Microsoft benefiting from positive business sentiment towards cloud computing, says GlobalData

Following the publication of Microsoft’s first quarter 2021 results (Tuesday 27 October)

David Bicknell, principal analyst, Thematic Research at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view.

“Microsoft’s cloud computing business is thriving, helped by the increasingly positive sentiment towards the technology among business leaders.

“Nearly half of the 1,800 respondents involved in GlobalData’s, ‘Emerging Technology Trends Survey 2020’, said that their view of cloud computing had become more positive in recent months. Enterprises have become increasingly reliant on the technology to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. That change in sentiment can only be good news for leading cloud vendors like Microsoft.

“When Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft’s chief executive in 2014, he recognized the importance of the cloud theme and predicted that Microsoft’s annual cloud revenue would grow three-fold in just two years. That goal was surpassed ahead of schedule, and Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing services have underpinned the company’s strong financial performance over the last six years.

“In contrast to its cloud success, Microsoft saw a 10% year-over-year drop in search advertising revenues this quarter and it expects that decline to continue in the next quarter. Launched 11 years ago, Bing has failed to make inroads into Google’s dominance of the search engine market. The US Department of Justice’s antitrust action against Google’s parent Alphabet could benefit Bing, but a resolution to that dispute is years away. Until then, Microsoft’s performance in the search-engine world will continue to be underwhelming.”

Webinar: GlobalData will be holding a webinar on the ‘Emerging Technology Trends Survey 2020’, on 29 October at 3pm (GMT). Register at
The role of eight technologies will be discussed in the webinar. The others besides cloud computing are cybersecurity, automation technologies, 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and augmented reality.

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