Ayman's blog

Roman Ruzhechko, a suspect in a Russian probe into a major oil pipeline contamination earlier this year, has asked for political asylum in Lithuania, a Vilnius district court spokesman told Reuters on Friday.
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld on Friday an earlier ruling that found the Dutch state partly liable for the deaths in 1995 of 350 Bosnian Muslim men who were expelled from a U.N. base and executed at Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb forces.
At a courthouse thousands of miles from his home in China, a father pleaded with a killer to tell him where his daughter`s body was last placed.
As soon as supermarket manager Cho Min-hyuk got to work the day after Tokyo imposed curbs on exports to South Korea, he pulled all Japanese products off the shelves.
Spain enters a week of debates and votes which will be vital in determining whether Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who has been acting prime minister since an inconclusive election in late April, will be confirmed in the job.
A 70-year-old man has self-immolated inside his car in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, authorities in the South Korean capital said Friday.
China`s second space lab will return to Earth in a controlled demolition Friday, according to the country`s space agency.

Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

1. Beer cans in Japan have braille written on them, so blind drinkers don`t mistake them for soft drinks! 2. Scientists say a new ocean is developing in Africa, which will eventually divide the continent in two! 3. Vending machines kill four times more people than sharks do!

Source: CARTOON 07-19-2019

China`s foreign ministry said Friday it has taken "compulsory measures" against Chinese-born Australian writer Yang Hengjun, who has been in detention since January on suspicion of action that endangers state security.
A man suspected of torching an animation studio in Japan, killing 33 people in the country`s worst mass killing in two decades, planned the attack because he believed his novel had been plagiarized, media said on Friday.

Source: Strawberry Swing

Music is probably one of the few kinds of art that can be experienced in so many different ways. It can be played anywhere, heard everywhere, and listened and enjoyed by anyone at any time. In a bustling, historical and growing city like Cairo, the art of music developed and expanded to reach every corner of the city, even the very far and deserted places in New Cairo.

While you can have the much older generations still performing and singing on huge stages in old Cairo, there are the other young and fresh sounds in other parts of the city playing in much more intimate and renovated spaces, with music that carries the spirit of a much more global and strongly connected modern world.

Earlier in July, the music of British rock band Coldplay was played not just on the radio, a mobile phone, or a laptop screen, but live on stage by their official tribute band ‘Strawberry Swing‘ in Egypt. Band members Abdelrahman Sherif, Mohamed Tarek, Patrick Khalil and Ammar Raad all appeared calmly in the dim light of Room Art Space cafe and dived straight into the captivating melody of ‘Magic’, preferring to let the music spark the first instances of communication and contact between the band and the audience.

All of them are experienced musicians that played, and still play, with other different bands. Abdelrahman previously played with Egyptian Death Metal Band ‘Sinprophecy’ and a few of other projects like Ahl Sina (Oriental Metal), and Cosmic Architects (Post Rock). Patrick also performed with bands like Rock Rockies and Ahl Sina and is the back vocalist and drummer for Vyrus, while Ammar is planning to release an album next year with the band “Bel3araby”.

Yet despite that, they all played with great unity and love for the music, with little hints of competition or uneasiness among them.

“The culture of the music industry is mostly competitive here,” Patrick Khalil tells Egyptian Streets, “it is usually not based on sharing interests and ideas together to create new music.”

In contrast to the solo singers we mostly hear from, like the legend that is Amr Diab and others from the older generations, there is an interesting revival of the collective band spirit that has been ongoing following the 25 January revolution in 2011, with the likes of Cairokee who gained sudden popularity following the revolution by criticizing the social and political problems. Strawberry Swing, on the other hand, is a great example of how the simple passion for music can bring together different people in one band,  with the mission to send messages of love and unity.

Source: Strawberry Swing

“Abdelrahman here is a huge Coldpay fan,” Ammar says, “not only a fan of their music, but also obsessed with the messages of love, peace and unity their music carries, and he had a dream of sharing this message with the people around him.”

“It all started when Abdelrahman called MishMish (Mohamed) to turn this into an actual tribute band and play live gigs, and they then talked with me and Patrick to it. Coincidentally, at the same time, Abdelrahman read a fun fact on a Facebook page that said ‘Strawberry Swing’ is one the most relaxing pop songs ever produced, which holds a messages for peace. And so he presented the idea to us as the name of the band.”

