Starting Thursday, the company will report earnings broken largely into two broad categories -- Devices & Consumer and Commercial -- and five segments within those categories.
These five segments somewhat reflect a huge reorganization the company began this summer.
Here's how it breaks down:
The Devices and Consumer category includes:
--Hardware (Surface, Xbox and Xbox Live, and other hardware)
--Licensing (Windows device manufacturers, Windows Phone, Office consumer, and intellectual property)
--Other (Bing and
The Commercial category includes:
--Licensing (Windows enterprise, server products, Office for businesses, Dynamics, unified communications)
-- Other (enterprise services, Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM Online)
The Commercial category also includes corporate-level activities not attributed to any specific segment.
Chief Financial Officer
This new structure means revenue from some products or services -- such as Windows or Office -- will be divided into several areas.
Depending on how detailed
But several analysts believe the new structure will do the opposite and result in more disclosure.
"I applaud it," said
"Now we'll actually know how the product lines break down between commercial and consumer," Young said. "In the past, we've had to guess."
Last year, the company reported quarterly revenue of
Thill expects revenue and earnings below that of many analysts, saying "Q1s are notoriously soft" and the demand for new PCs and other products is still down.
Plus, "I think
Ballmer has said he would step down once his successor is found sometime in the next several months.
On the other hand,
"That adjustment should not be as large as it was for the Surface RT," Young said. "From what we know, inventory for Surface Pro was smaller than for Surface RT. But still, I think it's going to have an impact on earnings per share."
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