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3. Microsoft
Fortune rank: 3
2008 profit: $17.68 Billion
Microsoft, a key barometer for the tech industry, posted 26% higher profits in 2008 on hot sales of its Xbox 360 video game system, servers, and business tools.

Though its overtures for Yahoo were rebuffed during the year, Microsoft is making ambitious pushes this year into online advertising and search to compete with Google.

NEXT: General Electric
Last updated April 20 2009: 11:09 AM ET
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