Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has had a strong year in 2018. Increasing stock prices, record fiscal year revenues (exceeding $100 Billion for the first time), and strong growth in all areas of business have made it one of the most valuable stocks on the market.
Stock prices hit a record after Monday’s close with a final price of $114.67. This was a 0.36% increase over the previous day of trading. At the pre-market on Tuesday, the stock has been valued as high as $115.09, indicating that prices could continue to increase as investor confidence rises throughout the rest of the day.
Why Are Investors Buying Microsoft Shares This Week?
Microsoft is hosting its Ignite conference in Orlando Florida this week. Ignite is an industry event for technology professionals to learn about the latest developments in software and hardware. Presentations include high-level technology such as cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence.
Microsoft surprised attendees yesterday when it announced a large investment in security programs that will make the Azure cloud platform more attractive for enterprise customers. Azure is the product name given to it’s cloud infrastructure. It includes services like decentralized software, data backups, cloud computing, machine learning, and distributed computing. Azure is the fastest growing division and is responsible for a significant percentage of revenue. Azure competes directly with similar services from both Amazon and Google.
One of the security initiatives will be an online threat protection (antivirus/antimalware/antihacking) product that will be used with Microsoft 365 cloud-based software. Support for the security protection will be offered both through artificial intelligence and real humans. The company also unveiled a new security product that protects cloud data transfer in real time.
The tech industry and investors were excited about the new announcements. Even for investors that aren’t fully up to date with the latest tech, the promise of more online security for enterprise is a big deal. This could help it to increase its cloud market share at a high rate.
Maribel Lopez from Lopez Research said that this was a direct blow to Google, stating that “Microsoft’s absolutely trying to smackdown Google Cloud Platform’s claim of being the most secure cloud.”
Cloud Services are Driving Microsoft’s Growth
Microsoft is wise to continue investment into its cloud technologies. In the last fiscal year performance report, Azure Cloud revenue grew by 85%. Microsoft now has 13.3% of the worldwide cloud market, while it only had 8.7% in the previous year. It is currently the fastest market share gainer in the industry.
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