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News Summary: Microsoft posts ho-hum quarter

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News,Business

TRANSITION TIME: Microsoft's earnings fell 4 percent during the final three months of the year, a quarter highlighted by the release of Windows 8. The dramatic overhaul of the ubiquitous operating system is designed to help the company extend its franchise into tablet computers while still reaping revenue from a new breed of personal computers.

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS: Boosted by the Oct. 26 debut of the new operating system, fiscal second-quarter revenue in the Windows division climbed 24 percent from the previous year. But revenue in the division that includes Microsoft's Office software fell 10 percent.

UNDER THE SURFACE: Microsoft didn't disclose how many of its Surface tablets were sold in the period. Analysts have estimated Microsoft sold 750,000 to 1 million of the devices during the quarter, far below the nearly 23 million iPads that Apple said it shipped during the same period.

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