On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. released poor fourth-quarter earnings blaming the global economic downturn and a slumping PC market.

Microsoft said its profit in the last quarter plunged 29 percent, its first decline in full-year revenue in the company's 34-year history.

“Our business continued to be negatively impacted by weakness in the global PC and server markets,” said Chris Liddell, chief financial officer at Microsoft.

The software giant reported earnings of $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, down from $4.3 billion, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue was down 17 percent, to $13.1 billion from $15.83 billion. Analysts had expected Microsoft to post revenue of $14.37 billion.

Shares lost as much 8% in late trading after gaining 76 cents, or 3%, to $25.56 in regular trading.

Profit slumped across all of Microsoft's business segments, including a particularly steep 33% decline in its Client division, which makes the Windows operating system products.

Despite the disappointing earnings in the quarter ending June 30, Microsoft is seeing strong hope next year.

“While economic conditions presented challenges this year, we maintained our focus on delivering customer satisfaction and providing solutions to our customers to save money,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft.

Microsoft unveils its new Bing search engine to the public in June and unveils its cloud-based suite of Office software to be launched next year. The Company is also plan to release its next generation Windows 7 operating system generally to the public on October this year.