Microsoft Promises to Lead ‘The New AI Platform Shift’ as It Reports $20.1B Quarterly Profit


On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a 20% surge in quarterly profits, bolstering its efforts to outpace competitors like Google, Amazon, and Face book’s parent company, Meta, in the sale of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology.

“In a prepared statement, Nadella expressed that organizations are not only pondering how, but also how quickly they can implement the next generation of AI to tackle significant opportunities and challenges in a safe and responsible manner.”

“Despite surpassing Wall Street analyst expectations for both profit and revenues, Microsoft’s stock experienced a slight drop in after-hours trading following the release of its financial report at the market’s close on Tuesday.”

“Macquarie analyst Sarah Handlin-Bowler pointed out that investors have been closely monitoring Microsoft’s early revenue from AI investments, the performance of its Azure cloud computing platform, and the potential impact of the pending acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard. The acquisition could boost gaming revenue and drive more users to the Xbox game system and other Microsoft platforms.”

“More than 18 months after announcing the $69 billion deal, Microsoft is still in negotiations with a British antitrust regulator over concerns that the acquisition may harm competition. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also opposed the transaction but lost a court battle to prevent it.”

“Handlin-Bowler noted in an analyst note ahead of Tuesday’s earnings that they still anticipate a successful close of the deal as Microsoft works toward finding a satisfactory solution to address the U.K.’s concerns.”

“The highest quarterly sales for Microsoft were in the cloud business segment, which grew 15% to $24 billion compared to the same period last year. A significant portion of this growth was driven by the flagship Azure platform and other cloud services, which saw a 26% increase.”

“Microsoft doesn’t disclose the total revenue for its Azure business, but a document inadvertently revealed during its recent court fight with the FTC showed it as $34 billion for the previous year, according to Hindlian-Bowler. Microsoft has not commented on this number and has traditionally been seen as the runner-up to Amazon’s dominant cloud platform, Amazon Web Services.”

“The second-largest business segment for Microsoft, focused on productivity software, including its Office suite, saw sales of $18.3 billion for the April-June quarter, marking a 10% growth.”

The logo for Microsoft, and a scene from Activision “Call of Duty – Modern Warfare,” are shown in this photo, in New York, Wednesday, June 21, 2023. Microsoft reports earnings on Tuesday July 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“While AI has garnered significant attention from the public and investors, Microsoft remains heavily reliant on its personal computing business, which centers around licensing fees paid by computer manufacturers running its Windows software.”

“In the quarter, Microsoft’s personal computing business segment generated $13.9 billion, representing a 4% decrease from the same period last year. Although the segment includes other products like Xbox games and consoles, the decline is primarily attributed to the decrease in Windows revenue.”

“According to market research group Gartner, worldwide PC shipments from various manufacturers in the April-June quarter dropped by 16.6% compared to the same period last year. However, the market is showing signs of stabilization, and Gartner predicts that demand could grow again in 2024.”

“Microsoft’s revenue largely comes from sales to business clients, which has shielded it from some of the economic troubles faced by consumer-focused sectors and advertising-dependent tech rivals like Google and Meta. Despite this, Microsoft has carried out layoffs in recent months, including a significant number of employees near its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. These layoffs follow a prior reduction of 10,000 employees, roughly 5% of its workforce, earlier this year.”

Microsoft’s revenue primarily relies on sales to business clients, thus shielding the company from the economic difficulties experienced by consumer-focused sectors and advertising-dependent tech rivals such as Google and Meta. However, Microsoft has conducted layoffs in recent months, affecting hundreds of workers, including many in proximity to its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, as indicated in the notices sent to government agencies. These recent layoffs are in addition to the 10,000 employees, accounting for nearly 5% of its workforce, that the company had previously cut earlier this year.

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