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Microsoft earnings decline, but Windows 8 sold well

New York (dpa) – Microsoft Corp, the largest software maker, Thursday said second-quarter sales had risen 2.7 per cent to 21.46 billion dollars in the second quarter.

Earnings declined 4 per cent to 6.4 billion dollars compared to the same period a year earlier. Arch rival Apple earned more than twice that sum in the October-to-December period.

The continuing upgrade by businesses and individuals to the new Windows 8 before the high Christmas buying season helped boost revenues, but high marketing and operating costs for introducing the new system ate into profits.

Microsoft head Steve Ballmer was satisfied with the Windows 8 launch and said consumers were enthusiastic about the new system, which sold 60 million copies in the quarter.

Investors however were less enthusiastic, and share prices fell about 1 per cent.