Top 9 Surprises From Microsoft's Q1 2016 Results

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Cloud Driving Profits For Microsoft

The big take-away from Microsoft's financial results Thursday was the cloud is king and plays a key part in its makeover as it transitions from a software company to a cloud giant. Microsoft profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 increased to $4.62 billion, up nearly 2 percent from $4.54 billion in the same quarter a year ago, due in large part to big strides in its cloud computing business.

While revenue dropped to $20.38 billion, down 12 percent from $23.2 billion a year ago, sales for its Azure cloud business more than doubled and sales of its cloud-based Office 365 were up 70 percent in constant currency.

During a conference call with analysts Thursday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shed light on the Redmond, Wash.-based company's current success and challenges and outlined how it planned to achieve $20 billion in cloud revenue by 2018. What follows are highlights and some surprises from Microsoft's most recent quarterly financial results.

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