Microsoft gets earnings boost from ‘cloud’

Microsoft said profit gains in the past quarter were driven by its cloud computing services for enterprises

Washington (AFP) – Microsoft said Thursday profits rose sharply in the past quarter, lifted by gains in its core cloud computing operations for business.

The tech giant reported earnings were up 35 percent to $7.4 billion in the fiscal third quarter, with revenue rising 16 percent to $26.8 billion.

Once the world’s biggest corporation, Microsoft has shifted its focus away from its consumer software to business services using its cloud computing platform and artificial intelligence.

“Our results this quarter reflect the trust people and organizations are placing in the Microsoft Cloud,” said chief executive Satya Nadella.

“We are innovating across key growth categories of infrastructure, AI, productivity, and business applications to deliver differentiated value to customers.”

Revenue from its Office commercial software and cloud services revenue rose 14 percent, and 12 percent for the consumer operations for the Office suite.

Microsoft said LinkedIn, the professional social network it recently acquired, saw revenues up 37 percent from a year ago.

Shares in Microsoft fell 1.3 percent in after-hours trade despite the stronger-than-expected results.