Here’s a Look at How Microsoft Makes Its Money in the Post-PC Era

Hint: it's in the cloud

Microsoft had to absorb a $7.5 billion loss because its plan to buy Nokia and then grab a bigger share of mobile devices mostly failed. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has a 3 percent share in the smartphone market, and its Surface device has only seen modest sales, $888 million last quarter.

As Microsoft's earnings showed on Tuesday, it has struggled to stay relevant in the consumer space that has gone almost fully mobile. The brand has lost much of that personal computing domination, even though its is still a force, especially with Windows 10 about to come online and available to maybe a billion people. It is about to give away upgrades to the Windows operating system, the first free installment of the iconic software suite.

So where is Microsoft making its cash these days? The fact is, while it has lagged with everyday consumers, it has built a booming enterprise business with cloud computing and software licensing. Sure, it's not as sexy as the days when it was the reigning champion to Apple's scrappy underdog, but it still mints money—at least not when it's blowing it on acquisitions like Nokia.

Microsoft once counted on splitting its sales fairly evenly between corporate and consumers, but these days it's nearly all about corporate and the cloud in particular.

Here's a look at Microsoft's core business these days, and it's not in PCs:

 Graphic: Dianna McDougall

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