back to article Bonkers Azure bookings give Microsoft a record-breaking $110bn year

Microsoft has closed out a massive fiscal 2018 that saw the Redmond giant lay claim to more than $110bn in total revenue. Azure and its cloud compute operation was singled out in Redmond's financial figures – released on Thursday – as one of Microsoft's top performers both in the full year and the past three months. Here's a …

  1. steelpillow Silver badge

    Rebirth of the phoenix

    Sounds like they will soon be giving AWS a run for their money. Jeff Bezos, spend it while you can!

    1. Jason Hindle

      Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

      This is something I've only just started looking at. I'm sure many big businesses would prefer Microsoft's name to that of Amazon, but at the ground level AWS seems a hell of a lot more approachable for the curious tech.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

        " I'm sure many big businesses would prefer Microsoft's name to that of Amazon"

        Any sensible big business would use both. Why put all your eggs in one cloudy basket ?

        But there are some things the AWS platform does better than Azure (e.g. AWS IAM is a lot more usable and granular than the Azure equivalent).

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

          But there are some things the AWS platform does better than Azure… and something that Azure does better than AWS. Enterprises prefer to have as little configuration as possible which is why some of them prefer Azure for some workloads.

        2. Anonnymous Hero

          Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

          Dual cloud startegy is awesome you pay data ingress and egress charges to both AWS and Azure. Its a great anti-pattern

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

        I'm sure many big businesses would prefer Microsoft's name to that of Amazon

        Really? If you are a high st retailer whose only competition is Amazon why wouldn't you put all your sales data on their system ?

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

      "Sounds like they will soon be giving AWS a run for their money"

      Microsoft's cloud division revenue run rate exceeded AWS's revenue over a year ago now and is still growing faster.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rebirth of the phoenix

      One day Azure might actually become big enough to break out the revenue figures on its own

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Windows

    Loads of Money

    So someone must be buying[1] their shit. Can't for the life of me understand why but at least it isn't Amazon and especially Oracle.

    [1] By 'buying', I should have said renting and/or subscribing. Apart from some hardware you don't buy anything physical from MS.

    1. Craig 2

      Re: Loads of Money

      "So someone must be buying[1] their shit. Can't for the life of me understand why"

      All the (now) middle management grew up on Microsoft and stick with what they know?

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Loads of Money

      "Can't for the life of me understand why"

      Lowest TCO for most use cases, lowest risk, largest application and integration choice.

      "but at least it isn't Amazon and especially Oracle."

      Or Google.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Windows

    Great, just great

    There is no better validation for the usefullness of The Cloud (TM) than making oodles of money out of it.

    Despite its failures, despite the security issues, The Cloud is milking it, ensuring that people will use it and companies will want their share of the pie.

    So The Cloud is here to stay.

    Humbug.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Great, just great

      "...Despite its failures, despite the security issues, The Cloud is milking it, ensuring that people will use it and companies will want their share of the pie..."

      But this is the problem, really, isn't it?

      PHB's eye up the potential savings without ever considering (or being given the data to consider) doing it properly.

      Equally there's this rush to an all-in mindset whereby everything gets thrown over the fence and into the cloud regardless of whether it's actually suitable or not.

      Cloud* based services have a place. But like in any other heterogeneous solution that place needs to be planned and designed rather than this shitty "it's their problem now" mindset. And just like any other solution it's not a panacea.

      What we actually tend to see in this cluster-rush is the antithesis of a well designed, well planned solution.

      *Another meaningless term I loathe. Call it what it is - utility-based computing (i.e. computing based on a utility model). When I come home at night and turn my light on, As an average consumer, I don't really care where or how the electricity is generated from or how it gets to me etc. I care that my light comes on. Reliably. And I care (quite a bit) that when I turn said light off, I stop paying for the electricity.

      1. mathew42

        Re: Great, just great

        > PHB's eye up the potential savings without ever considering (or being given the data to consider) doing it properly.

        I think another factor is poor service from IT departments that might be driving companies to the cloud, particularly for software as a service. A competent IT department can deliver great service, but building and keeping a team of competent staff is a non-trivial exercise. Compounding this are consultants who deliver crap and rarely stick around long enough to learn the business.

        As for the rest of your comments, I agree.

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: Great, just great

          "...I think another factor is poor service from IT departments that might be driving companies to the cloud, particularly for software as a service.

          A competent IT department can deliver great service, but building and keeping a team of competent staff is a non-trivial exercise. Compounding this are consultants who deliver crap and rarely stick around long enough to learn the business...."

