Microsoft Azure might not be quite as profitable as we all thought

Microsoft head quarters in France
(Image credit: HJBC / Shutterstock)

Unredacted court documents first reported on by The Information reveal that Microsoft’s Azure business generated $34 billion in revenue in the 12 months leading up to June 2022 - less than half (47%) of the $72 billion generated by its key rival AWS over the same period.

Microsoft has long been secretive about the true scale of its cloud business, instead leaving investors and analysts to merely guess how well it has performed. The court documents, which have now been removed, may push Redmond to now be somewhat more transparent about its revenue.

Instead, the company has historically packaged Azure figures together with Enterprise Services, Windows Server, and SQL Server figures, in a business operation it calls Intelligent Cloud.

Microsoft revenues

The court filing, which relates to yet another antitrust case in the US (Microsoft is the hot topic in the EU for its reportedly anticompetitive cloud business), indicates that there’s no evidence if Microsoft’s Azure business is even profitable at this point.

The year following June 2022 has been a massive one for the company on the whole, with significant generative AI developments that have seen Azure play host to the OpenAI Service and many other artificial intelligence operations. Whether that means a spike in revenue, or a bigger spike in costs, it remains to be seen just how profitable Azure actually is.

Regardless, with both AWS and Azure accounting for 30-40% each of the UK public cloud market in the UK in 2021 (via Ofcom), alarm bells are beginning to sound about Azure’s comparably lower revenue.

In terms of the cloud infrastructure services market, Synergy suggests that AWS accounts for 32%, with Azure trailing behind in second place with 23%. 

In response to a request to comment, Microsoft told TechRadar Pro: "Microsoft has nothing to share."

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!