Microsoft Corp. profit more than doubled in the fiscal first quarter as the biggest software firm forced large customers to accept unpopular and more costly multiyear licensing deals or risk paying even more for the future products.
The Redmond, Wash., maker of Windows computer operating systems, Office productivity software and programs to run servers, e-mail and databases said earnings rose to $2.73 billion, or 50 cents a share, from $1.28 billion, or 23 cents, a year earlier. Sales jumped 26 percent to a record $7.75 billion.
Without a $291 million charge for impaired investments, the company would have reported 55 cents a share in the three months ended Sept. 30, well above the company's earlier prediction of 42 or 43 cents.
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