A Slowdown Is A Slowdown

"Growth continued to moderate, particularly in December, and we exited the quarter with Azure constant currency growth in the mid-30s," Amy Hood said, on Microsoft's call with analysts. "From that, we expect Q3 growth to decelerate roughly four to five points in constant currency. FX impact in Azure is about one point more than at the segment level," she added. And just like that, the bump Microsoft's shares enjoyed from what analysts described as a "better-than-feared" quarter was gone. By Wed
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10 thoughts on “A Slowdown Is A Slowdown

  1. I think it’s important to acknowledge that Cloud service growth is directly tied to business growth. Given the current macro environment, many businesses are already shelving planned low priority projects. Existing infrastructure is already in the budget, so migrating something you’re hosting on premises to the Cloud is actually a new expense, that will also be shelved. Businesses are now expecting a recession this year and planning accordingly. This means optimizing costs whether that’s on prem or in the Cloud, the name of the game will be operational efficiency. This means even businesses that are using Cloud services like Azure will not be looking to increase that spend but “optimize” it by evaluating whether or not the cost of the Cloud services is necessary. This may actually lead to cutting the spend on Cloud in ways that introduce more risk by reducing the resiliency of applications. Perhaps senior leadership will no longer see the value in a multi-tennant DR plan that only provides value if there is a catastrophic failure? This will probably lead to Cloud services experiencing negative growth until the economy turns around.

  2. cdameworth, I think your comment is spot on.

    I’d also like to add that Azure is generally not the go-to cloud provider for software startups, but more for larger companies already locked into the windows ecosystem. MSFT can buy a lot of great companies, but they’ve been piggybacking off of the windows lock in for their entire existence and have never been able to actually make and execute a shiny thing that is a must have across the industry.

  3. I also think there will be a realization among companies that they can outsource some of their cloud operations. For example, instead of hiring an internal team, they can push their data to a third party which operates in the cloud and spits out a useable dashboard or service or whatever — I think this is also going to optimize spend.

    We’re gone from the days where a consultant can spend 50k on AWS in a week doing load balance testing (Yes, I did that) 😉

    1. Thanks for the compliment! Microsoft is positioned really well. Their OS is used on the majority of client machines around the world. The addition of WSL2 provides a level playing field with other *nix OS’s and provides an avenue to build with tools that are not Windows compatible. To your point, VS Code is quickly becoming THE editor of choice for anyone not doing Java. Azure provides some really nice DevOps tools which I think will make them more ideal for leaner IT teams in the next couple of years. Chat GPT will make them more competitive with Google in the near term but I see the long term advantage of that tooling coming out in the form of a dedicated product to replace customer service and help desks. I’ll be buying if the shares get discounted. 🙂

  4. With effort, any cloud provider could algorithmically parse out server usage to examine dev vs testing vs production and break out changes in growth among them all and more accurately address these issues, and have real answers. MS probably does this, I don’t know, but I would if I were them. But I also likely would demure and pretend I don’t know for my reporting to the press

  5. Seems like the management team is important, again!

    Everyone looked like a genius over the last few years, but it’ll be interesting to see how many Ballmers the extended rally and low rates had been hiding. I don’t think Nadella is one of them, but can think of a few at some other high-flyers….

  6. I agree with the comment about Azure getting companies who are heavily Windows focused given the pricing incentives they offer. You can tell that they are trying to be more hip and with it with their AKS offering and as another comment mentioned their Azure DevOps stuff, but I don’t think companies without a heavy Windows footprint would choose Azure unless a higher up started shouting about “multi-cloud.” They’d also be extremely unlikely to convert an existing AWS customer because that customer would likely already have tons of data in S3 and workloads built around that data.

    In general I get confused about earnings growth. I would have thought 38% growth would be objectively incredible even if it misses whatever forecasts are in place.

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