Microsoft's profit slips as Windows sales slide

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Businesses and consumers alike are buying fewer new computers, and that's hurting profit at Microsoft (MSFT), the company said today.

Net income in the world's biggest software maker's most recent quarter fell 29 percent, to $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, compared with $4.3 billion, or 46 cents, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, Microsoft earned 38 cents a share, better than analysts' estimates.
But revenue fell to $13.1 billion, down 17 percent from last year, when income totaled $15.8 billion. That fell short of most analysts' estimates and Microsoft shares fell in after-hours trading.

Microsoft suffered its first-ever quarterly decline in revenue during the three-month period ended March 31.

A decline of 29 percent in sales of its Windows operating system played a key role in the disappointing results. The division responsible for the Microsoft Office suite of software saw sales fall 13 percent, the company said.

"Our business continued to be negatively impacted by weakness in the global PC and server markets," said CFO. Chris Liddell. He also touted the Microsoft's cost-cutting efforts. The company trimmed $750 million in operating expenses in the quarter, he said, an "excellent achievement."
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