Microsoft hits $1 trillion after Azure surge

Cloud biz revenue jumps 73% in the last quarter as it grows faster than the competition

Microsoft's cloud service Azure has grown 73% in the first quarter of 2019, helping the company to briefly hit a $1 trillion market cap for the first time.

The tech giant's revenue hit $30.6 billion for the quarter, a 14% increase compared to the same period last year. Operating income hit $10.3 billion,  a 25% rise, and net income jumped 19% to $8.8 billion.

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Perhaps what's most notable about the quarterly earnings is that server products and cloud services revenue increased 27%, which the company attributed to Azure, it's cloud computing service, which saw revenue growth of 73%.

"Leading organisations of every size in every industry trust the Microsoft cloud," said CEO Satya Nadella. "We are accelerating our innovation across the cloud and edge so our customers can build the digital capability increasingly required to compete and grow."

Microsoft saw growth in other services, such as LinkedIn, which had a revenue increase of 27%, and the Surface line of tablets and computers, which grew 21%. But it's larger figures came from Azure, which has been a consistent source of growth of the company at a time when other divisions have struggled.

"Demand for our cloud offerings drove commercial cloud revenue to $9.6 billion this quarter, up 41% year-over-year," said Amy Hood, the company's executive VP and CFO. "We continue to drive growth in revenue and operating income with consistent execution from our sales teams and partners and targeted strategic investments."

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In the nine years since Azure's release, the cloud platform has grown rapidly, despite failing to chip away at the market shares enjoyed by rivals AWS and Google Cloud. However, the overall health of the market has allowed Microsoft to enjoy significant gains regardless.

In 2018, Amazon raked in $ 3 billion, with a large portion of it coming from AWS. The company's cloud division saw year on year profit growth of 45%, which continued a trend of growing by at least 40% each year. In the final quarter of the year, AWS brought in sales of 7.4 billion. The company's first quarter results of 2019 are expected to be released next week.

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