Microsoft’s resurgence is hardly new information. The company has been trending upwards for a couple of years thanks to cloud development. However, a new (old) milestone was reached in the wake of Microsoft’s fiscal second quarter results yesterday. Reuters is reporting that the company’s market capitalization topped $500 million for the first time since 2000.
The news comes after Microsoft announced a Q2 FY17 Report with total revenue of $26.1 billion. Growth continues to come from the company’s renewed focus on business and development in cloud services. The revenue bested Wall Street expectations, another in several consecutive quarters where Microsoft has performed above predictions.
Investors were buoyed by the news and shares in Microsoft rose 2.1 percent to $65.54 in early trading on Friday. It is worth mentioning that is an all-time high price. The company is now trading with a value of $510.37 billion based on the share price.
Microsoft has had to wait since March 2000 to see its value rise above $500 billion again. Interestingly, 2000 is sort of a cut off for the Microsoft of old and what the company became. It is probably fair to say that the 21st century has not been kind to the company.
Pre-2000 was the halcyon years for the world’s largest software company. Microsoft was a dominant force, so much so that the US government took the company to task amid accusations of monopolizing. It was also a time before Apple’s newfound groove took hold, before mobile was a thing, and before hardware became king.
Recovery in the Cloud Under Satya Nadella
Steve Ballmer was CEO for much of the last sixteen years. He tried to compete with Apple in terms of hardware and with Google in terms of building a mobile ecosystem. Both projects were largely doomed to failure. So much so, Microsoft was increasingly looking like a company in steep decline.
Satya Nadella took control after Ballmer, and over the last three years, he has been working to restore Microsoft. The focus was quite clear, the company would simply return to what it does best. Delivering software for enterprise was always Microsoft’s proverbial bread and butter, that’s where Nadella would steer the company back to.
In the years of muddled enterprise focus, the cloud had risen to become an important part of how companies operate. Nadella has pushed a cloud first strategy at Microsoft that has been the backbone of the company’s recent growth and Wall Street besting results.