Seattle — The link between Microsoft Corp.’s fortune and the health of the personal computer market has rarely been clearer than in the software maker’s fiscal third quarter.
For the first time in Microsoft’s 23-year history as a public company, revenue fell year-over-year as PC shipments tumbled. Earnings sank 32 percent.
The shortfall again illustrated the toll the recession has taken on the world’s largest software maker, even though Microsoft remains one of the richest and most profitable companies. In January, Microsoft said it needed to resort to its first mass layoffs, cutting 5,000 jobs. On Thursday afternoon, it announced it would do away with merit pay increases for employees in the next fiscal year.
Microsoft did not issue earnings guidance for the rest of the year, and it offered no hope for a rebound in the current quarter.