Work-From-Home Pays Off For Microsoft, As Revenue Leaps 15pc
SEATTLE: Microsoft revenue leapt 15 percent to US$35.02 billion (A$53 billion) for its third quarter, ended March 31, powered by sharp demand for its Teams chat and its online meeting app and Xbox gaming services, as the world went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Microsoft said the coronavirus that has ripped across the world, forcing many office workers to work from home and leaving large numbers out of work, has had “minimal effect” on the company’s revenue.
The company stressed that its focus “remains on ensuring the safety of our employees, striving to protect the health and well-being of the communities in which we operate, and providing technology and resources to our customers and partners to help them do their best work while remote.”
In fact, Microsoft has in some areas been benefiting from the coronavirus. It says sales of its Windows operating system and Surface hardware devices ramped up, as people upgraded personal computers to work from home.
Microsoft also saw an all-time-high engagement on its Xbox Live gaming service, with 19 million active users.
There was also strong demand for its Teams collaboration software, which CEO Satya Nadella says now has 75 million users across the globe.
However the high demand strained Microsoft’s datacentres, limiting how much computing new cloud clients could use and stressing the need to prioritise healthcare and government customers.
Revenue for Microsoft’s commercial cloud – a combination of Azure and the cloud-based versions of software such as Office – rose 39 percent to $13.3 billion. Gross profit margin, a key measure of cloud profitability, was 67 percent, compared to 63 percent last year.
Revenue in the Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes Azure, rose 27 percent to $12.28 billion. – Chris Castellari and wire services.