Microsoft profit beats forecasts, no word on new CEO

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    Technology News

    File photo of guests silhouetted at the launch event of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system in New YorkBy Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted by strong sales of its software and services for businesses, a solid holiday season for its new Xbox game console and Surface tablets, and a slightly lower tax bill. The world's largest software company did not say anything about its five-month search for a new chief executive to replace Steve Ballmer, who said in August he would retire within a year. The company co-founded by Bill Gates 39 years ago was central to the personal computer revolution, and its Windows and Office products still dominate business desktops, but it lost its way with consumers in the last decade under Ballmer as Apple Inc and Google Inc stormed ahead in mobile computing. The quarter may well be the last full one for Ballmer, and it at least showed some positive momentum for the Surface tablet, Microsoft's long-delayed attempt to knock Apple's iPad off its perch.

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