It did not take long before their band was recognized, as Coldplay addressed its huge fan-base in Egypt in 2016 to attend the concerts of Strawberry Swing and that they would “love to play in Egypt.”

For those in Egypt, we`d love to play there someday – in the meantime please consider going to see https://t.co/5iLAJ5UFDk
Love C J G W P

— Coldplay (@coldplay) December 8, 2016

“While we were rehearsing for our first gig, we found out that Coldplay tweeted that all their fans to come to our gig and that very night literally changed our lives for ever. The euphoria was insane.  It is as if we were asked to carry the mantle of their message here in Egypt, and the way people reacted to the Coldplay tweet made us feel obligated to deliver that experience in the best possible way we can,” Ammar adds.

As the concert went on, moving from ‘Magic’ to the more upbeat tunes of ‘Paradise’ and ‘A Sky Full of Stars’, the band’s enthusiasm and interaction with the audience increased, shaking the entire room with claps, dancing, singing and eagerness to listen to the next song. There was also a great variety in the set list of songs, creating an even balance between the more soft and unknown songs, like ‘Us Against the World’, and the loud famous ones.

Source: Strawberry Swing

“When I first saw one of Coldplay’s concerts on YouTube, I was stunned by how they make the audience a part of the show itself, such a letting people light the whole place with the Xylobands in their hands and giving them turns to sing the songs themselves. They take care of every detail, which makes it one of the best experiences a fan could ever have in his life,” Abdelrahman says.

Though there are still significant challenges that musicians continue to face in Egypt, despite the fact that it has been growing over the years with other important developments happening in the country, like expansion of cities, booming young generation, and the increasing experimentation and acceptance of different genres.

“There’s a shortage in music educators, venues and art spaces, and we also don’t have many manufacturers here. Adding all the expenses up you’d find that we pay 40% more than musicians abroad to buy gear and other musical equipment,” Patrick notes.

Yet what is incredible about music as an art is that it is quite inclusive, as it unites different people from various parts of Egypt with its own kind of language – the melodies, tunes, and harmonies of a song that can be enjoyed by just anyone.

Using this kind of musical language, Strawberry Swing hopes to expand in the future and spread its message of love, as they are currently working on a new original Arabic Pop/Rock project.

“The project will continue translating the sentimental situations that people experience in their lives into beautiful music. We have already released one song back in 2018 called “Shams El Sheta”, and soon will be releasing more,” Abdelrahman says.

“For Strawberry Swing, we are also currently searching for crew members and event companies willing to work with us to do greater concerts that would be closer to the Coldplay live experience and allow our fans to engage more and more in the show, and always the best experience.”

For more information on Strawberry Swing and future dates, visit their Facebook page and Instagram

Belle Delphine

  • Instagram star Bell Delphine, who shot to internet fame for selling her bath water, has had her account shut down.
  • It follows what appears to be a coordinated reporting campaign against her. People complained about her account featuring "nudity or pornography."
  • Delphine tweeted on Friday morning: "Wait... @bunnydelphine Instagram is GONE?!!!!!"
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

The Instagram star who went viral for selling her bath water has had her account shut down after a seemingly coordinated reporting campaign against her.

Belle Delphine had 4.5 million Instagram followers and shot to internet fame with two stunts this year: selling her bath water for 30 a bottle and tricking her fans into thinking she was going to make porn for PornHub.

The 19-year-old`s posts are frequently NSFW, she enjoys scantily-clad cosplay, and commonly makes ahegao faces, an expression used in Japanese anime and manga pornography.

Read more: An Instagram star put her own bathwater up for sale for 30 a bottle, and it sold out in 3 days

But on Friday morning, her Instagram account was down. In its place is a message that simply reads: "Sorry, this page isn`t available."

Belle Delphine Instagram

The closure of the account follows what looks to be a campaign to get Delphine taken off Instagram. Searching for the hashtag #belledelphine on Instagram shows that multiple people may have reported her for "nudity or pornography."

One screenshot appears more than others, from an Instagram user called athlete_thedog. A reply from Instagram to athlete_thedog`s complaint says Delphine`s account was removed for violating the site`s community guidelines.

