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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 (£3.17bn) or 60 cents per share, during the three months ending in March.

That was down from net income of 5.2 billion US dollars (£3.23bn) or 61 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 6% from last year to 17.4 billion US dollars (£10.83bn).

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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From Belfast Telegraph