Ed Bott from ZDNet put together pie charts that show where each Microsoft, Apple and Google make their money based on their latest filings. This is amazing stuff:




So Microsoft actually has a somewhat balance offering with business, server, Windows and Entertainment each taking large chunks of the company. Apple is iPhone and iPad at their heart – not bad considering how crazy their sales have been. And then there’s Google – 96% of their revenue comes from ads.

Cue the Gmail Man:


But really this does go to the heart of how these companies operate. Microsoft tries to be everywhere at once and may finally in 2012 have a core experience across them all (to be seen). Apple has had a ton of success selling two products but they sell the crap out of them and that’s now allowing them to get into more and more markets. And then there’s Google who wants your info and is giving away all of their services to get to your valuable data. Buyer beware…especially when the sales price is $0.


  1. Ever notice how Apple is referred to as the consumer electronics giant? The stats back it up as the iPhone & iPad is what makes them such a hot company.

    I wonder how many people know how Google makes their money? I’d wager less than 10% of their users. The best ad company ever!

    Microsoft has started to realize Windows isn’t the bread winner. Now they are taking the chance to appeal to consumers and businesses. If they hit scale (10 million units) with their tablets and phones Apple is in trouble. Google will be too because that means more people probably using Google less often.

  2. Only thing to remember is that the smaller slices of apples piechart are worth about as much as the larger slices on microsofts.

    • @Chris L: no one is talking about money, but about how diversify each company revenue is. What if tomorrow online ads disappear or become invaluable cuz people uses adblockers worldwide? Google disappears. Same if iPhone and iPad aren’t trendy anymore for Apple, but Microsoft has different money makers, so they can’t be taken down by a single hit. The article is about Microsoft stability and capabilities to survive, while others are more vulnerable

  3. For Google, you are the produt. As soon as you enter their facilities, your eyes and ears will be rented out to their customers (the organizations that place ads on Google’s networks).

  4. I usually use IE9 but this morning I was using Chrome and did a search
    for custom gift cards so that my wife could offer them for valentines
    day services. Immediately after I was done I visited a football
    recruiting website and the top ad banner had, you guessed it, one of
    the suggested gift card links that came up during my gift card search.

    I’m talking about the very next webpage that i viewed! Google is indeed
    an ad agency and the best there has ever been. I’m not mad just took
    more of it. Now i don’t use Google to search because of the danger of
    promoted links taking precedent over relevance.

  5. There will always be a battle between these two companies. The more they battle, the better for us consumers haha. Pleasant read, thanks for the post.

  6. There is nobody reading my mail from google, just software analyzing data and selecting content adds, I have no objection to that. I do hate adds but changing email will change content and not reduce there number, I use an adblocker for that.
    By the way Microsoft is trying hard to earn revenue from adds. That is what the Yahoo + Bing deal is all about. If they don’t make as much money from adds is because their search engine works so bad.

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