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Microsoft surprises the world and does well

Tame Apple Press upset

Software King of the World Microsoft has surprised the world by doing rather well this year. Redmond posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit boosted by strong sales of its software and services for businesses. In fact, it reported good Christmas sales with its new Xbox game console and Surface tablets, which is something the Tame Apple press did not expect.

In fact the only thing that did not happen in the results was the announcement about who would replace Steve Ballmer as its new CEO.

Microsoft's new Xbox One console made 7.4 million unit sales in the quarter, up from 5.9 million a year ago. Sales of the second generation of Surface tablets made more than $893 million in the key holiday shopping quarter, more than the whole of the previous fiscal year. It is a pity that Microsoft is not making much dosh from them because making and selling the machines cost $932 million. Phone revenues, which include license fees from Nokia and royalty payments from other handset makers using Google's Android system, jumped 50 percent to just over $1 billion in the quarter.

Overall, Microsoft reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $6.56 billion compared with $6.38 billion, or 76 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Overall revenue rose 14 percent to $24.5 billion, also beating Wall Street's forecast of $23.7 billion. Figures from server software, the Office suite of applications and quickly growing 'cloud,' or Internet-based, computing services were also up.

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