In the latest demonstration of the strength of the PC sector, Microsoft (MSFT) this posted second quarter results that were well ahead of Street estimates.

The software giant posted revenue for the quarter of $19.12 billion, with earnings per share of 74 cents, ahead of the Street at $17.84 billion and 59 cents. Revenues were up 14 percent from a year ago.

Net income rose to $6.66 billion, or 74cents per share from $4.17 billion during the same period last year.

Exceptional demand for Windows 7 led to the positive top-line growth for the company, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said in a statement.

The company was widely seen to post strong numbers as reports indicated improving PC shipments in the past quarter.

Microsoft said revenue for its division that includes Windows rose to $6.9 billion from $4 billion in the period a year earlier. Profit for the division rose to $5.4 billion from $2.7 billion.

Revenue for the business division that includes Microsoft's Office software, however, fell to $4.7 billion from $4.9 billion.

Profit for the business division fell to $3.01 billion from $3.02 billion.

Shares of Microsoft rose in post-market trading, gaining 1.34 percent, or 30 cents to $29.55.