Forget Surface, Lumia and Windows. Today’s Microsoft is all about cloud and subscriptions.
Surface Pro tablets did well. Microsoft has strong orders for the Surface Book. Yet the big story is elsewhere. Investors are more interested in the Microsoft cloud progress: Azure grew 140 percent last year.
Office 365 subscriptions continue to surge. The interesting thing here is that Office 365 has broken out of the Windows market. The Android and iOS apps are a huge success and they, in turn, generate subscription revenue.
Microsoft’s quarterly financial result highlights success with services sitting on top of Azure and Windows.
Reaction to the result was upbeat given stalling phone sales and traditional PC sales in a tail spin. Microsoft now only accounts for one percent of the global phone market. PC sales are down ten percent on last year.
Microsoft has shown a remarkable ability to reinvent its business to cope with change. Looking back Satya Nadella’s appointment and his focus on a Microsoft cloud looks like a masterstroke. The only fly in the oinment is falling margins. That’s going to mean cultural changes throughout the business.