How Microsoft Has Transformed Into A Trillion-Dollar Cloud Company

By Bryan Rich

April 25, 5:00 pm EST

Today, Microsoft was the third company to hit the trillion-dollar market cap threshold.

Apple was the first, back in August.  Amazon followed in September.

Let’s talk about how Microsoft has transformed itself from a path of obsolescence to quadrupling in value in six years.

Back in April of 2013, an activist investor named Jeff Ubben took a $2 billion stake in MSFT.  That same month Business Insider wrote a story titled:  “Microsoft Could Be Obsolete By 2017.”  The stock had gone nowhere for more than a decade. 

Ubben won a board seat and he pushed for stock buybacks and a strategy reset.  He pushed out the CEO, Steve Balmer.  He replaced him with Satya Nadella, who was running the Miscrosoft cloud business.  His job was to turn Miscrosoft into a cloud computing company.  He has done it.

Microsoft is now the number two cloud computing platform globally, behind Amazon. For perspective, cloud computing is a $200 billion market growing at close to 20% a year.  And Microsoft’s cloud business, Azure,grew revenue by 73% last quarter.

Bottom line:  Amazon and Microsoft have a duopoly in the high growth digital storage business (i.e. cloud computing). 

Amazon’s retail business gets all of the attention, but it’s cloud business has been subsidizing it’s retail business for a long time.  The hyper-growth in cloud and the market dominance held by Amazon and Microsoft are why their market value has gone to a trillion-dollars, and why their charts look so similar …

 

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