Updated from 9:49 p.m. EDT

With the earnings season just a week old, hopes of an imminent tech turnaround are fading as some of the industry's biggest hitters acknowledge that IT spending is still far from healthy.

Despite solid results from Apple ( AAPL), eBay ( EBAY) and Google ( GOOG), there is still plenty of unease in the sector.

"We remain more cautious than most about the state of the world economy," said Microsoft ( MSFT) CFO Chris Liddell during a conference call to discuss the company's third-quarter results Thursday. "We believe that the recovery will be slow and gradual -- trading conditions will be difficult through this quarter and possibly the rest of this calendar year."

The software giant, which registered its first-ever year-over-year revenue decline, took a hit from weakness in the global PC and server markets, although revenue from enterprise customers remained stable.

EMC ( EMC) CFO David Goulden described the economy as "unprecedented and unpredictable" during a conference call to discuss his firm's first-quarter results. "In Q1 we saw customers carefully scrutinizing what they spent and only buying what they need," he said.

Storage has traditionally been perceived as one of the more recession-resistant parts of the tech sector, thanks to firms' explosive data growth, although EMC missed analysts' first-quarter revenue estimate and saw its profit plunge 23%.

Chipmaker Texas Instruments ( TXN) also saw its first-quarter profit and revenue tumble on shrinking demand, but beat its expectations.

Texas Instruments CFO Kevin March told The Street.com that his firm saw continued strength in 3G base-stations, and growing demand for notebooks, some handsets and LCD-based high-definition TVs. This growth, however, was all in Asia.

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