US software giant Microsoft has said that revenues surged to a record high in the recent quarter as Windows 7 operating system succeeded where its predecessor failed.
Microsoft reported that its net profit in the quarter ending March 31 climbed 35 percent to 4.01 billion dollars.
The firm’s revenue hit a record 14.50 billion dollars in the quarter, up six percent over the same period a year ago.
“Windows 7 continues to be a growth engine, but we also saw strong growth in other areas like Bing search, Xbox Live and our emerging cloud services,” said Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein on Thursday.
Microsoft said revenue from its Windows computer operating system was up 28 percent over a year ago, driven by strong demand for the latest version, Windows 7.
“Business customers are beginning to refresh their desktops and the momentum of Windows 7 continues to be strong,” chief operating officer Kevin Turner said.
Strong profit due to droves flocking to Microsoft’s new operating system is a strong sign of the pent-up demand created when people shunned its predecessor Vista.
Microsoft released Windows 7 to the world in October as it tried to regain its stride after an embarrassing stumble with Vista.
While computer users may not give much thought to operating systems that serve as the brains of their machines, the programs are at the heart of Microsoft’s global software empire.
Microsoft operating systems run more than 90 percent of the world’s computers.
The failure of Vista to catch on hurt Microsoft competitively, giving Apple the opportunity to woo PC users to Mac.
Apple reported stellar quarterly earnings this week, citing factors that included lots of people buying Macintosh machines for the first time.
Microsoft apparently learned a lesson from Vista and worked closely with computer makers, users and software developers while crafting Windows 7.
Some say consumers snatching up Windows 7 or machines pre-loaded with the software is a sign that the economy is on the mend.
“Microsoft is a phenomenal bellwether for technology spending,” analyst Rob Enderle said. “If they go up, it is one of the strongest indications that the tech market is improving.”
Windows 7 is installed on more than 10 percent of computers worldwide, making it the fastest selling operating system in Microsoft’s history, according to Klein.