Surprise growth in Windows sales echos Gartner's data pointing to increased PC sales.

Microsoft beats earnings expectations

Microsoft third quarter financial results beat Wall Street expectations as the software giant experienced a surprise growth in sales.

Raking in a cool £3.2 billion of profit, Microsoft’s first quarter results are down somewhat year on year but certain areas of the business performed better than expected. One such area is the Windows OS division which climbed four per cent.

This would seem to match the earlier Gartner reported surprise growth in PC sales, particularly a strong upgrade cycle in desktop PCs in the ordinarily weak Western Europe market.

Interestingly Microsoft’s entertainment and divisions division posted an uncharacteristic loss. Falling Xbox console sales and hefty spending on Windows Phone were to blame for the blip.

Volume licensing, business software, server and tools were all up. The sales of Windows OS (and realistically therefore PCs in general) in the corporate sector grew by 8 per cent while consumer PCs grew six per cent.

In the consumer area that’s particularly good news given that consumer OS/PC sales fell 6 per cent in the previous quarter.

Microsoft shares are now priced at a four-year high.

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