Amazon and Microsoft both released their latest quarterly results this week that showed it was unlikely either company lost any of their current stranglehold on the cloud infrastructure services market.
Market heavyweight Amazon reported that its Amazon Web Services (AWS) business generated nearly $7.7 billion in revenues during the first three months of the year. That was a 41% increase compared to what it produced during the first quarter of 2018. AWS’ operating income, which removes the cost of running its business from revenues, surged an even more impressive 59% year over year to more than $2.2 billion.
The company’s cloud business accounted for 12.9% of Amazon’s $59.7 billion in total revenues for the quarter. That was up from 11% during the first quarter of 2018.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky noted that the company’s AWS business was running at a $30 billion annualized run rate. That was significantly higher than the $26 billion reported just a few quarters ago, and nearly double what it was generating in mid-2017.
Amazon this week also expanded the reach of its AWS business into China by opening up a new data center in Hong Kong. That data center is now the eighth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The company’s overall results for the quarter surpassed expectations, sending its stock up more than 20% in early Friday trading.
Microsoft Hits $1T
Unlike Amazon, Microsoft doesn’t disclose exact revenue for its Azure public cloud. The company did however say its commercial cloud revenue grew 41% year over year to $9.65 billion for its third fiscal quarter, which surpassed analyst forecasts of around $9.3 billion in revenues.
Microsoft CFO Amy Hood told investors that surge was “highlighted by healthy growth in the U.S., Western Europe, the U.K., and Germany.”
Microsoft also combines its Azure business — along with its hybrid cloud Azure stack and other cloud services, plus its artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT products — into its Intelligence Cloud business unit. That unit’s revenue grew 22 percent to $9.7 billion in its second fiscal quarter, with its Azure business specifically posting a 73% year-over-year increase in revenue.
Microsoft is also expanding the reach of its data centers. It’s expected to break ground soon on a pair of data centers near Phoenix, and recently revealed that it built two new Azure Government Secret data centers in the U.S.
Microsoft also announced that its GitHub subsidiary has surpassed 36 million registered users. That is substantially higher than the 28 million registered users GitHub claimed when it was acquired by Microsoft last year for $7.5 billion.
Investors took kindly to Microsoft’s results, briefly sending the company’s stock price to a new 52-week high of $131.37 per share and its market capitalization, which is a feature of its stock price and the number of outstanding shares, past the mythical $1 trillion mark. It has since settled down a bit to just south of $997 billion. While it might not match Amazon’s cloud market share, Microsoft can at least claim a slightly higher market cap.
How these results play out in terms of market share remains to be seen. Synergy Research Group reported that at the end of last year, AWS controlled as much of the $70 billion-per-year cloud infrastructure services market as its next four smaller rivals combined.
While AWS dominates the market, smaller rivals Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba all posted Q4 2018 market growth that exceeded the overall market. That means all three gained market share, “with Microsoft in particular jumping ahead.”
Google’s parent company Alphabet is scheduled to report results early next week.