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疫情对微软云业务的影响已初现端倪

疫情对微软云业务的影响已初现端倪

Jonathan Vanina 2020年07月29日
微软云计算业务一直在高速增长,但近期出现放缓。

微软表现出的一些迹象逐渐说明,新冠疫情所导致的经济低迷对其业务产生了一定的影响。

7月22日,这家科技巨头宣布,上年第四财季的整体收入高达380亿美元,同比跃升了13%。这样的数据对于大多数在新冠疫情期间仍然坚持运营的公司来说,都算是一件值得高兴的事情。不过,在当天的交易后时段,微软的股价下跌了2.3%,报收206.93美元,很有可能是因为该公司至关重要的Azure云计算业务发展步伐有所减缓。

上年第四季度,Azure业务的销售额增长了47%,虽然看似是在飞速扩张中,但这是该业务的同比销售额增长率首次没有超过50%。微软一向不对外公布包括Azure在内许多项业务的具体销售额,只会透露它们的百分比增长率。

目前,投资者们已经习惯了云计算服务的惊人增长速度,这项服务也是微软推销自家产品时的核心卖点。然而,调查公司Gartner在7月初发布的报告显示,受新冠疫情的影响,各公司在IT方面的开支似乎都有所削减,因此,Azure业务的发展步伐也有所减缓。

微软的另外一些业务最近也遇到了阻碍。上周早些时候,领英表示将裁减960名员工,其中大多都是负责招聘的人员。领英的首席执行官赖安•罗斯兰斯基也在一份公开声明中说:“包括我们公司在内,需要按照从前的频率招聘的公司已经越来越少了。”

微软旗下必应的搜索引擎广告业绩下滑了18%,这表明,各个公司正在纷纷叫停网络广告方面的支付计划。

虽然遇到了这些小难题,但在其投入了大笔资金的游戏行业里,微软正经历着高速发展。新冠疫情的爆发和随之而来的“居家令”意味着人们将拥有比以往多得多的居家空闲时间,因此,许多人都想用电子游戏来填补这份空白。

上年第四财季,微软Xbox游戏业务(包括Xbox游戏机、电子游戏和游戏订阅软件)的销售额同比飙升了65%。作为比较,前一年微软Xbox的销售额同比仅增长了2%。

该公司的首席执行官萨蒂亚•纳德拉在与分析师召开的电话会议中说:“这一季度,游戏业务实现了突破性的发展。”

尽管纳德拉没有透露具体数字,但他表示,Xbox Game Pass订阅服务的“用户数量创下了新纪录”。今年4月时,微软宣布,已经有1000万Game Pass用户通过该项服务下载、在线玩电子游戏并与其他人进行了互动。本月早些时候,微软宣布,将允许Game Pass高端版订阅用户免费试用xCloud云游戏服务——用户能够通过该项服务将游戏传输到自己的智能手机或平板电脑上,还可以使用其它一些功能。这一举措意义重大,因为微软以及包括谷歌和亚马逊在内的一众同行业竞争者都认为,云游戏服务拥有巨大的发展潜能。

不过,对云游戏业务的投资并不意味着微软会放弃Xbox游戏业务。纳德拉表示,今年秋季,Xbox游戏机的新版本——Xbox系列X仍将如期发布。(财富中文网)

译者:殷圆圆

微软表现出的一些迹象逐渐说明,新冠疫情所导致的经济低迷对其业务产生了一定的影响。

7月22日,这家科技巨头宣布,上年第四财季的整体收入高达380亿美元,同比跃升了13%。这样的数据对于大多数在新冠疫情期间仍然坚持运营的公司来说,都算是一件值得高兴的事情。不过,在当天的交易后时段,微软的股价下跌了2.3%,报收206.93美元,很有可能是因为该公司至关重要的Azure云计算业务发展步伐有所减缓。

上年第四季度,Azure业务的销售额增长了47%,虽然看似是在飞速扩张中,但这是该业务的同比销售额增长率首次没有超过50%。微软一向不对外公布包括Azure在内许多项业务的具体销售额,只会透露它们的百分比增长率。

目前,投资者们已经习惯了云计算服务的惊人增长速度,这项服务也是微软推销自家产品时的核心卖点。然而,调查公司Gartner在7月初发布的报告显示,受新冠疫情的影响,各公司在IT方面的开支似乎都有所削减,因此,Azure业务的发展步伐也有所减缓。

