After beating expectations in its first two FY 2016 earnings reports,Microsoft's [stckqut]MSFT[/stckqut] multi-year turnaround seemed like it might finally have taken root. Unfortunately, its earnings miss last week came as a sharp rebuke to that idea, a fact not missed by investors.
To chart its path into the post-PC world, Microsoft has placed aggressive bets in growth markets, including big data and productivity tools. At the same time, many view Microsoft's cloud-computing business as, perhaps, the company's biggest opportunity, which is why investors should take note of the relatively weak performance of its cloud business this past quarter.
Though far from cataclysmic, Microsoft's cloud business showed several signs of weakness in Q3, especially when considered in total. For starters, though growing faster than other reporting segments, Microsoft's intelligent cloud business produced its slowest growth thus far in its fiscal 2016.