While this only represents a 17% increase YOY, it’s not a bad situation to be in. Besides the fact that 17% to them is $7.43 billion dollars, Microsoft had settlements with their Xbox as well as the $6 billion aQuantive deal to pay off—and now, with plenty of room to spare.
Microsoft’s earnings report mentions that the division that oversees search (Online Services Business or OSB) had several accomplishments this year:
In fiscal year 2007, we launched Windows Live Search and Live.com in 54 international markets, Live Local Search in the U.S. and U.K., beta versions of MSN Soapbox (our expansion of the MSN Video experience), Virtual Earth™ 3D, Windows Live Hotmail, and other offerings.
As far as earnings go, the OSB’s revenue increased 19% to $688 million in Q2, but was far outpaced by their operating loss—$239 million this year, up 28% from $189 million in Q2 last year. The year-over-year data fares even worse: revenue grew only 8%, while operating loss increased one hundred fold from $74 million to $732 million. Losses were largely due to increased costs of labor, content and hardware, according to the release.
On the bright side, that means there’s plenty of room to grow…