(New York) Microsoft on Tuesday published quarterly results significantly above expectations, boosted by its remote computing activity (cloud) which relies on artificial intelligence, currently the group’s trump card with ChatGPT in particular.
For the January-March period, which is the company’s third fiscal quarter, Microsoft posted a 7% year-over-year increase in revenue to $52.8 billion.
Microsoft has clearly taken the lead among the technological giants since the launch in November of the so-called generative artificial intelligence interface (capable of creating content on demand in everyday language) ChatGPT, designed by the Californian startup OpenAI, in which it invested heavily.
The Redmond firm (Washington State, northwest) has already integrated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine, which has completely relaunched this portal, which until now has been unable to face competition from Google.
It intends to put ChatGPT technology at the service of all of its products, from the venerable word processing software Word to Outlook emails, including Teams.
“The world’s most advanced AI models are now usable with the most universal interface, plain language, and will usher in a new era of computing,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, quoted in a statement released on Tuesday.
With its technology, Microsoft wants to be “the platform of choice to help consumers optimize their digital spending and to innovate”, added the manager.
Thanks to the ChatGPT effect, revenue from the cloud – which relies on offshore servers but also relies heavily on artificial intelligence – jumped 22% year-on-year to $28.5 billion, the same pace growth than in the previous quarter, while the market fears a slowdown.
They now represent more than half of the company’s turnover (54%).
During the reporting period, Microsoft’s net profit reached $18.3 billion, up 9.4% year-on-year. Reported per share, crucial data for the market, it comes out at 2.45 dollars, well above the 2.24 dollars expected by analysts.
In post-Wall Street trading, the group’s stock rose 4.84%.
“Microsoft rode the AI wave this quarter,” commented Sophie Lund-Yates of Hargreaves Lansdown, saying artificial intelligence “brings major economic benefits to [Microsoft’s customer] businesses, with more revenue and productivity gains”, attractive assets “in an environment marked by softened margins”.
The cloud is more than ever the engine of growth for a group that has seen sales of Windows licenses to computer manufacturers plummet by 28% and revenues from the sale of its own electronic devices (tablets, computers, consoles) drop 30%.
Some also noted the 10% increase in advertising revenues, when those of Alphabet, also published on Tuesday, fell slightly (-0.2%), even if Google’s revenues in this segment are very much higher than those of from Microsoft.