Microsoft’s Huge Ai Investments Are Profitable

Microsoft has recorded stronger growth again in recent months. The high investments of recent times are starting to pay off noticeably. But even the most important customers are now willing to spend more money again.

AI Investments Paying Off

When the Redmond company opened its books, it had sales of $56.5 billion. That is at least 13 percent more than in the same period last year. Profits rose significantly more sharply, climbing by 27 percent to $22.3 billion. With this result, the group has exceeded both its own targets and analysts’ forecasts.

Microsoft had told investors that its heavy investments in AI technologies would only deliver meaningful results from early 2024 when more products become widely available. However, positive effects are already evident. Sales from Azure cloud services recently “only” brought 26 percent growth and the number fell steadily – now it has risen again to 29 percent.

As Microsoft boss Satya Nadella reported, around 18,000 corporate customers are already using the new Azure OpenAI services, which make AI models available for integration into various proprietary applications. “Azure has continued to gain market share as enterprises move their workloads to our cloud,” he said.

Positive Trend: Companies Are Also Investing

In general, however, there is a trend reversal among business customers. They had been quite cautious about new spending for some time because they preferred to keep their money together given the uncertain economic situation. But that is now changing noticeably. Revenue from cloud subscriptions for Microsoft’s Office suite, including Excel, Word, and Teams, rose by 18 percent in the last quarter.

However, things are much more cautious among private customers. For example, the generally weak PC and notebook sales meant that Microsoft’s sales of Windows licenses only increased by 4 percent and sales of its own computer hardware were only 3 percent. However, things went better in the games division, where services relating to Xbox content in particular generated 13 percent more revenue.

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