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The Associated Press April 28, 2011, 4:22PM ET

Microsoft's fiscal 3Q earnings surge 31 percent

Microsoft says its latest quarterly earnings grew 31 percent even as sales of its Windows operating system sagged.

The fiscal third-quarter results released Thursday exceeded analyst estimates.

Still, it marks the second straight quarter that revenue in Microsoft's Windows division has dropped from the previous year. That may heighten investor worries that Microsoft's highly profitable franchise of licensing software for personal computers may be heading into a gradual decline. The company faces threats from the iPad and other computer tablets that rely on rival operating systems.

Microsoft Corp. is still thriving for now.

The company earned $5.2 billion, or 61 cents share, in the January-to-March period. That compares with net income of $4 billion, or 45 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue increased 13 percent to $16.4 billion.

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