Millennium Post

Microsoft profit up as cloud, AI grows

San Francisco: Microsoft has said its revenue and profit climbed in the recently ended quarter, getting results from its bets on cloud computing services and artificial intelligence.

The US tech giant reported its net income increased 10 percent to 8.8 billion on revenue that was up 17 percent to 30.1 billion when compared with the same period last year.

Microsoft saw revenue gains across its full range of businesses including business services, gaming, internet search ads, its consumer software including Windows and Office and LinkedIn, the recently acquired professional social network.

Shares were up more than three percent to 107.80 in after-hours trading following the release of earnings for the quarter ending the fiscal year quarter for Microsoft.

"We had an incredible year," chief executive Satya Nadella said. "Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation." Microsoft executives told analysts they expected another year of growth, with demand for computing on the rise and the technology giant well-positioned in that market.

"We're investing aggressively to build Azure as the world's computer," Nadella said, referring to Microsoft's cloud computing platform that competes with services run by Amazon and Google.

"We expanded our global data center footprint to 54 regions, more than any other cloud provider." Despite continuing to invest in promising trends from cloud computing and artificial intelligence to gaming, Microsoft expected its profit margins to improve. Revenue in a productivity and business processes category that included career-focused social network LinkedIn was up 13 percent in the quarter to 9.7 billion, according to Microsoft.

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