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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (Photo: Microsoft)

Buoyed by Azure and Office 365, Microsoft reported sales and earnings ahead of what Wall Street was expecting.

Why it matters: The cloud has been Microsoft's growth engine for the past couple of years even as the PC market has been in decline.

Excluding a large one-time tax-related charge and other items, Microsoft said it earned $7.5 billion, or 96 cents per share, on revenue of $28.9 billion. Analysts were expecting per-share earnings of 86 cents per share, on revenue of about $28.3 billion, according to Zacks.

Other highlights:

  • Revenue in the productivity unit that includes Office was $9 billion, up 25%
  • Revenue in the "intelligent cloud" unit was $7.8 billion, up 15%
  • Revenue in the "more personal computing" unit that includes Windows was 12.2 billion, up 2%
  • LinkedIn accounted for $1.3 billion of Microsoft's revenue
  • LinkedIn had an operating loss of $265 million, wider than a year ago, but less than it had in the prior quarter
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 15%
  • Revenue from Microsoft Surface was up 1%

Go deeper

No one in Washington is happy with Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Oversight Board's decision Wednesday to uphold Facebook's suspension of former President Trump found few fans in Washington and exposed the company to a new round of attacks.

Why it matters: While the board urged Facebook back to the drawing board to better define its rules and processes around political speech, political actors on both left and right agree that the social media giant already has too much power.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
20 mins ago - Technology

Two tales of jobs in tech hubs

Expand chart
Data: Indeed; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Jobs are coming back more slowly in America's top tech centers than in other cities — but it's not the tech jobs that are lagging, according to a new analysis from the jobs site Indeed.

What's happening: Pandemic-era remote work is still keeping white-collar workers in tech hubs at home, and that's slowing down the recovery of local shops and restaurants in those communities.

24 mins ago - Technology

Oversight Board knocks Facebook for "lazy" Trump referral

Axios: Sarah Grillo

The independent Oversight Board sent the case of former President Trump's suspension from Facebook back to the company Wednesday because it found Facebook's original referral of the case to be "lazy," a member of the board told Axios.

What they're saying: "[W]e felt it was a bit lazy of Facebook to be sending over to us a penalty suggestion that didn't exist in their own rulebook, so to speak, in their own community standards," said former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, an Oversight Board member, at an Axios event.