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(Reuters) – Concerns that roaring demand for tablets and smartphones like Apple’s iPad and iPhone will leave Microsoft in the dust are simply overdone, Microsoft International’s president told Reuters.

"Devices are going to go and
come," Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International,
told Reuters at the World Economic Forum, adding that the company was
making progress developing products in the tablet arena.

In
January, Microsoft said it would make a version of its Windows
operating system compatible with chips designed by ARM Holdings to
establish a major presence in smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft,
whose Windows software powers 90 percent of the world’s computers, on
Thursday reported results that fell short of outsized expectations and
failed to assuage investors that the rapid spread of devices made by
Apple Inc and smartphones and tablets that run Google software would
dominate the next phase of computing.

Its shares were flat after reporting results, despite reporting better-than-expected profit.

Even
as big technology companies such as chipmaker Intel, which has been
criticized for having a weaker mobile strategy showed little signs of
impact from the popularity of tablets and smartphones, long term
concerns over the small but growing sector of computing have driven
other PC makers’ stock lower.

Courtois
said the more critical part of the information technology industry was
cloud computing, in which Microsoft has established a major presence.
Cloud computing refers to the practice of using Internet technology to
move computers and information away from desktops and into remote data
centers.

"This is a deep transformation of the scenario in IT over the last decade," he said.

More
broadly, although Microsoft remained cautious about the future, it sees
growth coming from all regions. "We see some growth across the world
both in developed countries and in emerging countries and that helps the
IT spending (outlook)," he said.

Still,
investors have chosen to focus their attention on the explosive growth
of sales of smartphones and tablets, which propelled boosted Apple to
overtake Microsoft as the largest U.S. technology company by market
value last May.

Microsoft shares,
which have fallen 3 percent in the trailing 12 months, have sharply
underperformed the Nasdaq, which rose 24 percent. Apple shares have
risen 65 percent in the same period.

Some
analysts agree with Microsoft’s view, stressing that the tablet market,
while robust, is nowhere near the girth of the PC industry. Apple sold
about 15 million iPads last year, and 7 million in the quarter ending
December 2010. Microsoft sold 300 million licenses for its Windows 7
operating system.

Looking ahead,
Courtois talked up Microsoft’s Kinect technology, which lets video game
players control operations with a wave of their arms. Microsoft
demonstrated Kinect to the world’s power elite at the World Economic
Forum.

Kinect could provide
another avenue of growth as Microsoft explores broad applications of the
technology in computing and business.

"We
just did a survey in the BRIC countries showing that 80 percent of
people finding value in natural user interface, basically opening up the
IT world to many more people in the future," Courtois said.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Mike Peacock)