I just deleted an account that had 4.5 million fans I’m gonna get a lot of hate rip me

A post shared by Athlete (@athlete_thedog) on Jul 18, 2019 at 7:06pm PDT on

Instagram did not immediately reply to Business Insider`s request for comment.

The removal of Delphine`s profile comes just hours after Instagram announced that it is updating its policies to provide warnings to users that their account is close to being deleted. It is not known if Delphine received such a warning.

Delphine tweeted about her account being shut down on Friday morning. "Wait... @bunnydelphine Instagram is GONE?!!!!!" she said. Delphine also retweeted a fan who said they "dont understand why people hate on her so much" and she should be allowed to "do her thing."

Wait... @bunnydelphine Instagram is GONE?!!!!! pic.twitter.com/jSPARxRnnv

— Belle Delphine (@BelleDelphinee) July 19, 2019

SEE ALSO: An Instagram star tricked her fans into thinking she was making porn, but actually posted videos of her stroking stuffed toys and eating a picture of PewDiePie

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 things wrong with Apple`s lightning cable

Japan`s foreign minister publicly admonished South Korea`s ambassador on Friday in a deepening row over compensation for Korean forced laborers that has spilled over into their trade in high-tech materials used to make memory chips and screens.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan travels to the United States on Sunday hoping the arrest of a militant leader with a 10 million U.S. bounty on his head and progress in Afghan peace talks will help secure a favorable reception.
More than 300 people died in the Kashmir region claimed by India and Pakistan in the first half of the year, according to previously unreported data - one of the deadliest periods in the disputed territory`s recent history.
The embalmed corpse of Vietnam`s founding leader, Ho Chi Minh, is in great condition, state media said on Friday, a month after the government recruited a team of Russian experts to help preserve the former revolutionary`s body.
Nathan Copeland, a pioneering research subject, talks about his early brain-computer interface and why he’s excited for Elon Musk’s.
Indonesia is offering to pay South Korea its share of the cost of developing a fighter jet in the form of barter, state news agency Antara reported on Friday, as it tries to cut its exposure to the 7.9 billion project.
The United States is struggling to win its allies` support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said.
Australia is "deeply disappointed" that Chinese-born writer Yang Hengjun had been transferred to criminal detention in China, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement on Friday.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi denied on Friday that Iran had lost a drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the United States said that a U.S. Navy ship had "destroyed" an Iranian drone.
Talks between the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition are continuing in Barbados, the foreign ministry from mediator Norway said late on Thursday in a rare statement about the progress of the discussions.
An explosion on Friday near a gate to the campus of Kabul University in the Afghan capital killed six people and injured at least 27 as students waited to take an examination, officials said.
Pakistan has ordered consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval commander condemned to death for spying, following a decision this week by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Animation fans and Kyoto residents gathered at the site of Japan`s worst mass killing in 18 years on Friday, offering flowers and prayers for the 33 people who died in an arson attack on an animation studio in the city.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono summoned South Korea`s ambassador on Friday in a deepening diplomatic row over compensation for Korean wartime forced labor that threatens global supply of memory chips and display screens.
Netflix thinks the Straight Pride Parade "is about hate — not pride."
Microsoft beat analysts` revenue projections by nearly 1 billion when it announced earnings for the fourth quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, as its cloud division Azure continues its path of strong expansion.
Three men have been sentenced to death over the murder of two young Scandinavian women in Morocco, the lawyer for one of the victim`s family confirmed Thursday.
On one day every year, as per tradition, Britain is invaded by swarms of flying ants -- and this year, the insects arrived in such vast numbers they were seen from space.
Japan`s government is considering various steps to resolve the dispute with South Korea over wartime forced laborers, but will not comment on whether it would go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a government spokesman said on Friday.
An explosion on Friday outside an entrance to Kabul university in the Afghan capital killed at least two people and injured 10, officials said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the Komeito party, look set to retain a solid majority in parliament`s upper house in a Sunday election, media surveys have shown.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono summoned South Korea`s ambassador on Friday in a deepening diplomatic row over compensation for Korean wartime forced labor that threatens global supply of microchips and smartphone displays.
Seoul must take swift steps to resolve a dispute over the issue of compensation for wartime forced labor, Japan`s Foreign Minister Taro Kono told South Korea`s ambassador on Friday, adding that the situation violated international law.

