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And the Intelligent Cloud business, which contains Azure, Windows Server and SQL Server, produced $7.80 billion in revenue, giving it a 15 percent growth rate.

Revenues for the quarter rose 12 percent to $28.92 billion from $25.83 billion past year. Columbia Sportswear also intends to use Dynamics 365 and Azure to gain greater consumer insights and business intelligence through every consumer interaction, whether through its wholesale businesses, brick-and-mortar retail stores, ecommerce experiences or mobile channels. Wall Street analysts expected Microsoft to earn US86 cents a share on revenue of US$28.38 billion. Profit also increased from $3.6 billion to $4.3 billion. LinkedIn witnessed a growth of over 20% and contribution of $1.3 billion. Analysts were calling for revenue of $7.51 billion in this segment, per FactSet. This was the 10th consecutive quarter of 90%+ revenue growth for Azure. Earlier this month, a KeyBanc analysis concluded its Azure cloud services had grabbed back market share from its biggest competitor, Amazon, though it still trails by 42 percentage points in the no. 2 spot.

The company's own forecast, offered during its conference call on October 26, was for revenue of $27.8 billion to $28.6 billion, which at the time was better than expected.

Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue declined 4% due to the impact of an apparent larger deal the company made previous year.

Microsoft saw growth across the board, including in their cloud sector.

Total revenue in the company's More Personal Computing division, which includes the Windows operating system, was $12.2bn, beating the $12bn average estimate of four analysts polled by Bloomberg.

It was the most expensive models, such as the Surface Book 2, that enjoyed the best sales, though, probably because both models offer powerful hardware encased in a unique 2-in-1 design to appeal to creatives who don't want a MacBook.

"This quarter's results speak to the differentiated value we are delivering to customers across our productivity solutions and as the hybrid cloud provider of choice", said Nadella.

CEO Satya Nadella highlighted Microsoft's investment in IoT, AI and cloud as key to the growth. Microsoft said that gaming revenue was up 8 percent in the gaming industry's all-important holiday quarter.