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Microsoft reports record third quarter financial results

Microsoft has announced record results for its financial third quarter, delivering a riposte to critics who say the software giant is losing its lustre.

Microsoft has announced record results for its financial third quarter, delivering a riposte to critics who say...

that the software giant is losing its lustre behind Apple's growing success.

The Seattle company reported revenue up 13% year on year to $16,4bn, with net income up 31% to $5.2bn.

The results follow increasing predictions of the slow demise of the PC - the bedrock of Microsoft's business - with many research firms noting that tablet devices are eroding PC sales.

But such forecasts have yet to hit Microsoft, whose chief financial officer Peter Klein highlighted the contribution of both its consumer and enterprise products to the latest figures.

"We delivered strong financial results despite a mixed PC environment, which demonstrates the strength and breadth of our businesses," he said. "Consumers are purchasing Office 2010, Xbox and Kinect at tremendous rates, and businesses of all sizes are purchasing Microsoft platforms and applications."

Klein said that Office 2010 has become the fastest selling version of the productivity suite, and that Windows 7 has now sold 350 million licences - although Windows revenue was down 7%.

Sales at Microsoft's business division - responsible for software applications such as Office, Exchange and Sharepoint - grew 21% compared to the same period last year, while server and tools products increased revenue by 11%.

However, experts say that Microsoft is likely to face growing competition in its enterprise markets from portable devices such as tablets and smartphones in coming quarters.

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