NEWS - Friday, October 28, 2005
Microsoft On 360 Launch ExpectationsMICROSOFT DOWNPLAY 360 LAUNCH EXPECTATIONS Profits up but MS pushes more cautious 360 launch expectations, Thompson confirms "were going to be tight on day one" Microsoft has published its latest round of financials and predictably the Redmond giant is making as much cash as ever. However, slipping in between the financial news cracks, its also attempted to downplay expectations on the launch of Xbox 360. Microsoft reported quarterly profit risers of 24 percent based on strong sales of its Windows OS in contrast to yesterdays Sony financials, but also said that the launch of the 360 wouldnt be the all out sales blitz that many analysts had predicted. Speaking to Reuters, Microsofts Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said Microsoft were aiming for more of a "gradual ramp" of Xbox 360 sales, so that the company wouldnt run out of stock during the all-important launch window. Microsoft has previously acknowledged fears of stock shortages this festive season, as it attempts to launch simultaneously in all three major territories. "The analysts were expecting more of a launch spike than we were," Liddell told Reuters, "For Xbox 360 weve taken a deliberate approach." Speaking to respected UK trade mag MCV, Microsofts UK regional director Neil Thompson added further light on the subject: "We did say were going to be tight on day one, but people should think about this over a longer period than the first weekend," said Thompson. "Despite what some people are saying, we absolutely are going to replenish before Christmas. I could make the whole world or the UK wait four months or I could satisfy some of the demand on day one. Thats what we chose to do. Youre damned if you do, youre damned if you dont."