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Microsoft’s Earnings Surge, as Cloud Bet Continues to Pay Off

SEATTLE — Apple has its cash cow, the iPhone, which has made it the world’s largest public company. Amazon transformed an array of industries, from logistics to the way consumers buy, to become the second largest. For Microsoft, which is gaining ground on Amazon, growth runs straight through the cloud.

In the past several quarters, Microsoft’s commercial cloud offerings have grown by big leaps, helping push the company’s market cap to about $785 billion. On Wednesday, the company reported that the fast growth had continued in the latest quarter, as part of an earnings statement that beat analyst expectations and the company’s own guidance across every segment of its business.