Microsoft is a software company (prints money).

    • Microsoft makes:

      - Peripherals
      - Gaming consoles
      - Computers
      - Phones
      - Tablets
      - IoT

      Apple makes:

      - Peripherals
      - Computers
      - Phones
      - Tablets
      - IoT

      Seems like they both make close to the same amount of stuff... They also both make a lot of software.

      So... how is one a hardware company and one a software company again?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft doesn't make computers. They never have; the margins are too low.

        • Neither company makes computers, if you're trying to be literal, but yes, they sell computers branded under their names of their own design. Microsoft has a line of convertible tablet/laptop computers called Surface.

        • tablets are computers: I think GP had wrong separated them in the list :-)
      • it's a joke, man :P
      • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

        To be fair, ~60% of Apple's revenue comes from selling iPhones. ~10% from iPads, ~10% from Macs. Those are all sales of pieces of hardware.

        The vast majority of Microsoft's revenue comes from software licenses. Although an increasingly larger (but still minority) comes from hardware (Surface, Nokia, etc) and enterprise services (Azure cloud computing).

      • by bazorg ( 911295 )

        Both companies make those products and make software which is then licensed (one off or as a subscription). I think that Microsoft's share of revenue from this sort of sale is significantly larger than the product lines from Apple that are standalone software/SaaS. I'd classify MS as a software house primarily while I see Apple as a retailer of software and media products first, and maker of consumer electronics second.

    • Apple owns the vertical stack (hardware and software) for their products. Microsoft makes software because their hardware offerings outside of mice and keyboards sucks donkey balls.
    • > while Microsoft is a software company (prints money).

      /sarcasm Ah, I guess M$ makes the the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbone, Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft Keyboard, etc., not Microsoft.

      *facepalm*

      --
      Only Cowards Censor

    • The interesting thing is Apple is a hardware company (makes things) while Microsoft is a software company (prints money).

      It would be more truthful to say that Apple designs products rather than manufacturing them. It would also be more truthful to say that Microsoft has had a long and productive relationship with its OEM partners. The commodity PC built from parts designed for the MSDOS and Windows eco-system.

  • Wow, two huge companies with long-term net profit margins of around 26%? That's pretty incredible. Most companies I know of are thrilled with net profit of 10%.
  • um.... that much money... um... where's it all gone??

    • um.... that much money... um... where's it all gone??

      What, you mean over 40 years? You know Apple and Microsoft were started in the 70s, right?

      And, you know, they had to pay a few people along the way. :)

    • Well, since their profits are in the 260B range:

      MS has paid back about 60% of their profits in dividends, and hold $100+B in cash
      APPL has paid back, we presume, less than 20% of their profits as dividents, and hold $200B in cash

      Or are you talking about the 3/4T dollars which has been paid to suppliers, vendors, employees, and in taxes as part of normal business operations?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2016 @12:59PM (#52077229)

    "Tax Dodge" is all relative. The US Tax code requires any money earned overseas and brought to the US gets an additional tax on it on top of the corporate income tax paid in other countries. This is exactly why corporations leave their profits overseas, because it's effectively double taxed.

    Here's an example. Irish corporate tax rate is around 10% and in the US it's about 35%. USA Corp earns $1,000 in profit in sales in the US, they pay $350 to the IRS and keep $650 as profits to either reinvest in the company by building new capabilities in the US, or distribute as a dividend to shareholders etc. Now USA Corp also earns $1,000 profit in Ireland. They pay $100 to the Irish government, but they're only allowed to deduct what they pay to the Irish government from their profits, so they still get charged 35% on the $900. So they pay the Irish government $100 and now have a choice, either leave the money in an Irish bank account or invest in their efforts in Ireland, or bring it to the US but in so doing they pay 35% on $900 (they can deduct the $100 they paid to Ireland), or $315, leaving them with $585 in profits.

    Leaving them with the best choice they can possible make: leave the money in a bank account in Ireland. THey can still recognize the cash as an asset on their balance sheet, but if they bring it to the US their balance sheet value will drop significantly, in fact by 35% of cash on hand, hurting their shareholders.

    It's that $315 that people say they are tax dodging, but the reality is that money wasn't earned in the US and isn't US profits. They've paid income tax on the profits in the country where those profits were earned, it's done. There's no incentive or way that the US can force them to do anything because that money is under the jurisdiction of another sovereign nation and those nations will not play ball with the US; if that money leaves those bank accounts in other countries it will be a significant blow to those countries' banking sectors.

