Microsoft's plan to become a major cloud competitor is working

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Wall Street had been looking for earnings of 72 cents per share on $23.5 billion in revenue.

For the company's Intelligent Cloud division, which includes Azure and Windows Server, revenue increased 14 percent to $6.9 billion, with Azure growth of 90 percent. Although Microsoft's cloud offerings have reported impressive growth, the MPC segment continues to be a drag on the company's performance.

Revenue was $24.5 billion and increased 12%.

Three quarters before a self-imposed deadline to achieve $20 billion in annualized revenue from its commercial cloud products and services, Microsoft announced Thursday that it had achieved that goal.

"Our strong start to the fiscal year reflects the impact of our continued investment in product innovation and sales capacity to capture expanding market opportunities", said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Microsoft.

Injury sidelines Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower
Dont'a Hightower was injured in the New England Patriots win over the Atlanta Falcons in the fog on Sunday night. Hightower has started five games this season and tallied 14 combined tackles and two quarterback sacks.

Net income in the recent period was 84 cents a share, Microsoft said Thursday in a statement. Year-to-date, MSFT has gained 29.21%, versus a 16.08% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

Here's a look at what Microsoft products drove growth.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares are up 3.68% aftermarket following Q1 results that beat EPS and revenue estimates, met a Cloud sales goal early, and didn't drown in the struggling global PC market. Dynamics products and cloud services sales were up 13% due to a 69% growth in Dynamics 365.

Windows Phone is dead, the company's fitness-focused wristband has been axed and its streaming music service is no more, and Microsoft investors couldn't be happier with the company. LinkedIn revenue of $1.1 billion for the quarter was flat sequentially. A weaker point in the quarter was gaming revenue, which slipped 1%, ahead of the launch of the Xbox One X on Nov.7. In 2015, a year after being named the company's CEO, Satya Nadella said he wanted Microsoft to hit that target sometime in 2018 - a big jump up from the $6.3 billion business it was back then. Windows OEM revenue was also up 4 percent and search advertising revenue increases 15 percent.