REDMOND, Washington: Microsoft, ruler of the universe, upped Q3 profits by 11% to $3.38 billion (€2.66bn; £1.78bn), bettering analysts' forecasts - abeit failing to satisfy them.

"Earnings would have been stronger had there not been delays to Microsoft's new Vista operating system," complained Ava Rice evp-analytics at Myriam Genedoro in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Total quarterly sales climbed to $10.8bn, also a rise of 11% from the same period a year earlier.

Despite the upbeat note in the first half of the year, Microsoft shaved its earnings forecast for the fourth quarter, predicting sales of between $11.8bn and $12.4bn.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff