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Vista and office sales shine in first quarter

Windows Vista operating system sales drives huge hike in Microsoft Q1 profits.

Software giant Microsoft saw quarterly profits shoot up 65% last week, driven by sales of its Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 applications suite.

The company said net income for its 2007 fiscal third quarter, ended March 31, rose to US$4.93 billion, with revenues increasing 32% to US$14.4 billion.

Microsoft said the results reflected US$1.67 billion of previously deferred revenues and operating income, and US$1.14 billion of previously deferred net income related to the technology guarantee programmes for Vista and Office 2007.

"This quarter marked the consumer launches of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and we are delighted with the positive customer response these products have received," Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, said in a statement.

The company predicted revenues in the range of US$13.1 billion to US$13.4 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, ending June 30, and operating income in the range of US$5 billion to US$5.2 billion.

For its 2007 full fiscal year, ending June 30, Microsoft projected sales of between US$50.9 billion and US$51.2 billion, with operating income of between $19.5 billion to $19.7 billion.

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