Decoding Microsoft's Fantastic Passive-Agressive Numbers Post

Yesterday, Microsoft communications head Frank Shaw put up a post on The Official Microsoft Blog rattling off some numbers regarding many of Microsoft’s products. The intention was obviously to lend some perspective to some of the negative coverage Microsoft has been getting recently. There’s no way around it, the numbers are impressive. And I think it’s smart for Shaw (and Microsoft) to do things like this.

That said, I wish Shaw would just come out and say what he really means, rather than literally letting the numbers speak for themselves. Sure, most major company executives will never directly call out their rivals in such a public forum. But as we’ve seen recently with things like Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Thought On Flash, speaking more directly about an issue can rally your base. (And, to be clear, Jobs wasn’t as straightforward and frank as he could have been either.)

But again, most execs will only be passive-aggressively confrontational. So let’s decode what Shaw really means with his numbers:

Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history.

What he really means: While our rivals are getting all the hype in the press, and people keep blogging about us “dying”, we’re selling 7 copies of our OS every second. Keep this number in mind when you read the next group of stats.

7.1 million
Projected iPad sales for 2010.

58 million
Projected netbook sales in 2010.

355 million
Projected PC sales in 2010.

What he really means: Remember that 150 million number? Yeah, the iPad can suck it. And about the iPad and netbooks killing the PC — I have 355 million reasons why that’s not happening anytime soon. Did I mention we’ve sold 150 million licenses for those PCs?

Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2008.

Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2009.

What he really means: And if netbooks do kill the PC, we’re set there too. Chrome OS? That’s vaporware so far. Come talk to me when they have one tenth of our 96% share. Or any share, for that matter.

Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in November 2009.

Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in June 2010.

Number of students, teachers and staff using Microsoft’s cloud productivity tools in Kentucky public schools, the largest cloud deployment in the US.

What he really means: Google and Salesforce get all the cloud hype, but look what we’ve done in a short amount of time. And and all those stats you read about Google making inroads in school with their cloud office stuff? We’re the ones gettin lucky in Kentucky.

16 million
Total subscribers to largest 25 US daily newspapers.

14 Million
Total number of Netflix subscribers.

23 million
Total number of Xbox Live subscribers.

What he really means: Netflix is great, people love them and we love them too (CEO Reed Hastings is our favorite Board member) — but we’re bigger. Sure, these are two totally different things, but who cares? And while everyone is busy talking about the death of newspapers, we’re actually bigger than they are — combined. Again, that doesn’t really mean anything, but still: bigger.

Number of customer downloads of the Office 2010 beta prior to launch, the largest Microsoft beta program in history.

What he really means: Office dying? Yeah…

21.4 million
Number of new Bing search users in one year.

What he really means: We took a risk jumping into a business dominated by one player and have grabbed a lot of people over to our side. Sure, what we were doing before wasn’t working, but this is proof we can pivot. Percentages, schmurcentages: 21.4 million. One year.

Linux Server market share in 2005.

Predicted Linux Server market share for 2007 (made in 2005).

Actual Linux Server market share, Q4 2009.

What he really means: Remember when everyone was saying Linux was going to take over the market? They’re going the wrong way.

8.8 million
Global iPhone sales in Q1 2010.

21.5 million
Nokia smartphone sales in Q1 2010.

55 million
Total smartphone sales globally in Q1 2010.

439 million
Projected global smartphone sales in 2014.

What he really means: iPhone this, iPhone that — shut up. That phone has a small percentage of the overall market. Why don’t you yap about Nokia?At least they’re big time. I don’t even have anything to say here about Microsoft, just shut up about the iPhone already.

Number of years it took to reach 1 million paid user milestone.

Number of years it took Microsoft Dynamics CRM to reach 1 million paid user milestone.

Percent chance that CEO will mention Microsoft in a speech, panel, interview, or blog post.

What he really means: Salesforce talks more shit about us than anyone. With all that shit-talking, you’d think they were kicking our ass, right? Not exactly. It took us much less time to build up a massive user base doing what they do. Benioff is obsessed with us, but we’re not losing any sleep over him.

173 million
Global Gmail users.

284 million
Global Yahoo! Mail users.

360 million
Global Windows Live Mail users.

299 million
Active Windows Live Messenger Accounts worldwide.

Rank of Windows Live Messenger globally compared to all other instant messaging services.

What he really means: Gmail? Oh, that online email service with half the users that we have? Yeah, I think I’ve heard of that. We have more Live Messenger users than they have email users. And here’s a Yahoo stat too just so you don’t think I only care about comparing us to Google.

$5.7 Billion
Apple Net income for fiscal year ending Sep 2009.

$6.5 Billion
Google Net income for fiscal year ending Dec 2009.

$14.5 Billion
Microsoft Net Income for fiscal year ending June 2009.

$23.0 billion
Total Microsoft revenue, FY2000.

$58.4 billion
Total Microsoft revenue, FY2009.

What he really means: Sure, Apple passed us in market cap. That means nothing. You know what matters? Making money. You know what matter even more than that? The money you can keep. Income. Apple and Google are doing great — we have more income than they do combined. That’s not 5 years ago, that’s not 10 years ago. That’s right now.

And you know how everyone is bashing our CEO, saying that he has to go? Look at the numbers when he started versus where we are now. Yep, he’s more than doubled revenue. Other companies can only dream of being so “stagnant.”