Microsoft results beat expectations

 

Microsoft's fared better than analysts anticipated in its latest quarter, boosted by a surprising rise in sales of its Windows operating system for personal computers.

The fiscal third-quarter performance comes as investors look forward to the release of Windows 8 later this year.

The next version marks the most radical overhaul of the widely-used operating system in decades.

Microsoft earned 5.1 billion US dollars, or 60 cents per share, during the three months ending in March.

That was down from net income of 5.2 billion US dollars, or 61 cents per share, a year ago.

Last year's results were boosted by a 461 million US dollars.

Revenue rose 6% from last year to 17.4 billion US dollars.

Analysts had anticipated earnings of 58 cents per share on revenue of 17.2 billion US dollars, according to a FactSet survey.

"We're driving toward exciting launches across the entire company, while delivering strong financial results," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

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