Microsoft (MSFT) ended fiscal 2014 in grand fashion, having delivered impressive results. The company saw impressive growth in revenue by 10%. Also, the operating income for the whole year grew 12%. Microsoft plans to penetrate more into the mobile and cloud business. It is focusing on some key aspects to define its core business and improve profitability. It is also focusing on creating an image as a platform company for the mobile-first-cloud-first-world.
Microsoft has already started working on aspects aimed at improving its devices and product offerings. The company is targeting Office 365 and dynamic SAAS offerings. Microsoft is also focusing on improving the user interface with its identity management, device management, and data security.
Moving on to the cloud, the company’s Windows server, System server, and SQL server are helping it see healthy growth in the cloud business. The addition of Azure, StorSimple, InMage, and its datacenter additions of server products are further contributing to its cloud business.
Microsoft has aggressive investment plans. It is focusing on its core digital work and life experiences. The company thinks that investments in these areas will add pace to its growth momentum. Further, it will also invest in strengthening platforms such as cloud operating systems, device operating systems and hardware.
The way forward
To carry out the investment strategy in the most productive way, Microsoft is following three principles. First, the company is focusing on core areas which include engineering, sales, marketing, and M&A. Next will be overlapping efforts covering all screen sizes and consolidated dual use productivity services that cross life and work. At last, Microsoft will ensure the economically smooth going of its business.
Microsoft has good plans to serve the dual user scenario, under which it is focusing on users using technology both at work and in their personal lives. For this, Microsoft has a dedicated team for OneDrive, Outlook and Exchange. This is a good move by the company as it will help it to maintain a good relationship with users.
Further, Microsoft’s specific goal of making multiple applications available on every home screen is taking shape now as the company's management is bringing Microsoft Office to the iPad, which has seen about 35 million downloads until now.
Microsoft’s Power BI Suite, launched in February, is showing positive signs as it helps customers to capture the power of big data, which in turn allows it to harness greater productivity within the organization. These exciting features have added momentum to Microsoft by showing a healthy 130% growth in average monthly users.
Microsoft has some concrete plans for 2015. Its upcoming features such as Delve and Skype Translator are expected to tap new markets for it. Among the two, Delve is an Office based 365 cloud services. On the other hand, Skype Translator will break down language barriers.
Cloud OS represents the fastest growing opportunity for Microsoft. Microsoft’s server products will benefit from its public cloud, where it uses its servers to run cloud. This makes its server software capable of enabling others to build and operate their clouds. This has led to the growth in Hyper-V share by 30.6%.
Microsoft’s Azure Intelligence Service, which enables organizations to securely connect, manage and capture machine-generated data from a variety of sensors and devices is seeing good demand. So, in order to support these high-value services, Microsoft is planning a strategic move by acquiring GreenButton for Big Compute.
Further, it will also launch new high-level services. Also, Microsoft has made additions in Windows OS to strengthen its interface. The update to Windows 8.1 and Enterprise mode on Internet Explorer are seeing good traction.
Moving on to gaming, Microsoft is expecting to close Xbox entertainment studios and will divert its investments in areas such as music and videos. Besides, it will also invest in core gaming products such as Xbox Live, seeking for new opportunities in mobile and gaming segment.
So Microsoft is moving forward on different fronts, making the company a solid bet for the long run. Hence, investors should consider investing in the software giant as it can deliver substantial long-term growth.