I actually read TFA and it said they lost $6B due to a bad acquisition and that's why the quarterly profits were where they were.
See, the real story here is that Microsoft has been concealing this loss by carrying Aquantive on its books at far more than its real value. They did this in order to make their quarterlies look better than they actually are, therefore support the stock price. Microsoft hoped that the market would then regard this as a one-time expense (when it was really an ongoing loss over a period of years) and thus forgive them. And judging from the aftermarket movement, this strategem has worked perfectly. Whether it is legal is entirely another question. The word "fraud" comes to mind.
Even if Microsoft gets away with this, which they probably will, one fact can't be denied: Microsoft is weakening. The upcoming Windows 8 debacle should put the icing on the cake.