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Microsoft earnings fall 4 percent

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft said its fourth-quarter earnings slipped 4 percent, despite a lift from its latest version of Windows.

The results disclosed Thursday are the first to include Windows 8. The program is a dramatic overhaul of the Microsoft Corp. operating system that powers most PCs.

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Windows 8 came out Oct. 26 with slightly more than two months left in Microsoft’s fiscal second quarter.

Although the Windows 8 sales haven’t been as impressive as investors hoped, revenue in Microsoft’s Windows division climbed 24 percent from the previous year.

Microsoft earned $6.4 billion, or 76 cents per share, during the final three months of the year. That was down from $6.6 billion, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company’s total revenue rose 3 percent from last year to $21.5 billion.

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