Microsoft shuffles revenue to inflate Windows sales?

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Microsoft surprised many people when it posted record earnings for its fiscal 2011 first quarter. The quarter showed 66% increase in Windows sales year-over-year, but Information Week says that number isn't everything it's chalked up to be. After digging through the company's SEC filing, the site found that Redmond has shifted cash between its business divisions and the Windows group got an artificial boost in the process.

It's reported that Microsoft moved around $259 million to the Windows group, bumping the total revenue by 6.5% to $4.24 billion. With that unexplained maneuver stacked on top of the company's $1.5 billion deferral for a Vista to Windows 7 upgrade promotion, Windows sales actually increased 11% on-year instead of the touted 66%.

Microsoft declined to comment on how the company's Windows division gained the extra $259 million. As Information Week notes, 11% isn't bad, but it's on par with expectations for overall PC market growth. Also, for what it's worth, Net Applications' numbers suggest that Windows has lost over 1% of the OS market since last December.

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