Microsoft announces fat profits, free phones for employees

Microsoft today announced a big boost to its net profits for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year. Strong consumer demand for the latest versions of mainstay products Windows and Office led to a quarterly net income of $5.41 billion for the company, a 50 percent increase over the same period a year prior.

For the quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, Microsoft also reported revenues up 25 percent to the tune $16.2 billion. Last year the company reported revenues of $12.9 billion for the same quarter.

Microsoft says the latest edition of its perennially popular Office Suite generated a 15 percent increase in revenue over its first full quarter on the market. In addition to software, Microsoft also credited its profitable quarter to the ongoing popularity of its Xbox 360 gaming console. The company is also claiming successes in the search engine department, with Bing continuing to achieve market share growth.

The news is certain to draw comparisons to long-time rival, Apple, who is enjoying news of recent achievements in the mobile phone market.

Christmas comes early for Microsoft Employees

All this extra cash on hand might have left Microsoft feeling generous or it just might be getting into the holiday spirit early. Either way, Microsoft has announced that it will be giving all 89,900 of its employees a Windows 7 phone for free. Microsoft executive Guy Gilbert made the announcement earlier in the week in an interview. We’re not sure if Microsoft will be offering to pick up monthly contract fees as well.

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