The following is an excerpt from NICK WINGFIELD | April 19, 2012 | nytimes.com |
SEATTLE — Microsoft is facing some of the biggest challenges in its history with the rise of smartphones and the iPad, but one of its stalwarts of the personal computer era showed there is still life left in its main business.
Microsoft said Thursday that sales of its flagship software product for PC, the Windows operating system, rose 4 percent in the quarter. Analysts were expecting a drop in the business because of broader industry data showing weakness in the personal computer business. Gartner, a technology research firm, recently estimated that worldwide PC shipments had grown only 1.9 percent in the quarter.
There is speculation within the technology industry that the supremacy of the PC is over and that Microsoft’s influence is waning along with it. Executives at Apple have boasted that the explosive growth in sales of the iPad and the iPhone are evidence of the arrival of a post-PC era.
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