Windows phone is now “immaterial”

In the tradition of breaking out individual aspects for Microsoft fans to have a look at on earnings day, we’re breaking out Windows phones results once more.

Microsoft’s Q4 2017 earnings slides had this to say about their former mobile business;

  • Phone revenue was immaterial and declined $361 million

What’s so brilliant about this description is that it sums up WIndows phone’s place in the market from 2013 onwards. Windows Phones have been immaterial since they launched, pushing at best 3% global market share, and at worst, well, we’re still playing a game of how low can we go. Sure, there were some standout devices and brief moments of hope, but looking back, over the long term. WIndows phone has been to consumers, carriers, and developers, simply immaterial.

We’re still not sure whether Microsoft plans to continue with mobile, or whether they’re moving on from this dumpster fire. One thing is clear though, the WIndows phone experiment has been a total failure.

Windows phones weren’t all bad though, and in fact did contribute to Microsoft positively this year.

The current quarter effective tax rate was (17)% and (6)% in GAAP and non-GAAP, respectively. The tax rates reflect a $1.8 billion impact related to the utilization of prior years’ losses from Microsoft’s phone business that were not deductible in the years incurred. As a result of this tax item, earnings per share for the quarter increased by $0.23.

That’s right, Microsoft managed to earn some tax credits due to how awfully their WIndows phone business performed. What a silver lining.