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Vista, Office Sales Give Microsoft a Strong Q3

Microsoft released solid earnings figures for the third quarter that included debuts of the retail version of Windows Vista and 2007 Office System.

If lukewarm press on Vista was supposed to have had some financial impact on Microsoft, the market didn't listen to any of it. Soon after the Nasdaq Stock Market closed, Microsoft released solid earnings figures for the third quarter that included debuts of the retail version of Windows Vista and 2007 Office System and beat analysts' forecasts.

Microsoft's $14.4 billion is a 32* percent increase from the year-ago quarter, when it came through with $10.9 billion.

Net income came in at $4.93 billion or 49 cents per share, better than the $2.98 billion and 29 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Prior to market close, Microsoft had forecast a net of 45 cents to 46 cents per share on revenue of $13.7 billion to $14 billion.

Microsoft has been accused of being soft on forecasts. The Associated Press even reported that Steve Ballmer tried to temper Wall Street's enthusiasm over Vista's consumer release in a meeting with financial analysts in February: "[Vista] is primarily a chance to sustain what revenue we have -- not every release is a revenue growing opportunity."

Even so, Microsoft is predicting a strong finish to fiscal 2007, with another $13-plus billion quarter and 37 to 39 cents per share for Q4.

To view the earnings statement, click here.

[*Percentage was corrected as of original posting.--MD]

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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