Microsoft financial results: Q2 FY21

Microsoft have, once again, had a stellar quarter (Oct-Dec 20) with overall results of:

  • Revenue up 17% to $43.1 billion
  • Operating income up 29% to $17.9 billion

Looking deeper into specific product categories and areas we can see:

Productivity and Business Processes

Revenue was up 13% to $13.4 billion which included:

  • Office 365 Commercial up 21%
  • Dynamics 365 up 39%
  • LinkedIn up 23%

Intelligent Cloud

Revenue was up 23% to $14.6 billion and Azure was revenue growth of 50%

More Personal Computing

The “other” parts of Microsoft’s business all saw success to with revenue up 14% to $15.1 billion. This included:

  • Windows Commercial up 10%
  • Xbox up 40%
  • Surface up 3%

Microsoft’s results are very consistent and are outperforming pretty much every comparable competitor you can think of…Oracle, SAP, and IBM are very far away from numbers like these! Amazon are still seeing great success with AWS – currently rising around 28% – but that is a greatly limited portfolio when compared to that under Satya Nadella’s control.

There are several areas of Microsoft’s product line-up which are at the very start of their evolution and will grow and continue these results for the foreseeable future.

See the full info from Microsoft here.

Microsoft Financial Results: Q1 FY21

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As I think most of us expected, Microsoft’s strong financial results continued in Q1 FY21.

Headline figures

In July – September 2020, Microsoft saw:

  • Revenue up 12% to $37.2 billion
  • Operating Income up 25% to $15.9 billion
  • Net Income up 30% to $13.9 billion
  • Operating Expenses grew by 10% (primarily driven by investments in Azure)

This is a fantastic performance as Microsoft – unlike many of their rivals – continue to grow and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. While IBM, Oracle, and SAP are all reporting lacklustre numbers – Microsoft are doing very well. This is mainly due to Microsoft’s wide and varied portfolio – if you don’t want one thing, there are plenty of others they can sell you – but also due to the relevance of their product line-up.

Not only are Microsoft 365 and Azure hugely relevant right now, so are products like the Power Platform and Dynamics 365 as they enable new ways of working and digital transformation. This is a strength many of their competitors don’t have – if you don’t want to buy a big database or an ERP system, that dramatically reduces the options for Oracle & SAP for example.

Product Highlights

  • Office 365 commercial revenue was up 21%
  • Dynamics 365 again grew by 38%
  • Azure saw another quarter of 48% growth
  • LinkedIn was up 16%
  • Surface revenue rose 37%
  • Enterprise Mobility & Security install base has grown to 152 million+ seats

On the flip side – Office Commercial was down 30% showing the move away from on-premises perpetual to cloud-based subscriptions continues apace.

Microsoft also called out “continued weakness” in transactional licensing as they saw a 1% drop in “server products” revenue. To be honest, I’m surprised it isn’t a bigger drop than that…

Another drop in Windows Pro OEM sales (22%) while Windows non-Pro OEM grew by 31%. This will partly be due to organisations de-prioritising laptop refreshes right now but also, I suspect, by users working from home buying themselves new “work” devices. That latter aspect opens up some licensing issues – as volume licensing Windows licenses generally can’t be applied to Windows Home licenses.

Microsoft are in a very strong position and it’s further proof that Satya Nadella has overseen one of the greatest corporate turnarounds for a long time!

Further Reading

Cloudy with a chance of Licensing podcast – coming soon!

I put out a LinkedIn post and tweet the other week to se who’d be interested in joining me on a Microsoft-focused podcast…and it turns out quiete a few people would! The response was fantastic and means that the CWACOL podcast will definitely be happening – and soon. I’ve got a few things to get out of the way first and then I can start recording some awesome podcasts with some awesome people 😁

If you’ve already been in touch, thank you! If not, and you fancy chatting about anything and everything Microsoft – licensing, new products, hardware, the partner channel, working with Microsoft, Surface, development, ISV, etc. – drop me a comment/tweet/LinkedIn DM/email etc. and we’ll get something setup.

Look out for the first episode in the coming weeks!

Microsoft volume licensing customers get access to Surface devices

As reported by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, Microsoft have made it a little easier for volume licensing customers to get their hands on the Surface RT & Surface Pro devices with a new website –




Text from the site:

Welcome to the Surface commercial customer ordering site. Using the link for your country below, you can order Surface devices, accessories, and after-market service plans (availability varies by market).

Some important notes:

  • A valid Purchase Order (PO) is required for each order form submission
  • Lead times for delivery and order requirements may vary depending on inventory.
  • If you do not currently have a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, there may be additional processing time to setup account and credit terms

Protect your Investment

While Surface devices come with a standard one-year limited warranty, you may want to consider purchasing a Surface Extended Hardware Service Plan. This plan is available for both Surface Pro and Surface RT devices and includes an extension of the hardware warranty up to 3-years.
The plan includes shipping a replacement unit out prior to your product return to minimize downtime. The Extended Hardware Service Plan can be purchased up to 45 days after device purchase. For details on what is and is not covered in the Extended Hardware Service Plan for Surface devices, please see the Terms and Conditions.
The Extended Hardware Service Plan is priced at $200 per device for Surface Pro and $150 per device for Surface RT. At this time, the Extended Hardware Service plans are available only in the US and Canada and via direct purchase from Microsoft.

You need to log into the website to see the above screens and move through to the pricing & ordering sections. I’d expect that any login that can access the VLSC (Volume License Service Center) will be able to sign into this site.

This is an interesting move from Microsoft – still not involving their channel partners but at least making it easier for corporations to purchase these devices! It’s interesting to note that they’re not offering a discount via this new site – the prices are the same as those on the public website.

Also, the Surface Pro isn’t listed on the UK page but it is on the US page, so it conforms to the current availability schedule. No early Pro goodness, even for volume licensing customers Smile

Surface Pro: We have a release date

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet will be released to the world (sort of) on February 9th 2013.


I say sort of because that is the day MS stores (physical & virtual) will start to sell it, along with Best Buy & Staples in the US.

No word of other retailers in the UK and more importantly, no word on when/if it will be made available to the “Channel” – the network of distributors and resellers that makes up the vast majority of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.

This to be is of utmost importance – we (my company and the channel in general) are seeing so much interest in this device that, if we are left unable to fulfil this for our customers, it will be perhaps the biggest run-in Microsoft has ever had with it’s partners.

We’ve had pricing for a little while now but still no answer as to channel availability…and I’ve been asking!

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has got more info on this, as well as news of new accessories here:

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