PLEASANT SURPISE: Microsoft posted fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts' projections.
THE UPSIDE: The results released Thursday were highlighted by a 4 percent increase in revenue in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows division. That caught Wall Street off guard because sales of personal computers running on Windows have been lackluster for the past year. What's more, the upcoming release of a revamped Windows had been expected to cause many prospective PC buyers to postpone their purchases.
THE DOWNSIDE: Revenue in the entertainment division anchored by Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console dropped by 16 percent from last year.