Microsoft astonishes Wall Street -

Software giant Microsoft managed to surprise the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street with quarterly results that were much better than expected.

For a while, the Wall Street augurs have been prophesising that Vole's bottom line would be only be goodish. Analysts have been trimming back profit targets for Microsoft over the past three months.

But Microsoft turned in some rather good numbers well past average revenue forecasts despite retiring Chief Executive Steve Ballmer's restructuring and the pricy acquisition of Nokia's handset business.

What appears to have done better than expected was the commercial side of Microsoft's business. It posted a 10 percent increase in revenue, mostly thanks to selling Office and server software to businesses.

The consumer and hardware group's revenue rose a more modest four percent, mostly due to the poor sales for Windows system as sales of personal computers continue to fade.

PC sales have been sliding for the last 18 months, although Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood recently claimed that there were green shoots of stabilisation.

Sales of Windows software to PC makers, such as HP, Lenovo and Dell fell seven percent in the quarter.

Surface tablet sales posted a sharp increase to $400 million in sales, largely due to rising interest in the smaller, heavily discounted Surface RT model. This proves that Microsoft should have released it should have made it cheaper in the first place.

Microsoft posted a 17 percent increase in profit to $5.2 billion, up from $4.5 billion during the same time last year.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $18.5 billion, helped by rising sales of its Office software. Analysts had expected $17.8 billion, on average.

For the fiscal second quarter, which takes in the crucial holiday shopping season, Microsoft is predicting revenue of $23.1 billion to $24.1 billion in the future.