Microsoft has blamed the slowdown in the PC market ahead of its Windows 8 launch for the profit and revenue decline announced in its first-quarter results.
For the three months to 30 September, Microsoft saw net profit tumble 22 per cent year on year to $4.47bn (£2.78bn) on sales that fell eight per cent to $16bn.
Despite the decline, Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer hailed the imminent Windows 8 launch as "the beginning of a new era at Microsoft", and claimed that the OS will act as a "tremendous opportunity for our customers, developers and partners."
The vendor invested $1.3bn more in research and development than the same quarter last year, while its sales and marketing budget rose by $45m.
The end of its FY12 saw the firm post its first loss since 1986 due to a $6.2bn goodwill impairment charge relating to its acquisition of web advertising firm aQuantive.
Chief financial officer Peter Klein blamed the recent set of results on customers holding off buying PCs until after its new operating system has launched.
He said: "While enterprise revenue continued to grow and we managed our expenses, the slowdown in the PC market ahead of the Windows 8 launch resulted in a decline in operating income.
"Multi-year licensing revenue grew double digits across Windows, Server and Tools, and Microsoft Business Division products as businesses commit to our technology road map."
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