Cloud profits at Microsoft, Amazon soar

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Business is booming.

Robust demand for cloud computing services has made the cloud businesses at Amazon and Microsoft the star performers of their respective companies.

Microsoft has sharpened its focus since 2014 on its fast-growing cloud computing unit to counter a prolonged slowdown in the PC market, which has weighed on demand for its Windows software.

The company today reported that quarterly revenue from its personal computing unit, its largest by revenue, fell 7.4 percent to US$8.84 billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of US$9.22 billion, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

But revenue from Microsoft’s “Intelligent Cloud” business, which houses server products and the company’s flagship cloud computing platform Azure, jumped about 11 percent to US$6.76 billion in the third quarter ended March 31.

Azure revenue soared 93 percent in the quarter.

Azure competes with Amazon’s Amazon Web Services, the market leader in cloud infrastructure, which also today reported quarterly revenue.

Booming sales at AWS helped send its parent company’s first quarter revenue and net income above expectations to US$35.7 billion and US$724 million respectively.

Sales from AWS rose 42.7 percent to US$3.66 billion, matching the average analyst estimate, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Cloud sales are also thriving at Google, whose cloud, Play Store, and Pixel division today reported an almost 50 percent increase in revenue to US$3.1 billion.

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