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Microsoft Makes Q4 Profit of $6 B; Strong Windows Revenue

Microsoft has announced its financial results for 2012's fourth quarter, with strong performance in its Windows division.

It generated a profit of $6.38 billion, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $21.46 billion during the last quarter, with its phone division generating revenue of $546 million. The former figure represents a decrease when compared to the $6.62 billion, or 78 cents a share, earned during the same quarter in 2011. The figure is also slightly below Wall Street estimates of 77 cents a share on revenue of $21.53 billion.

The Windows division generated revenue of $5.88 billion, an increase of 24 percent year on year. Since its late October launch, Microsoft has sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses.

"Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we'll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need."

Elsewhere, the Server & Tools business that consists of products including SQL Server and System Center posted revenue growth of 9 percent to $5.19 billion. The Business Division, which includes its popular Office suite, generated $5.69 billion in revenue, a decrease of 10 percent.

The Entertainment and Devices Division, which includes the Xbox lineup, experienced a revenue decline of 11 percent to $3.77 billion. During 2012's Q4, Microsoft sold 5.9 million Xbox consoles, which is a drop of 28 percent. Bought for $8.5 billion in 2011, Skype experienced a 59 percent increase in call minutes.

The Online Services Division, which includes online advertising generated by web entities such as its Bing search engine, increased its revenue by 11 percent to $869 million.

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