Microsoft soars past 1Q estimates, expects strong 2Q

Microsoft flew past analysts' estimates in its first quarter Tuesday, earning $2.19bn(£1.31bn),on sales of $5.38bn. "The PC market remains very healthy," Microsoft CFO Greg Maffei said during a conference call with analysts.

The $5.38bn in sales represents an impressive 28 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it raked in $1.68bn, on sales of $4.19bn.

And the software giant sees more good times ahead. Though Maffei sounded his usual notes of caution, he was upbeat about the second quarter. The CFO predicted sequential revenue growth of about $750m, which translates into an increase of almost 14 percent from the first quarter. Earnings per share should rise by roughly the same percentage, Maffei said. "If you think about results like we've had in the first quarter you have to feel good and optimistic about the periods ahead," he said.