The earnings announcement from Microsoft last week almost sounded like something from another era: solid revenue and profit growth thanks to strong sales of the Windows operating systems and the venerable Office applications. Online, well, that's still losing a ton of money. Games and entertainment? Better, but still a blip next to PC business.
Indeed, the personal computer business as a whole is showing a lot of strength, with industry analysts citing strong markets in Asia and an upgrade cycle in the corporate market, aka "the enterprise." Cool new consumer technologies tend to grab the headlines, but it's corporate buyers that still power most computer hardware and software firms.