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Microsoft wants to make software performance simpler for IT departments to manage, and it plans updates to two key systems-management products next year and in 2007 that include new technology for monitoring the health of applications.

Intel Reports Strong Quarterly Earnings:

On the day marking the 40th anniversary of what's known as Moore's law, Intel reported revenue and earnings improvements from a year ago.

The numbers were down slightly from the previous quarter, because of historically slow sales in the first quarter of the year, the company said.

The quarterly financial report came a day after the company officially shipped its first dual-core microprocessors for use in desktop PCs and workstations.

Moore's law remains "the driving force behind our ability to continually innovate and bring exciting new products to our customers," Intel chief executive Craig Barrett said in a statement.

Moore's law, as proposed by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years. For the first 38 years of the life of the law, it was most clearly demonstrated in how chip speeds roughly doubled every two years.

But this week, the law will take the form of dual-core processors with Intel's Pentium release Monday, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s dual-core Opteron announcement scheduled for Thursday. Dual-core chips provide a performance boost by using two processors instead of one.

On Tuesday, Intel reported net income of $2.2 billion, or 35 cents a share, on revenue of $9.4 billion for its first quarter, ended April 2.

In the same quarter a year ago, it reported net income of $1.7 billion, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $8.1 billion.

Revenue and earnings improvements were driven by "strong demand for mobile products," Barrett said. Although microprocessor units and average selling prices were flat, mobile microprocessor units set a record

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