Adam Neumann speaks onstage during WeWork Presents Second Annual Creator Global Finals at Microsoft Theater on January 9, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Traditionally, venture capitalists frowned on startup founders selling any of their personal stakes in their companies before the firms went public or were acquired.
  • But it`s becoming more common for founders to cash in some of their stakes pre-IPO.
  • WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, for example, has raised some 700 million over the last five years by selling off stakes in his company or using his stock to guarantee personal loans, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
  • The change in attitude about such moves is related to the big influx in late-stage capital to the venture industry, investors and analysts said.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

It used to be that startup founders generally didn`t try to personally cash in their stakes in their companies until they had at least gone public or been acquired. 

As WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has demonstrated — to the tune of 700 million, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday — that norm is changing. And you can attribute that shift to the massive influx of capital into the venture markets and specifically into companies such as WeWork.

"Traditionally, it would be uncommon for this to happen," said Charlie Plauche, a partner with Austin, Texas-based S3 Ventures. "But traditionally, companies didn`t raise this many billions in dollars of rounds of funding prior to an IPO."

The taboo on founders cashing in before their companies went public was rooted in desire to ensure that founders were fully invested in the long-term success of their startups and not just trying to make a quick buck. But the general prohibition on such moves has gradually been lifting, and the practice of founders selling off parts of their stakes for their own benefit while their companies are still private has becoming more common, especially since the last financial crisis.

More founders are cashing in, but Neumann stands out

Zynga founder Marc Pincus, for example, sold 109 million worth of his company`s stock in a pre-IPO transaction in 2011. Evan Spiegel and his cofounders of Snap each cashed in 10 million worth of their stakes in 2013, four years before the company`s IPO. And Uber`s Travis Kalanick sold a 29% of his stake in the app-based ride-hailing company in 2018, after he had been ousted as CEO but before the company went public.

Neumann`s transactions, though, stand out for their collective size, particularly for a founder who remains his startup`s CEO. As the Journal reported, WeWork`s Neumann has personally garnered some 700 million from a combination of selling his shares in the company and taking out loans from it that are backed by some of his remaining shares.

Read this: WeWork cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann reportedly sold shares he owned in the company and took loans worth 700 million

"The magnitude of Neumann`s sales is an extreme outlier," said Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida who closely tracks the IPO market.

It`s impossible to determine without more details on the transactions just how much of his stake Neumann sold in the moves. That`s because they took place over the last five years, according to the report, and WeWork`s valuation has soared over that time — going from 5 billion at the end of 2014 to 47 billion at the beginning of this year.

Neumann, through a WeWork representative, declined to comment on the report or the transactions to Business Insider.

The influx of venture money is fueling the trend

Unlike founders in earlier eras, but like a growing number today, Neumann holds a controlling stake in this company despite not owning a majority of its shares. He`s able to do that because the shares he does own get 10 votes each, while other shares only get one vote, as The Journal reported. That control means, generally, that he can run the company as he sees fit and doesn`t have to worry as much as another founder might about whether his investors approve of his stock sales. Pincus, Spiegel, and Kalanick were in similar positions.

But the size of Neumann`s sales is also a function of the value of his company. And that in turn is related to a big influx in late-stage capital. Firms such as Softbank have been buying up stakes in older, more mature startups. That money — Softbank alone has been investing out of its mammoth 100 billion Vision Fund — has allowed those companies to stay private longer. 

That trend, though, has also helped to shift attitudes about founders cashing in some of their stakes early, venture investors said.

In prior times, before the influx of late-stage capital, companies of the age and maturity of WeWork would have already been public. Founders frequently sell parts of their stakes in an IPO; it used to be the first time that many of them got to see a windfall from the success of their companies. Investors have come to see moves such as Neumann`s in a similar light, Plauche said. Had WeWork been public by now — as traditionally it would have been — he would have been able to cash in anyway.

"In later stage companies, where the founder has put off liquidity events for years and the valuation has grown, the cash outs make a lot more sense," Plauche said.

