Microsoft hides $43B Apple-esque business in plain sight – Computerworld

Microsoft has created a $43 billion business, a potential Apple-and-OEM-esque company-within-a-company that could be used to take up the slack if some of its computer-making partners falter — or much less likely, go independent if Redmond decided to spin off into parts.

With last month’s reshuffling of how it reports financial results to Wall Street, Microsoft used pieces of six different groups to build three new segments: Intelligent Cloud, Productivity and Business Processes, and More Personal Computing.

Intelligent Cloud is composed of the Windows server licensing business, enterprise services and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Productivity and Business Processes, meanwhile, is based on the Office franchise — both consumer and commercial, both perpetual licensing as well as Office 365 — along with the Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) portfolio. More Personal Computing includes Windows, Bing search revenue and all of Microsoft’s own hardware, from Surface and smartphones to Xbox.

It’s the latter — More Personal Computing — that grabbed attention last week as its executives unveiled new Lumia smartphones, a fourth-generation Surface Pro, and most surprisingly, the Surface Book, Microsoft’s first laptop.

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