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Microsoft to increase use of AI

Press Association logoPress Association 26/01/2017

Microsoft will increase its use of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to improve the company's products, chief executive Satya Nadella said when revealing the tech giant's latest financial results.

The company behind the Windows PC software reported revenue of $US24.1 billion ($A32.0 billion) ($A32.0 billion) in the three months to December 31, up on the $US23.8 billion ($A31.6 billion) it generated in the same period last year, an increase driven by the firm's cloud-based products, Nadella said.

Since taking over as chief executive in 2014, Nadella has shifted Microsoft's focus to its cloud business and software and away from hardware including smartphones.

"Our customers are seeing greater value and opportunity as we partner with them through their digital transformation," he said of the latest figures, which also included $US5.2 billion ($A6.9 billion) in net income.

"Accelerating advancements in AI across our platforms and services will provide further opportunity to drive growth in the Microsoft Cloud."

Microsoft said their cloud services around Microsoft Office, including Office 365 which gives customers access to the likes of Word, Excel and PowerPoint anywhere, saw a revenue rise of 47 per cent in the last quarter among business customers, while the number of consumer users also rose to $US24.9 million ($A33.1 million).

However, Microsoft's gaming powerhouse Xbox reported a revenue drop of 3 per cent with sales of the console down.

Microsoft said this was offset by increased earnings from Xbox software and services such as the online Xbox Live multiplayer service.

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