Microsoft also announced a $0.08 per share quarterly dividend, and plans to buy back up to $30 billion of the company’s stock over the next four years. “We are confident in our long-term ability to grow revenue, profits and shareholder value through our innovation and execution. We have been successful in addressing a significant portion of our ongoing legal exposure, and all seven of our businesses are growing,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive officer. “We will continue to make major investments across all our businesses and maintain our position as a leading innovator in the industry, but we can now also provide up to $75 billion in total value to shareholders over the next four years.” Recently it emerged that Microsoft had considered a takeover of its German rival SAP which would have made a significant dent in its $50bn cash pile. Talks between Microsoft and SAP broke down earlier this year.