Microsoft sees growth thanks to booming cloud biz | Computing

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posted another quarter of brisk revenue growth driven by its cloud business, underscoring that internet-based computing is now the heart of the largest software maker’s operations.

Fueling its push is Azure, the company’s cloud-computing service, as revenue jumped 76 percent year-over-year. Office 365, the internet-based versions of MS Office, saw sales to corporations jump 36 percent. Microsoft often uses its suite of productivity-based products to introduce current clients to its cloud offerings.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been working to transform the company into a seller of services that let businesses store data and run applications from Microsoft’s data centers, instead of their own in-house machines. Amazon is the market leader, but booming demand means Microsoft has still been able to carve out a solid business with its Azure cloud services. Microsoft dominates in the fast-growing market for cloud-based office software, and corporate upgrades to Windows operating systems are keeping that product’s sales growing even as PC sales remain flat.

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