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Originally published January 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 25, 2007 at 7:01 PM

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Microsoft reports profit hurt by delays for new Vista operating system launch

Microsoft today said its fiscal second-quarter profit fell 28 percent, as delays from the launch of its new version of Windows cut into holiday-quarter revenue.

The Associated Press

Microsoft today said its fiscal second-quarter profit fell 28 percent, as delays from the launch of its new version of Windows cut into holiday-quarter revenue.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, earnings fell to $2.63 billion, or 26 cents per share, from $3.65 billion, or 34 cents per share during the same period last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the Redmond-based software giant to post a profit of 23 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $12.54 billion from $11.84 billion in the year-ago quarter. Results were higher than Wall Street's average view for $12.08 billion in sales.

Microsoft said it deferred $1.64 billion in revenue and $1.13 billion, or 11 cents per share, in earnings to the third quarter. During the holiday shopping season, the company offered coupons for free or discounted upgrades to the new Vista operating system and Office 2007 software to consumers who bought new PCs.

For the third quarter, Microsoft said it expects to earn 45 cents to 46 cents per share on $13.7 billion to $14 billion in revenue, including amounts deferred from the second quarter.

Microsoft shares fell 64 cents, 2.1 percent, to close at $30.45 today, ending an uneven day in which the stock also hit a 52-week high of $31.48. In extended trading after the earnings release, the stock was up to $30.54.

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