          Yeah but as others have pointed out, this move rarely negates the need for local IT staff to anything like the extent that managers seem to believe it can.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great, just great

          "I think another factor is poor service from IT departments"

          Been there and done that. A planned install on customer site turned into an Azure deployment one week later when, apparently, the IT manager looked his staff's competence in the eye and decided that they were going to be very exposed, especially on backup and disaster recovery. I wasn't exactly offered a choice - left to me it would have been onsite install, but it was either cloud or not get the job.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great, just great

      "The Cloud is here to stay"

      The economies of scale mean that the cloud providers can deliver more quickly and offer better resilience and scalability than an inhouse solution. An inhouse team, even for a major bank, can't justify the cost of having lots of scalable primary and secondary servers plus storage and backup solutions waiting ready to run. Nor can they afford to develop all the software tooling required to deploy new solutions to a choice of multiple architectures at the click of a mouse.

      It's the equivalent of a small corner shop trying to compete with a 24*7 Tesco on their doorstep.

  4. Craigie

    Intelligent cloud

    What the hell is that? How does it differ from stupid cloud?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Intelligent cloud

      Doh!

      You pay a lot more for Intelligent Cloud as it has a lot more Buzzwords in its description and we all know that for PHB's, the buzzword count is critical (or more likely the only thing they use to make their decisions)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intelligent cloud

      >Intelligent cloud, what the hell is that? How does it differ from stupid cloud?

      An intelligent cloud pisses down on you when you least want it to, a stupid cloud pisses down at random.

      1. Craig 2

        Re: Intelligent cloud

        I blame Microsoft's cloudy expansion for the lack of clouds over the UK for the last few weeks...

    3. aqk
      Megaphone

      Re: Intelligent cloud? Stupid cloud?

      STOP YELLING!

  5. RobertLongshaft

    Nearly every organisation in the world is reliant on Microsoft technology, this gives them the perfect 'in' for pushing their cloud services, offers like extending support for SQL for free if the workloads are moved to Azure will only give Microsoft even more market share.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is far past time to break up Microsoft, Amazon and Google, maybe Facebook and Oracle too. They're too big have to much power.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Actually, the margins indicate that the market is open to the competition that is coming. I don't think breaking up is going to be required but it is likely that we'll see requests for some kind of guarantee that you can move from one provider to the other. Smart CIOs will be putting this directly in their contracts.

      Also, cloudy revenues for Microsoft now mean lower Personal Computing revenues tomorrow.

      1. midcapwarrior

        They actually don't but even if they did it's better to cannibalize your own sales than to lose it to your competitors.

        Lesson Satya learned from Balmer and the Windows owning the world days.

  7. SVV Silver badge

    Huge revenues explained

    You're the boss at ACME Widget Corporation. You read crappy business magazines full of smug people bragging about their success and feel that this is your world and that you're a "player" too. You've read 2 years worth of bullshit about The Cloud and how it's a miraculous thing that no truly good manager would neglect to be a part of. You spend a fortune moving all your IT into the cloud, ending up being able to do exactly what you did before after all the costly pain of the migration, and still needing all the IT people who ran the in house systems because all that work still needs doing. Sometimes the cloud goes down, just like the old systems occasionally used to.

    Repeat this exercise a million times over worldwide, and a stunning amount of money ends up in the Microsoft bank account.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Huge revenues explained

      For some companies the move from CapEx to OpEx will more than justify the costs of making the change. The other major savings are in finally getting truely thin clients, ie. buying and supporting much less hardware.

  8. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    So Microsoft is a growth stock again?

    Proof that there are a lot of desperate, damned souls walking the streets these days. Be afraid. Be very afraid. >:)

  9. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Lets get real

    It's perfectly possible for a start-up company to get Office, Teams, Skype, CRM, Intune managed laptops and phones, AI, big-data etc. etc. all with many nines reliability with zero on-prem footprint after just a long weekend of work on the Office 365 and Azure portals. No BOFHs needed, ever!

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Lets get real

      "all with many nines reliability"

      I'm not sure 3 is "many". But otherwise correct.

  10. NanoMeter

    Too good

    Bring back Steve 'Developer, developers, developers, developers, developers' Ballmer.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Too good

      Bring back Steve ...Ballmer.

      Not sure that's the sort of cloud we want.

      It's raining chairs....

  11. Smoking Gun

    You have to hand it to Nadella it has been a remarkable turn around under his watch. I remember well 4-5 years ago, Microsoft didn't seem to have any long term vision and were running into a wall after some dismal acquisitions like Nokia. While pimping premium Surface gear he has in parallel given way to a device-agnostic approach, Office on anything, and LinkedIn and Github both very interesting in their own way. It won't be long until Microsoft (and a few big players) are the only ones left, well after traditional VARs and MSPs are out of business, or are scrimping a living selling some IP built on Azure.

    1. Mark Wallace

      "after some dismal acquisitions like Nokia"

      It wasn't a dismal acquisition; it was a very good one.

      It was what they did with Nokia after the acquisition that was a total fuster-cluck.

      And their long-term visions of "One Windows!" and "Mobile First!" are the causes of the total cock-ups that are the windows-8 segment of windows 10, the effluent interface, the crippling of desktop functionality in MS office, etc, as they rushed to give every machine (including those with multiple 24" plus monitors) a smartphone UI.

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