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      Microsoft's fiscal 3Q tops Wall Street predictions

      REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft's fared better than analysts anticipated in its latest quarter, boosted by a surprising rise in sales of its Windows operating system.

      The fiscal third-quarter performance announced Thursday comes as investors look forward to the release of Windows 8 later this year. The next version marks the most radical overhaul of the widely-used operating system in decades.

      Microsoft Corp. earned $5.1 billion, or 60 cents per share, during the three months ending in March. That was down from net income of $5.2 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year ago.

      Last year's results were boosted by a $461 million tax benefit.

      Revenue rose 6 percent from last year to $17.4 billion.

      Analyst had anticipated earnings of 58 cents per share on revenue of $17.2 billion.
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