MOBILE computing
Microsoft releases Surface sales data

Microsoft sold $853 million worth of Surface tablets in its latest fiscal year, as the maker of Windows software struggles to capitalize on a shift by consumers toward handheld devices.

Microsoft disclosed Surface sales, which weren’t specified in the company’s latest earnings report, in a regulatory filing.

Earnings in the period that ended in June were hit by a $900 million writedown of inventory related to Surface, a mobile touch-screen computer introduced by Microsoft in October to compete with Apple’s iPad and tablets running Google’s Android operating system.

Windows sales have been besieged by poor demand for PCs, reflected in five consecutive quarters of declining shipments, according to researcher IDC.

— Bloomberg News

Symantec quarterly profit tops forecasts

Symantec, the biggest maker of security software, reported fiscal first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates as the company reduced costs to cope with a record slump in personal-computer sales.

Profit before certain items in the period that ended June 28 was 44 cents a share, while sales rose 2.5 percent to $1.71 billion, the company said in a statement. Analysts on average had projected profit of 36 cents and sales of $1.64 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares surged to the highest price since 2005.

Chief executive Steve Bennett has cut jobs and consolidated sales functions as shrinking PC shipments drag down demand for Symantec’s antivirus software. His efforts to lower expenses, along with a push to sell more server-management programs to corporations, have helped cushion the blow, and the company reiterated an earlier forecast for annual revenue.

— Bloomberg News