Microsoft has transformed itself into a lean, mean, cash-generation machine.
The release of fourth quarter earnings Thursday from the computing giant showed year-over-year gains in all of its major business segments. Microsoft also broke some impressive records, such as the company surpassing more than $100 billion in revenue for the first time in its history.
This past fiscal year has also been one of major growth for Microsoft’s gaming business, which enjoyed a record of its own — topping $10 billion in revenue for the first time. That puts the Xbox-maker ahead of Nintendo — which posted more than $9 billion in revenue for its last fiscal year — but behind Sony, which pulled in more than $17 billion.
Meanwhile, revenue related to Microsoft’s line of Surface products in the fourth quarter alone was up 25 percent, to $1.2 billion. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn also grew its revenue 37 percent during the quarter as well as its membership base to more than 575 million.
It was, in other words, a story of crushing it pretty much company-wide. Microsoft has actually beaten earnings estimates every quarter since early 2016, and CEO Satya Nadella told analysts during an earnings presentation the company still has a long roadway to do much more. “Our opportunity,” he said, “has never been greater.”
“We will continue to innovate and invest across our solution areas in serving our customers and their unmet and unarticulated needs. With this tremendous opportunity comes great responsibility. We’re relentlessly working to instill trust in technology across everything we do. It’s why we will continue to lead the industry dialogue on trust, advocate for customer privacy, drive industry-wide cybersecurity initiatives, and champion ethical AI.”
Keeping with that theme of boomtown across the whole of Microsoft, the company announced that Windows 10 is now active on almost 700 million devices. That’s up from 600 million back in November, notes ZDNet. Microsoft had originally wanted to get Windows 10 onto 1 billion devices by this year, a self-imposed goal that’s taking longer to meet.
Nadella, meanwhile, has pointed to Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud as a key driver of its future, and no wonder. It recorded $9.6 billion during the quarter, up 23 percent from a year earlier.
Ars Technica had this to say about the stellar earnings: “All in all, a familiar tale: cloud services are growing (though Microsoft remains reluctant to offer concrete numbers on Azure), and Microsoft seems to be successfully converting customers away from perpetual licenses and over to Office 365.
“The corporate transition to Windows 10 is proving to be a boon for Windows revenue — and the PC market as a whole — though Gartner reckons this only has another two years or so to run before the upgrade cycle nears completion.”
Microsoft certainly has plenty to celebrate at the moment.