The big impacts on the company’s financial performance included declining sales of personal computers and the strong U.S. dollar abroad.

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Microsoft said its profit fell 12 percent in its fiscal third quarter from a year ago, but it still beat dour expectations on increased sales of Web-based software as the company continues to tinker with its business model.

The Redmond company reported Thursday a profit of 61 cents a share for the three months ended March 31, down from 68 cents a share a year ago, amid declining personal-computer sales and a strong U.S. dollar that squeezed profits abroad.

Financial analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 51 cents a share.

Total revenue for the quarter stood at $21.73 billion, up 6.5 percent from $20.40 billion a year earlier because of the inclusion of the Nokia phone-hardware business Microsoft didn’t own at this point a year ago.

Net income was $4.99 billion, down 12 percent from $5.66 billion a year earlier and the lowest for the company’s fiscal third quarter since 2010.

The quarter is the latest evidence of the shift in Microsoft’s business away from software sold at a high margin for lump payments and toward subscription-based programs and lower-margin hardware like phones and tablets.

Sales of Microsoft’s biggest products, licenses for its flagship Windows operating system and Office productivity suite, fell across the board.

On the other hand, sales of Microsoft’s Web-based Office, data storage and server tools continued to surge.

Microsoft reported yet another quarter of triple-digit growth — this time, 106 percent — in sales of Web-based, or “cloud,” business software.

“We are well on our way toward transforming our products and businesses,” Chief Executive Satya Nadella said on a conference call Thursday to discuss the company’s earnings.

The transition is still in its early days. Microsoft’s traditional businesses, for instance, still dwarf its cloud.

The company said Thursday its array of business-focused cloud software was operating at a rate that would bring in $6.3 billion in revenue over the course of a year.

Sales of Office licenses to businesses, by comparison, are a $14.7 billion-a-year business.

Microsoft, like many American companies that sell goods abroad, was stung during the quarter by gains in the dollar that made sales in other currencies less rewarding. The dollar touched the highest point in 11 years against currencies of major U.S. trading partners this spring.

Still, the company fared better than it had expected three months ago, the result of sales that tilted more toward the U.S. than executives had forecast.

Microsoft’s revenue was $534 million, or 3 percentage points, lower than it would have been had the dollar remained where it stood a year earlier.

Microsoft also contended with a drop in PC sales, which limited demand for Windows and Office.

PC sales fell 5.2 percent during the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2014, according to researcher Gartner.

Sales of the Windows version tailored for consumers slumped 26 percent, a decline accelerated by buyers increasingly turning to smaller PCs that yield less in fees for Microsoft. Business sales fell 19 percent.

Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said sales may remain under pressure should buyers put off purchases in anticipation of the release of the Windows 10 operating system this summer.

Microsoft stock Thursday settled regular trading up 0.8 percent, at $43.34 a share. After-hours, shares rose by 3.4 percent to $44.80.

“The bar was low, but the Street was expecting a very soft quarter,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets. “Instead it was decent and will be applauded by investors.”

Among Microsoft business units:

• Commercial-licensing revenue fell 3 percent, to $10 billion, as gains in sales of server software weren’t enough to offset a 16 percent decline in sales of Office.

• Sales of online Office and Azure cloud platform boosted other commercial sales by 45 percent, to $2.7 billion.

• Consumer licensing fell 24 percent to $3.4 billion on lower sales of Office and Windows.

• Higher sales of Bing search advertising and Xbox Live subscriptions pushed up revenue from the “other” consumer category 25 percent to $2.2 billion. Executives reiterated their expectation that Bing will break even during the fiscal year beginning in July.

• Xbox revenue fell 24 percent to about $970 million on price cuts and lower sales of the game console. Microsoft sold 1.6 million Xboxes during the quarter, down from 2 million a year earlier. Sales of Surface tablets rose 44 percent to $713 million.

• The phone-hardware unit posted negative gross margin, or sales less the basic cost to build the product, for the first time since Microsoft acquired the business from Nokia in 2014 as the company sold more budget-priced phones. Revenue was $1.3 billion.