Microsoft smashes own estimates, fastest quarterly growth in 8 years

We can almost hear the sound of popping Champagne bottle at Redmond, Washington, as Microsoft celebrates an exceptional quarter.

The world's biggest software company announced revenues of USD 13.76 billion for Q3, a mind boggling 27% increase over Q3 06.

This means that Microsoft is on target to reach at nearly USD 60 bn in terms of revenues and is certainly heading for more as Back-to-school, Christmas sales and Xbox promotions help bring more revenues to Microsoft's chests.

The good news helped buoy Microsoft's share prices as investors rally to snap the stock.

At the time of writing, the stock price is near its 52-week high of USD 32.22, boosting its market capitalisation to more than USD 300 bn, 50% more than Google or Apple and almost twice that IBM.

The company has more than USD 6.6 readily available for purchases and has sold more than 85 million copies of Vista, including 25 million in the last two months.

That's nearly 5 per second. Even more telling is the huge operating margins which stand at 43% way ahead of Apple.

The only shadow in the picture is the Online Services Business Division, which includes Microsoft's biggest Acquisition - aQuantive - which saw an increasing operating loss, jumping from USD 102 million to USD 264 million.