Microsoft has reported record yearly earnings of £15 billion, attributing the results to rebounds in Asia and increased revenue in its consumer business.

The company expressed satisfaction with sales of Windows 2000, its newest operating system, but said the largest surge in adoption is still three months away.

The earnings represent a 16% increase over the £13 billion in revenue reported last year. For the quarter, which ended 30 June, Microsoft reported revenue of £3.3 billion.

But many analysts were looking at this quarter's results to gauge the acceptance of Windows 2000.

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer John Connors says shipments of the operating system, launched 17 February are on track, although he admits he expects to see the most significant uptake to begin in the second quarter of this fiscal year.

The most serious boost in Windows 2000 sales, Connors says, will come with the release of Service Pack 1 scheduled for this summer.

Service Pack 1 was rumoured to be ready for shipment last week, but it never materialised.