Google, Microsoft Look Past Desktop Computers To Increase Earnings

Apr 19, 2013
Originally published on April 19, 2013 12:32 pm



NPR's business news starts with the tale of two companies.


Google and Microsoft quarterly earnings reports are in and it appears their slugfest continues with Google's earnings up 23 percent and Microsoft up 18 percent. That is even as sales of desktop computers decline.

GREENE: As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, the future for both companies is on the small screen.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Here's a reality. Sales of personal computers are falling and that's having a dramatic effect on all things tech related.

GENE MUNSTER: Everyone is still going to have a computer but just the time spent on those computers is decline dramatically.

GLINTON: Gene Munster is a research analyst for Piper Jaffrey. He says Google - which relies on advertising dollars - is learning some hard lessons.

ROB HELM: The shift to mobile has been somewhat difficult for Google because advertisers are wanting to pay more on desktop versus mobile and because mobile is so new, advertisers are a little bit apprehensive about spending as much on mobile as they have traditionally on desktop.

GLINTON: Rob Helm is a researcher with an independent outfit called Directions on Microsoft - which follows, yup, Microsoft. He says Microsoft is late to the smartphone tablet party and cloud computing, where Google has done well.

HELM: In both tablets and in cloud services, it's definitely a follower but it's a fast follower that's thinking very hard and benefiting from the mistakes of the people who went first.

Helm says Microsoft's future is to be, well, more like Google. But...

Microsoft is still much more Microsoft-like than it is Google-like...

GLINTON: While Microsoft remains profitable and still has a lot of money, Helms says it may not have enough time to catch up.

Sonari Glinton NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.