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Microsoft profit seen higher, iPad looms‎

Microsoft Corp is expected to report a big jump in earnings on Thursday, helped by the newest versions of its lucrative Office software and the blockbuster Halo game; but short- and long-term issues with its core Windows franchise nag at investors.

The world's largest software company has sold a record-breaking 240 million Windows 7 operating system licenses in the year since launch. But lower-than-expected personal computer sales are restricting growth, and some worry that its flagship product is under threat from Apple Inc's iPad and a longer-term shift to mobile computing.

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