Notable statistics from Microsoft Q4 FY19 Earning Calls

Since I am taking notes while reading through Microsoft’s earning call transcript, I thought: why not sharing it here?

  • Microsoft Teams 13 million daily active users and 19 million weekly active users. In March, it was reported that Teams is used by 500,000 organizations
  • GitHub is used by more than 36 million developers
  • 54 data Center regions, more than any other cloud provider and we were the first in Middle East and in Africa
  • More than 90% of Fortune 500 use Power or Dynamics 365
  • LinkedIn has 645 million members
  • Windows 10 is active on more than 800 million devices
  • Xbox Live Monthly Active Users increased to a record 65 million
  • Microsoft Azure’s contracted not realized revenue is $91 billion
  • There are 34.8 million Office 365 consumer subscriptions
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 25% and 28% in constant currency with continued strength across all businesses, highlighted by marketing solutions growth of 42%. LinkedIn sessions grew 22%, with record levels of engagement and job postings again this quarter.
  • Free cash flow increased by 62% YoY to $12 billion in Q4 FY 19. FCF for the fiscal year 2019 is $$38 billion, 18% growth compared to FCF of fiscal year 2018
  • Xbod hardware revenue dropped by 48% while Xbox service and software revenue slipped by 3%
Source: Microsoft

Weekly readings 18th May 2019

How does WeWork make money? A good write-up on WeWork and its business model.

Saying goodbye to Microsoft. A personal account of the author’s time at Microsoft. Sometimes, the grass on the other side isn’t as green as we thought it was

The professor who beat roulette. A very nice piece on a relatively less known subject and historical figure.

Many Hospitals Charge Double or Even Triple What Medicare Would Pay. Read it and let it sink in. The insane healthcare system here never ceases to amaze me

The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902 Did Not Go as Planned. A case of incentives leading to unwanted outcomes.

There is more CO2 in the atmosphere today than any point since the evolution of humans.

How Uber Makes — And Loses — Money. Hats off to CBInsights. They delivered a really good piece on Uber.

Dark theme. A cool post on how to design a dark mode nicely

Introducing Translatotron: An End-to-End Speech-to-Speech Translation Model. This is one of the things I like most about Google. Hope the service will be widely available soon.

Editorial: Why Apple created Apple TV+ rather than buying Netflix. I can see the merits of the “Apple should by Netflix” argument, yet I agree with the blog post.

The State of Gen Z. A nice profiling of Generation Z. The part on their slangs is pretty interesting.

Weekly readings 4th May 2019

The Airbnb Invasion of Barcelona. A look at how tourism-related problems got out of hand at one of the hottest destinations in the world, Barcelona.

Netflix Fights to Keep Its Most Watched Shows: ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’. It’s amazing that “Friends” and “The Office” make up of 5% of the total watching minutes on Netflix and yet the streaming service doesn’t own the rights to those IPs.

The bitter truth behind the Nutella economy. If you care about the ethical aspect of business, you may want to read about this. I understand that there are a lot of products or services that we use everyday come from organizations with a record of questionable ethical practices. However, given that Nutella is pretty popular around the world and in America, you may want to know a bit more about it. And it’s not good for your health!

IHG Sees Room for Improvement in Hotel Revenue Management. The article discusses mainly the attribute-based booking trend in the hospitality industry. Attribute-based booking refers to the model that allows guests to choose from a room level such as number of beds, view and room type to amenities inside the room. Everything is a la carte. It can create the maximum personalization and excitement for guests, but it will require a totally different operations from inventory, marketing to housekeeping and revenue management.

The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance. A great coverage on how Nadella revived Microsoft. I really like his no-nonsense style that was shown when he refused to celebrate the $1 trillion valuation.

