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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 22:33 GMT
PC sales lift Microsoft's profits
Buttons with the Microsoft logo
Microsoft's results are good for the whole technology sector
Microsoft's profits for the key Christmas trading quarter have soared 79%, driven by strong computer sales and the success of its Xbox console.

The US giant's net profit for October to December 2007 was $4.7bn (2.4bn), compared with $2.6bn a year earlier.

Its latest profit was ahead of analyst targets, but the rise is exaggerated by 2006's figure being reduced due to delays to the Vista software system.

Microsoft's revenues for the last quarter of 2007 grew 30% to $16.37bn.

Halo 3

The company said shipments of its Vista operating systems had soared from October to December thanks to a double-digit rise in global computer sales.

Revenues at Microsoft's Client division, which includes Vista jumped 68% from a year earlier to $4.34bn.

Quarterly revenues in the company's games unit rose 3.1% to $3.06bn, thanks to the continuing popularity of the Xbox and its hit Halo 3 title.

"It appears that the Vista operating system is beginning to gain traction in the marketplace," said analyst Michael Cuggino of Permanent Portfolio Funds.

"It's a good sign for technology spending, both on the corporate side and the consumer side."

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