Microsoft sees growth thanks to booming cloud biz

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Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks during the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Monday, May 7, 2018.
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks during the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Monday, May 7, 2018. Credit: Grant Hindsley/Bloomberg

Microsoft posted another quarter of brisk revenue growth driven by its cloud business, underscoring that internet-based computing is now the heart of the largest software maker's operations.

Fueling its push is Azure, the company's cloud-computing service, as revenue jumped 76 percent year-over-year. Office 365, the internet-based versions of MS Office, saw sales to corporations jump 36 percent. Microsoft often uses its suite of productivity-based products to introduce current clients to its cloud offerings.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been working to transform the company into a seller of services that let businesses store data and run applications from Microsoft's data centers, instead of their own in-house machines. Amazon is the market leader, but booming demand means Microsoft has still been able to carve out a solid business with its Azure cloud services. Microsoft dominates in the fast-growing market for cloud-based office software, and corporate upgrades to Windows operating systems are keeping that product's sales growing even as PC sales remain flat.

Profit in the fiscal first quarter rose to $8.8 billion while sales climbed 19 percent to $29 billion, Microsoft said Wednesday in a statement.

The company's stock has gained about 20 percent so far this year.

Bloomberg News and AdAge Staff

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