微软的另外一些业务最近也遇到了阻碍。上周早些时候,领英表示将裁减960名员工,其中大多都是负责招聘的人员。领英的首席执行官赖安•罗斯兰斯基也在一份公开声明中说:“包括我们公司在内,需要按照从前的频率招聘的公司已经越来越少了。”

微软旗下必应的搜索引擎广告业绩下滑了18%,这表明,各个公司正在纷纷叫停网络广告方面的支付计划。

虽然遇到了这些小难题,但在其投入了大笔资金的游戏行业里,微软正经历着高速发展。新冠疫情的爆发和随之而来的“居家令”意味着人们将拥有比以往多得多的居家空闲时间,因此,许多人都想用电子游戏来填补这份空白。

上年第四财季,微软Xbox游戏业务(包括Xbox游戏机、电子游戏和游戏订阅软件)的销售额同比飙升了65%。作为比较,前一年微软Xbox的销售额同比仅增长了2%。

该公司的首席执行官萨蒂亚•纳德拉在与分析师召开的电话会议中说:“这一季度,游戏业务实现了突破性的发展。”

尽管纳德拉没有透露具体数字,但他表示,Xbox Game Pass订阅服务的“用户数量创下了新纪录”。今年4月时,微软宣布,已经有1000万Game Pass用户通过该项服务下载、在线玩电子游戏并与其他人进行了互动。本月早些时候,微软宣布,将允许Game Pass高端版订阅用户免费试用xCloud云游戏服务——用户能够通过该项服务将游戏传输到自己的智能手机或平板电脑上,还可以使用其它一些功能。这一举措意义重大,因为微软以及包括谷歌和亚马逊在内的一众同行业竞争者都认为,云游戏服务拥有巨大的发展潜能。

不过,对云游戏业务的投资并不意味着微软会放弃Xbox游戏业务。纳德拉表示,今年秋季,Xbox游戏机的新版本——Xbox系列X仍将如期发布。(财富中文网)

译者:殷圆圆

Microsoft is beginning to show some signs that the economic malaise related to the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting its business.

The technology giant said on July 22 that its overall revenue jumped 13% year-over-year to $38 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, which for most companies operating amid the coronavirus pandemic would be something to cheer. But Microsoft shares nonetheless declined 2.3% in after-hours trading, to $206.93, likely due to slowing growth in the company’s all-important Azure cloud-computing unit.

Azure sales were up 47% in the fourth quarter, which again sounds like a breakneck pace—but which marked the first time ever that the unit didn't deliver year-over-year revenue growth of 50% or higher. Microsoft does not disclose specific sales numbers for many of its units, including Azure, only how much they've grown on a percentage basis.

Investors have grown accustomed to breathtaking growth in the cloud computing service that serves as the core of everything Microsoft sells to customers. But the coronavirus pandemic appears to be causing companies to slow their IT spending, as research firm Gartner reported earlier in July, which seems to have caused a bit of a slowdown for Azure.

Other aspects of Microsoft’s business have hit roadblocks as of late as well. Earlier last week, the company’s LinkedIn unit said it would lay off 960 employees, particularly affecting the unit that’s responsible for hiring and recruiting services. As LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky said in a public note, “fewer companies, including ours, need to hire at the same volume they did previously.”

And Microsoft’s Bing search advertising business plunged 18%, an indication that companies are pausing their online ad spending.

Despite these hiccups, however, Microsoft is experiencing massive growth in one area of its business where it's investing heavily—gaming. The advent of the coronavirus and ensuing shelter-in-place orders have meant that people have a lot more free time at home than they once did, and they are turning to video games to help fill the void.

Sales in Microsoft’s Xbox gaming unit (a combination of Xbox console sales, video games, and gaming subscription software) skyrocketed 65% year-over-year in the company’s fourth quarter. For comparison, the Xbox unit only grew 2% year-over-year in Microsoft’s previous quarter.

“It is simply a breakthrough quarter for gaming,” CEO Satya Nadella said during a call with analysts.

Although Nadella didn’t reveal specific numbers, he said that the company’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service “is seeing record subscribers.” In April, Microsoft said it now has 10 million Game Pass subscribers who use the service to download and play video games online and interact with others. Earlier this month, Microsoft said it would let subscribers of the premium version of Game Pass access the experimental xCloud cloud gaming service—which lets people stream games to their smartphones or tablets, among other features—for free. That was a big deal because Microsoft, like rivals including Google and Amazon, believes cloud gaming represents a potentially massive future business.

But just because Microsoft is investing in cloud gaming doesn’t mean it's forsaking its Xbox gaming console business. The new version of its Xbox console, the Xbox Series X, is still slated to be released this fall, Nadella said.

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