As we reported earlier today, Microsoft confirmed its fiscal Q2 2020 financial results and it was another blockbuster frame for the company. Indeed, Microsoft posted a 14% jump in revenue year-on-year (YoY), totaling $36.9 billion. However, the results were also once again lacking details, especially regarding Xbox and Azure.
Microsoft has fallen into the habit of lumping multiple services and products into umbrella divisions. In other words, the company places Windows, Surface, and Xbox under More Personal Computing. As for Azure, it is hidden in Microsoft's Intelligent Cloud umbrella.
It is worth pointing out the company does detail growth or decline margins across individual products, but not specific sales for some.
We can take this both ways and it's obvious Microsoft enjoyed another bumper quarter regardless.
During its fiscal second quarter, Microsoft says Azure grew 62%. However, analysts have been left wondering what the metric for the growth is. What is the base? Because Microsoft never offers sales data, it's impossible to know.
Some would argue that actual sales cannot be stellar because Microsoft would talk about it. That's perhaps a good point because the company certainly has no problem talking about how many people use Office 365 or Windows. Could it be the company does not offer specifics on divisions that are not doing well?
That seems to be the case with Xbox (which we'll get to) but makes less sense with Azure. There's no doubt Azure is thriving and seems to be a driver behind the general performance of Intelligent Cloud.
For analysts, they are left playing a guessing game. Estimates suggest Azure draws around $4 billion in revenue each quarter. However, it could be much higher or indeed much lower.
Perhaps in terms of Xbox numbers, the case is clearer. Microsoft was defeated in the 8th generation of the console market by Sony's PlayStation 4. Moreover, the general consensus is the gap in sales was significant. As we have previously reported, the PS4 is the second best-selling console of all-time.
Sure, both the Xbox One and PS4 are now both declining as the generation comes to a close. Microsoft confirmed the Xbox decline last night by posting a fall of 11% during the last quarter (YoY).
It seems obvious Microsoft has avoided providing specific Xbox sales figures because the console has struggled against the PS4. Certainly, Microsoft is fast to release information regarding other Xbox services. For example, we are told about Xbox Live user numbers and Mixer subscribers.