Software giant Microsoft Corp. said Thursday its second fiscal quarter generally beat analysts by posting a quarterly profit. The company also predicted next year's earnings to rise between 13 percent and 18 percent.

The world's largest software maker said net income for the period ended in March dropped to $4.38 billion, or 47 cents a share, from $4.93 billion, or 50 cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Microsoft said revenue in the quarter rose to $14.45 billion from $14.39 billion.

Analysts at FactSet Research had estimated Microsoft would post earnings of 45 cents a share and $14.57 billion in revenue.

Looking ahead, Microsoft projected earnings per share in its 2009 fiscal year starting in July to be between $2.13 to $2.19 per share compared to an earlier forecast of $1.86 to $1.89 per share. Revenue estimations are in the range of $66.9 billion to $68.0 billion for 2009.

The Redmond, Wash- based company released results just two days ahead of a deadline set by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer for Yahoo's board to accept Microsoft's $44.1 billion unsolicited takeover bid. If Yahoo does not respond, Microsoft said they will face a proxy fight. Some analysts believe that Microsoft may have to raise its offer in order to complete the deal.