Industry giants Microsoft and Intel showed strong sales in their respective financial results posted yesterday, but Microsoft remained hesitant about future growth rates in the corporate PC market.
Despite a slight revenue increase, Microsoft chief financial officer John Connors said the company remains "guarded in the near term about business PC growth rates". But he added: "We look forward to the tremendous opportunities in front of us with the Windows 2000 generation of server products."
The software maker saw its revenues nudge up slightly to $5.8bn for its fiscal fourth quarter which ended 30 June. Net income grew 9.5 per cent to $2.41bn, while earnings per share increased 10 per cent to 44 cents, beating the 42 cents Wall Street consensus.
According to researcher IDC, consumer PC sales are growing faster than in the business sector as heavy renewal rates, the Year 2000 budget drain and euro conversion lead to low demand for new PCs among large corporates.
Intel is also putting its energy into server products, and said versions of its forthcoming Itanium 64bit processors will soon be available for testing by end users. However, the company does not expect to see revenue from the chips until its fourth quarter, rather than the third which it had originally predicted.
Revenue for the chip giant's fiscal second quarter, which ended 30 June, climbed 23 per cent to $8.3bn, while net income jumped 79 per cent to $3.1bn, or earnings per share of 45 cents. The figure included acquisition-related costs, a charge of $200m to cover replacing faulty chips and a pre-tax gain of $2.34bn from interest and sale of investments.
Last May, Intel had to recall up to one million PCs worldwide after the discovery of a problem with its i820 chipset. The flaw affected corporate and consumer PCs using motherboards equipped with the i820 and standard SDRam memory, causing them to randomly reboot or freeze up.
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