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Microsoft is under pressure to maintain its Azure business growth rate after it overtook its other businesses as its main revenue driver.
Microsoft’s FY19 Q4 earnings results show that revenue in Intelligent Cloud alone was $11.4 billion and it increased 19% and Azure revenue growth of 73% in the last quarter. Some analysts have suggested it will be very difficult for Microsoft to maintain these stratospheric growth rates.
SoftBank is said to be preparing the announcement of a $40 billion investment in its second Vision Fund. Microsoft is reportedly discussing investing in the fund, under the condition that SoftBank will encourage its portfolio companies to use Microsoft’s Azure. This would also mean a transition away from Amazon Web Services.
Other major investors in the Softbank Vision Fund include Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and Abu Dhabi’s national wealth fund, leading to ethical concerns in Silicon Valley regarding receiving investment from countries with a known history of human rights abuses.
Some of the Vision Fund investments include major stakes in Brandless, WeWork, Ola, Grab, Didi Chuxing, Uber, Lemonade and several others.
Microsoft declined to comment when questioned of their motives.