Microsoft Corp reported a 48 percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday, as strong sales of Windows 7 helped it beat Wall Street projections.

The world's largest software company reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $4.52 billion, or 51 cents per share, up from $3.04 billion, or 34 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 46 cents per share on revenue of $15.27 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Microsoft is benefiting as growth returns this year in sales of personal computers, the vast majority of which run on its Windows operating systems. No. 1 chipmaker Intel Corp is also benefiting from that boom.

It looks really good, said Jefferies & Co analyst Katherine Egbert. There's not a lot not to like. It's good all around.

Sales rose 22 percent to $16.04 billion, reflecting a recovery in tech spending this year. Microsoft said it had sold 175 million licenses for its new Windows 7 operating system since its launch last year.

Microsoft shares were little changed at $25.86 after closing at $25.84 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby and Jim Finkle ; Editing by Richard Chang)