The fight for the bundle is the war for the future of TV. A nice piece on the state of TV

The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program. I found it interesting to read stories on how Prime came into beings. The stories show how great Bezos’ business acumen is

LinkedIn Learning

I have quite mixed feelings towards LinkedIn. The platform seems to be a pretty cool concept, a bridge that connects employers with employees, and companies with potential partners. Somewhere along the line; however, the content on LinkedIn has grown a bit out of control, with excessive quizzes or motivational quotes whose origin no one is certain about. My impression is that job-seeking users only use the platform when they are looking for opportunities and stop all interaction whenever there is no such need. Personally, there were times in the past when I didn’t visit the site for weeks and I believe that I am not alone. Consequently, I am never motivated to be a LinkedIn subscriber.

With that being said, I was excited to read about the latest news regarding LinkedIn Learning.

Per TechCrunch:

Now, with 13,000 courses on the platform, LinkedIn  is announcing two new developments to get more people using the service. It will now offer videos, tutorials and courses from third-parties such as Treehouse and the publishing division of Harvard Business School. And in a social twist, people who use LinkedIn Learning — the students and teachers — will now be able to ask and answer questions around LinkedIn Learning sessions, as well as follow instructors on LinkedIn, and see others’ feedback on courses.

Unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning comes when a person pays for LinkedIn’s Premium Career tier, which costs around $30/month…

The first group includes Harvard Business Publishing (e.g. leadership development courses from Harvard Business School’s publishing arm); getAbstract (a Blinkist-style service that provides 10,000+ non-fiction book summaries plus TED talks); Big Think: 500 short-form videos on topics of the day (these are not so much “courses” as they are “life lessons” — subjects include organizing activism and an explainer on how to end bi-partisan politics); Treehouse, with courses on coding and product design skills; and Creative Live, with courses and tutorials for professionals in the creative industries to improve their skills and business acumen.

In addition to Premium features such as InMail or “See you looked at your profile” or salary comparison, a LinkedIn Premium Career comes with content from other platforms that can be pricey on their own. For instance, Treehouse costs $25/month, getAbstract can go up to the same price as well. Throw in potential costs from other content providers and you’ll see how hard LinkedIn wants to attract users by offering much value. In the same way as Spotify offers students with a combo of Spotify Premium, Hulu and Showtime.

This reflects the importance that Microsoft placed on LinkedIn recently. It was reported that activity on LinkedIn would be one of the factors determining the pay of Microsoft’s CEO next year. Nonetheless, LinkedIn Premium Career subscription looks more intriguing to me now with the new added lineup of 3rd party content.

If you plan to subscribe to an online learning website anyway in the near future, this can be a cool option. I never use any of the added 3rd party platforms, but the perks of LinkedIn Premium Career , especially for graduates, may be valuable.

Exciting updates to Microsoft Excel

Almost every office job involves using Microsoft Excel. It’s useful. It’s versatile. Yet it can be frustrating at times. We use it to get things done, but I doubt many of us would claim to love it. That’s why I am excited about the changes Microsoft announced that it would bring to the iconic tool in the near future. Disclaimer: I own some Microsoft stocks, but this post stems from my genuine excitement as a long-time perennial Excel user who, like most, suffers the pain of some mundane tasks for years.

Click on the headlines to see more details and demos from Microsoft

Stock quotes and geographic data

Input the names of stocks or companies that you want to analyze and Excel will provide built-in information & data related to the companies such as number of employees, shares outstanding, P/E…No more going to other websites and painstakingly gather such information.

If you are interested in geographic data, Excel will enable the same capability as it will for stock quotes. Type the list of countries’ names and related information such as population. gas price will be provided.

Data entry from a screenshot

Good news for Android device owners (not so much for iOS users). Soon, Android phone users will be able to take a photo of a data table and quickly have it converted into Excel table. How much time would have been saved if this feature had been here for the past 5-10 years? When will iOS folks have it Microsoft????


Prepare a clean data table and Excel will do the preliminary analysis for you. Charts will be drawn. Outliers will be identified. Summary will be offered. No need to waste more time clicking around.

I really look forward to these updates. Life would be much easier to have some mundane tasks automated. This is what computers and machine learning are great at and should be used for.