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Microsoft Has Been Saved by One Man's Vision

Microsoft (MSFT) seems to have gotten its groove back for good.

For several years now, under the guidance of CEO Satya Nadella, the company has been undergoing a rapid transformation from Silicon Valley laggard to an emerging cloud leader. Its fiscal fourth-quarter results, reported on Thursday, reaffirmed that the transition is in full swing and starting to lift many of its core businesses. Microsoft beat on both its top and bottom line, while Azure revenue increased 97% year-over-year.

Microsoft shares hit a new all-time high right after issuing its report, but shares started to fall back during the earnings call as the company gave a slightly disappointing fiscal first-quarter revenue forecast and on Friday afternoon, the stock was down 0.7% to $73.68. On the earnings call with investors, Microsoft said it expects first-quarter revenue to be between $23.6 billion to $24.3 billion, which is light compared to analysts' estimated $24.2 billion.

Not long ago, the tech giant faced an uncertain future. Everything at Microsoft revolved around its Windows operating system and it was in desperate need of change. It had made a costly acquisition to navigate the burgeoning smartphone revolution, which ultimately failed, and ended with the company vastly downsizing its mobile business.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer...