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Friday, July 21, 2017
Microsoft Reports Strong Profit on Cloud Demand

Microsoft on Thursday reported strong fourth-quarter earnings on the back of its cloud computing business and sales of internet-based software and services.

Microsoft's Chief Executive Satya Nadella has shifted the company's focus away from a dying personal computer software business and reinventing it as a provider of cloud computing and subscription-based software.

"Our technology world view of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge is resonating with customers everywhere," Nadella said on the company's earnings conference call with investors on Thursday afternoon.

Micrisoft's revenue from the cloud unit, which includes the flagship Azure platform and server products, rose about 11 percent to $7.43 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30. Revenue from Azure alone, which competes directly with's market-leading AWS division, nearly doubled in the quarter.

Microsoft's long-term unearned revenue rose by more than 61 percent year-over-year.

In a bid to continue this momentum, Microsoft last week launched Azure Stack, a new service that allows customers to run a local version of the company's cloud technology.

Beyond cloud, Microsoft's commercial offering of Office 365 was up 43 percent while Dynamics 365, Microsoft's customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning service, saw a year-over-year increase of 74 percent.

Revenue dropped 2 percent in the personal computer division, which includes Windows 10 and Microsoft's line of Surface hardware. The company said it recorded $306 million in restructuring charges following a reorganization of its sales and marketing teams that was announced earlier this month. The restructuring resulted in layoffs for thousands of Microsoft employees.

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