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Xbox earnings on the rise thanks to third-party games and services

Microsoft closed out the third quarter of its fiscal year last month, and today the company reported both its games business and the company as a whole saw revenues rise during the period.

Microsoft closed out the third quarter of its fiscal year last month, and today the company reported both its games business and the company as a whole saw revenues rise during the period.

The company's gaming business saw revenues rise 18 percent (or roughly $345 million) year-over-year, driven primarily by a 24 percent year-over-year uptick in sales of Xbox software (especially third-party games) and services.

And in case you're curious, Microsoft says the ranks of Xbox Live users swelled 13 percent, as 59 million people now use the platform across console, PC, and mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the company as a whole reported profits of $8.3 billion on revenues of $26.8 billion for the quarter, beating both (some) analyst expectations and the $4.8 billion earned on $22 million it reported during the same period last year.

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