Microsoft is BEATING Amazon's cloud revenues. Er, how?

It can be done (with some creative beancounting)

Microsoft's cloud revenues are beating those of Amazon's AWS. That's if analyst-haus Stifel Nicolaus's data is correct.

Back in 2012's third quarter Microsoft commercial cloud revenue was $254m, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) ahead at $530m. In the first quarter of 2015 AWS revenues totaled $1.566bn, with Microsoft nudging ahead for the first time at $1.575bn. So that'll be Office 365 and other online services propping up Microsoft's Azure cloud numbers.

Stifel managing director Aaron Rakers writes: "Microsoft ... reported Commercial Other revenue at ~$2.76bn in 1Q15, an increase from $1.9bn in the year-ago quarter. Within this, we would find the implied Commercial Cloud revenue of $1.57bn was up from $746m in the year-ago quarter and $1.4bn in the prior quarter."

Here's the chart showing the revenues in question:


AWS vs Microsoft commercial cloud revenue

Rakers notes Microsoft as saying:

  • Customer usage of Azure compute more than doubled year on year during the quarter
  • More than five million organizations are represented in the Azure activity directory, with more than 425 million identities
  • The 50 trillion objects stored in Azure is up threefold year on year
  • Storage transactions added up to more than five trillion during the month of March
  • Azure hosts more than one million websites.

Register writer Gavin Clarke argues Microsoft is artificially bulking up its cloud revenues, but he thinks CEO Satya Nadella's cloud mob could actually overtake the Bezos bunch soon.

An AWS spokesperson told El Reg today "Microsoft includes Azure financials as part of a 'commercial cloud' bucket which includes a number of other business like Office 365 and Dynamics CRM, so the numbers aren’t really comparable [to AWS]." ®

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