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Microsoft, Amazon Post Strong Quarterly Results

Tech giants Microsoft and Amazon have posted their financial results for their most recent fiscal quarters: Microsoft saw its profit go up 35 percent compared to a year ago with earnings just over $4 billion, while Amazon saw its profit up 68 percent to just under $300 million on revenue of $7.13 billion. Yet investors seemed to shrug off the strong results, and even the companies themselves tried to deflate speculation of a rapid economic recovery in the technology sector.

A good portion of Microsoft’s record third quarter revenue had to do with Windows 7: Microsoft saw its Windows revenue up 28 percent compared the sale quarter last year, and now claims more than 10 percent of all PCs in the world are running Windows 7, making it the fasted-selling operating system to date. “Business customers are beginning to refresh their desktops and the momentum of Windows 7 continues to be strong,” said Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, in a statement.. “We are also seeing tremendous interest in our market-leading cloud services for business.”

For its first fiscal quarter of 2010, Amazon saw its revenue rise 46 percent to $7.13 billion, signaling that customers are still very comfortable spending money with Amazon even in tough economic times. However, Amazon cautioned that its numbers for the current quarter were likely to fall because current analyst expectations: analysts say Amazon should be able to generate around $6.5 billion in revenue, where Amazon is saying a range from $6.1 to 6.7 billion is more realistic—meaning it might not make those analyst forecasts.

Amazon saw revenue from core sales of items like CDs, DVDs, and books, rise 26 percent to $3.43 billion, while revenue from “general merchandise” like electronics and apparel jumped a surprising 72 percent to $3.51 billion. Amazon also said its Kindle ereaders remain its “number one best-selling product,” but again declined to disclose any figures on unit sales. “We remain heads-down focused on customers,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, in a statement. “Amazon Prime has just celebrated its fifth anniversary, adoption of Amazon Web Services continues to accelerate.”

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