At this point, Microsoft’s quarterly earnings reports sound like a brokenrecord: Its cloud business is practically unstoppable, while its PC and productivity make steady gains. That’s been the case for years, and this past third quarter was no different: Its intelligent cloud jumped 22 percent reaching $9.2 billion, mostly due to Azure’s whopping 73 percent revenue growth. The Personal Computing side of things rose 8 percent to reach $10.7 billion, which includes a 21 percent increase in Surface revenues. And its Productivity and Business Group, which houses Office and LinkedIn, rose 14 percent at $10.2 billion. Altogether, revenues for the quarter were up 14 percent and profit 19 percent, reaching $8.8 billion.
The takeaway? Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has set the company on a solid course, one focused on the massive potential of cloud computing, while not ignoring the bread-and-butter productivity software and services the company is known for. It’s nice to see that the company’s Surface lineup — the Surface Go, Pro 6, Laptop 2 and Book 2– is getting some consumer love, as they’re some of the best PCs we’ve reviewed recently.
Microsoft’s gaming business only saw a 5 percent rise during the quarter, but mostly I’d chalk that up to a slowing console generation and a lack of any major exclusives. We’ll hear more about where the Xbox is going at E3, both in the form of a next-generation console for next year, as well as cloud gaming plans that could take on Google’s Stadia service. Given just how much Microsoft’s cloud business is booming, a game streaming service simply makes sense.