Microsoft Corp. on Thursday reported that its quarterly sales soared, thanks to gains across all of its key product lines like Windows 7 sales and an improving PC market, the Redmond, Wash. Its profit is $ 4.52bn (£2.96bn) from April to June – up 48% on the same period last year. Microsoft’s per-share earnings were 51 cents, ahead of the 46 cents per share.

 

Microsoft ahead of Apple is in the closely watched sales race between the one-time arch rivals. Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) on Tuesday reported quarterly sales of $ 15.7 billion.

 

The company said 175 million Windows 7 licences had now been sold since its launch last year. Total revenues hit $ 16bn with strong sales from the Bing search engine and the Xbox games console. Profits for the end of June were $ 18.76bn, increased 29% on the previous 12 months.

 

Microsoft’s revenue grew in every one of its major divisions over the same period in 2009. Windows sales soared 44% over last year, when Windows 7 had not yet been released and the oft-maligned Windows Vista was set to soon be retired. Microsoft Office sales jumped 15%, and server revenue rose 14%.

 

Revenue in the company’s entertainment division, including Xbox and Zune, soared 27% over last year, while the online services division rose 13%.

 

When new products are launched, including Office 2010 earlier this year, Microsoft has benefited from a rebound in technology spending. Sales of personal computers have risen by more than 20% in the last three months worldwide.

 

Bing lost a whopping $ 696 million in the quarter and the Xbox division finished $ 172 million in the hole. Both of those losses were larger than last year’s.

 

Athough Xbox has been a popular hit with gamers, the other products in Microsoft’s entertainment division haven’t fared nearly as well.
However, some of those profits were reached thanks to Microsoft’s strenuous cost-cutting efforts over the past several quarters. The company laid off 5,300 employees between January 2009 and June 2010.

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