Why Microsoft Should Really Disclose Azure Numbers


About time! Microsoft delivered yet another stellar second quarter this week, with cloud continuing on with its momentum. However, when it comes Azure numbers, the company still doesn’t paint the full picture.

Unlike, AWS, so to say, which make the distinction clear.

We do, however, know that Azure sales were up 62% from a year ago, while growth accelerated 58% from the previous quarter. The billion-dollar question is, what exactly is the base for this growth?

This is what makes comparisons between the two leading cloud providers so difficult.

Amazon exited its fourth quarter with nearly $10 billion in sales and an annual run rate of $40 billion. The corresponding figure for Microsoft is estimated to be around $4 billion a quarter, or a run rate anywhere from $16 billion to $20 billion.

And really, this article says it straight that Microsoft should say it straight.

This is all we got from Amy Hood, as she explained how bright the fireworks were this past quarter:

“A little bit about the reacceleration in the Azure growth rate, let me divide that into its components. We did have a very good and healthy, broad-based consumption growth, especially in IaaS and PaaS…The SaaS component or the per user component also tends to be where you’ll get some variability as well. We did have a good SaaS component quarter in addition to the healthy base, and that does result in some movement in that number from quarter-to-quarter. And, I think Microsoft 365 suite, and the momentum we’ve got in security and management and mobility is a big contributor to that.”

You’d be lucky if you can piece together something from this!

We know just as little about Azure sales as we did before, even as the commercial cloud arm of Microsoft has hit a $50 billion annual run rate.

Thing is, Azure sales numbers are lumped into commercial cloud, which consists of Azure, Office 365 business services, Dynamics 365 services, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and a host of other cloud products that the company peddles.

On the Amazon Web Services side of thing, it’s all crystal clear with other boosters to cloud the numbers. Maybe Microsoft could do with a little clarity too.

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