Microsoft’s Surface business is growing slowly but surely.
For the calendar fourth quarter of 2014, Surface revenues were $US1.1 billion, the company reported Monday. That’s up 24%.
Microsoft also told us that the product is now respectably profitable, compared with being barely profitable (for the first time) last quarter.
Microsoft says its latest Surface model, the Surface Pro 3, drove most of the growth. It confirmed on a call with Business Insider that it is no longer manufacturing for sale the less expensive Surface 2.
For the year-ago quarter, Surface revenues were $US893 million.
But Microsoft’s Surface business is still tiny compared to Apple’s iPad business. Apple reports earnings Tuesday, so we don’t have numbers for last quarter. But for Q3 2014, Apple’s iPad business generated $US5.3 billion in revenue. (It will likely be more than that due to holiday sales last quarter.)
Microsoft doesn’t report unit sales. Surface revenues include sales for Surface tablets, plus accessories like the optional (but essential!) keyboard cover.
The Surface business will likely get a nice boost with the launch of Windows 10 later this year.
Windows 10 is designed to work better with hybrid devices, letting you switch from a traditional desktop mode to a tablet mode just be removing the keyboard.