    What the government should do is declare a tax holiday, not 0% but 5%. There's $2.1 trillion overseas and it's not coming back until the cost of bringing that money here goes down; they want to bring it here because investing in the US by building facilities and sales here is far more productive than other countries. If they make it 5%, the government would get around $105B in tax revenue and the rest of the money would be here in the US for companies to use either distributing as dividends or building new operations and product lines. But no politician will agree to this because it'll be seen as a "tax cut for the wealthy" and every politician who pursues this agenda will be hammered in the next election.

    So essentially we have a mexican standoff; the companies have no reason to bring the money here, the politicians won't risk their careers by making it palatable to do so, and the result is a bunch of rhetoric and BS and nothing happens and the only people who benefit are foreign banks.

    • but the reality is that money wasn't earned in the US

      And you really believe it was earned in Ireland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands?

    • Here's an example.

      You explained it very well...

      But no politician will agree to this because it'll be seen as a "tax cut for the wealthy" and every politician who pursues this agenda will be hammered in the next election.

      Of course, because most people are morons who have no interest in actually understanding anything, they would rather have a gut emotional reaction and think what they are told to think.

      Harsh, but more true than I care to admit. I used to be one of them until I opened my eyes and noticed how much I "thought" was not correct.

      ---

      If I were President, I'd drop the corportate tax rate to zero, companies don't pay taxes, people do. I would however raise taxes on the rich and all inco

      • by crow ( 16139 )

        I agree, but with one change. There's no good reason to tax investment income based on transactions in the middle of investing. Why should the government care if you shift your money from stock in FOO to BAR? Let people create investment accounts. If you've put $1000 into the account, you can take $1000 out tax free. After that, anything you take out is regular income. Close the account with less money than you stated with? Then (and only then) do you claim a loss.

        • That exists, those are IRA accounts. :)

          Also, if you put $1K into the account and take out $1K, there is no tax. There is only tax if you sell stuff and make a profit.

          What it sounds like you're suggesting is a 1031 like-kind exchange for stocks. I understand the point, but then you end up with a black hole of money that no one wants to take out for fear of huge taxes.

          It is less painful to take it in small chunks than all at once.

          Also consider that it IS done that way, annually (sort of). If you have $5,00

    • Generally you would be better off taking a foreign tax credit than a foreign tax deduction. The tax credit reduces your US taxes dollar for dollar. In you Irish example if you paid $100 to Ireland you simply subtract that from the $350 you would have owed the US and now only owe $250. http://www.americanbar.org/gro... [americanbar.org]
    • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @07:46PM (#52080207)

      Here's an example. Irish corporate tax rate is around 10% and in the US it's about 35% [...]

      That's a good start... but its incomplete:

      USA Corp earns $1,000 in profit in sales in the US, they pay $350 to the IRS and keep $650 as profits to either reinvest in the company by building new capabilities in the US, or distribute as a dividend to shareholders etc

      Well you forgot about the part where technically the Corp in Ireland owns the company Trademark and charges USA corp $500 to license it. So USA corp only earns $500 in profits locally. They pay $175 in taxes and keep the balance to reinvest locally etc.

      Now USA Corp also earns $1,000 profit in Ireland.

      Well $500 in Ireland. The other $500 was actually earned in the USA but was transferred to Ireland in the aforementioned licensing fees. So only $500 was in Ireland... well actually no ... $495 of that was actually earned in Canada, UK, France, Germany, etc, and similarly transferred to Ireland.

      Only $5 was earned from activities actually in Ireland though, and yes they paid their fair $0.50 share for that.

      But the other $99.50 in taxes corp in ireland was all basically a tax dodge of much higher taxes in many other countries.

      So how does USA corp get the money into the USA from Ireland, since if it transfers it, it pays taxes!!? Well.. it could borrow it from Irish corp? Then its just a loan; the money comes into the US, and a debt to ireland is added to the balance sheet. But since they're really borrowing it from themselves,... and that's just an example of one of the games they can play.

      • Corporations should be taxed after gross income. That would put an abrupt end to shit like the double Irish.

        Imagine the hordes of tax lawyers hopelessly looking around for something productive to do. Wouldn't that be a sight.

  • But are they Web Scale???

    And, what's the appropriate label for the units: T$, Tusd, TUSD, ...?

    -Chris

  • enough said
  • Do they mean 10^12 or 2^30?

  • Yet Another Meaningless Business Statistic Especially Without Context.

    Still, the submitter appears to have got the distinction between revenue and profit . That's respectably mid-table by current standards.

  • Where's the IT angle?
  • Bill Gates famously said: "As long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

    Well I guess he figured it out!

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