Microsoft reports strong third-quarter revenue thanks to Windows 7 sales

Microsoft announced on Thursday, a record third-quarter revenue of $14.50 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.

The financial figures are a 6% increase from the same period of the prior year. Windows revenue has increased by 28%, compared with the same quarter last year. Microsoft says this revenue growth was driven by a strong demand for Windows 7. “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 Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft.

According to Klein more than 10% of all PCs worldwide are running Windows 7. Windows 7 was released six months ago today, on October 22, 2009. Microsoft announced that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history, selling over 90 million licenses to date. The company is projected to sell 300 million by the end of 2010.

Windows 7 has also driven an uptake of 64-bit computing. According to ChangeBASE research, conducted with senior IT decision makers, more than 65% of businesses hoped to migrated to Windows 7 within 12 months of its release. Over 50% of those migrating will be choosing the 64-bit route.

Screenshots of a Windows 7 post RTM build showed up on the web in February, fueling speculation that Microsoft is compiling early Windows 8 builds. The successor to Windows 7 is expected to be available in 2011. An ex-Microsoft worker penned July 2011 as the RTM date for Windows 8.

Microsoft is currently readying its first Service Pack for Windows 7. A beta version is expected in June with a public release in September this year.

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