Witness claims MS keeps sales data on handwritten bits of paper

So it hasn't the foggiest notion how much money it makes from Windows. Hint: check the share price

Last year the Department of Justice experienced considerable difficulty in gaining access to Microsoft sales data, and yesterday company witness Richard Schmalensee blurted out a possible reason why - it keeps its sales data on handwritten sheets of paper. At least that’s what he claimed. "Microsoft’s internal accounting systems don’t always rise to the level of sophistication one might expect from a firm as successful as it is," he told DoJ attorney David Boies. So when Schmalensee was researching his massive deposition for Microsoft he was simply unable to gain access to sales data. Schmalensee’s claim is somewhat difficult to credit, to say the least. Microsoft does have a sales database, which may not actually run on Microsoft software, and which is the very one the DoJ had some trouble crowbarring information from. Microsoft’s executives demonstrably spend a great deal of time bashing out frantic emails to one another, so how come when it’s down to sales numbers they start scribbling on pieces of paper? Yesterday he also claimed that these pieces of paper don’t cover the profitability of Microsoft’s operating systems - that Microsoft, in fact, does not track operating system profitability at all. The enterprise customers who’ve been listening to Microsoft presentations on the value of corporate Digital Nervous Systems would do well to bear this in mind. The company that’s trying to sell the concept actually uses something you might call an Analogue Nerveless System. Allegedly. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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