Microsoft has not suffered a quarterly loss since going public in 1986.
Microsoft has not suffered a quarterly loss since going public in 1986. Supplied

Microsoft posts first loss ever

MICROSOFT Corp reported its first quarterly loss as a public company on Thursday as it took a previously announced charge for writing down the value of its ailing online unit.

The world's largest software company reported a net loss of $US492 million, or 6 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $US5.87 billion, or 69 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Sales rose 4 per cent to $US18 billion, dampened by slowing PC sales featuring its flagship Windows operating system.

Microsoft has not suffered a quarterly loss since going public in 1986.

The loss was expected after Microsoft said earlier this month that it would take a $US6.2 billion write-down for the value of its online unit after an ill-fated acquisition.

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