Boston.com / Business / Technology / Microsoft is in whittle mode to bolster its bottom line "Microsoft Corp. chief financial officer John Connors is scaling back employee business trips as part of a 13-point plan to cut costs.
Next year, sales are forecast to grow less than 10 percent for the first time. The need to cut costs is new for Microsoft, which increased revenue an average of 38 percent a year in the 1990s.
Expenses have risen, trimming Microsoft's operating margin to 41 percent in fiscal 2003 from 50 percent five years ago. Connors estimates Microsoft's costs may rise to $18.7 billion this year.
The reason: Microsoft won't have its new version of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, in stores until the first half of 2006, almost five years after releasing Windows XP. It's the longest gap between Windows product releases and is preventing some customers from buying new versions and signing multiyear agreements for updates."