Investors are actually encouraging it, in some cases

Another, related factor in the rise of such cash outs is that they often are the only way for late-stage investors to get the stake they desire in a particular company, investors said. In some of the more mature startups, the company itself doesn`t necessarily need any more cash or the existing investors don`t want to further dilute their stakes by having it issue new shares. So the new investors themselves may encourage founders and early employees to sell their shares in secondary markets.

"There`s just more and more late-stage investors looking to put money to work," Pauche said, "and at some point, the only way to do that is to give liquidity to current holders than put money on the balance sheet."

But the trend is moving beyond just more mature startups to those that are earlier in their development, said Kristian Andersen, a partner with High Alpha, an Indianapolis-based venture studio. Investors have come to believe, from observing the growing number of cash outs at more mature startups, that there isn`t as much risk as they may have previously thought in such moves, he said. And actually the startups may benefit from founders taking a little off the table, he said.

New founders at later stage companies tend to have a huge amount of wealth locked up in their shares. Worried that they could lose it all if they mess things up, they can become cautious, Andersen said. Allowing them to cash in some of their stakes before an exit can help them be a little more relaxed and more focused on the company`s future beyond an IPO, he said. He still frowns on founders at really early stage companies trying to cash in. But for those at companies that are further along — ones in their series B funding rounds and beyond — he thinks it`s perfectly fine.

"Increasingly, you`re seeing early-stage investors not only being comfortable with it, but in many cases
encouraging it," Andersen said. He continued: "We have encouraged many of our CEOs to take a few chips off table as they take their ride up."

Still, there are legitimate reasons to worry if and as the trend becomes more prevalent. In some cases, a founder selling off early can be a sign of a lack of confidence in the company or worse. In 2000, for example, Nina Brink sold most of her stake in her startup, World Online, a few months before its initial public offering at a fraction of its IPO price. The company`s stock price plunged soon after its IPO, and the company was sold months later. 

Got a tip about a startup or the venture industry? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: WeWork is setting up a 2.9 billion fund to buy buildings that it will lease to itself

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Apple`s Mac Pro `trash can` was a colossal failure

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to summon South Korea`s ambassador on Friday, his ministry said, in a deepening political and economic row over compensation for Korean forced labourers in the World War Two era.
The chance that Britain will leave the European Union without a deal is the highest since October 2017, economists polled by Reuters say, as arch-Brexiteer Boris Johnson looks set to take over as prime minister next week.
A man suspected of torching an animation studio in western Japan shouted that he had been plagiarized and appeared to have planned the attack, media said on Friday after a blaze that killed 33 people in Japan`s worst mass killing in two decades.
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on an international network of companies and their agents it said were involved in the procurement of materials for Iran`s nuclear program.

jeff bezos amazon

  • Amazon is hiring for two roles that are part of a new team called "stealth advertising innovation" to disrupt the gaming industry.
  • The job postings promise candidates `unparalleled` access to Amazon`s data, suggesting that Amazon may be making advertising a bigger priority.
  • E-commerce agency sources see the move as evidence that Amazon is trying to grow its programmatic advertising business but warned that too many ads may annoy users.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Amazon has been building up its advertising business to compete with Amazon and Google, and now it wants to expand into the gaming industry.

According to two new job postings on LinkedIn, Amazon is hiring for a new "stealth advertising innovation" team specializing in gaming advertising. Both roles suggest that the team will get "deep" access to Amazon`s trove of purchase data to build out programmatic tools for advertisers.

It`s unclear if the roles are tied to Amazon`s live streaming Twitch platform or Amazon Advertising, the arm that helps advertisers place ads across Amazon.com and publishers` websites.

"We`re looking for the right hands-on engineer to work on a disruptive advertising system set to revolutionize customer acquisition for gamers," both job posts read. "Imagine layering the strength of Amazon`s deep purchase history data with the power of machine learning to build a programmatic service that will disrupt the 100 billion-plus gaming industry!"

A spokesperson from Twitch wouldn`t comment on the job postings and an Amazon representative did not respond to a request for comment.

Twitch is Amazon`s live video game-streaming site that it acquired for nearly 1 billion in 2014. Since then, the company has steadily increased the amount of native and video advertising it sells to brands like Wendy`s and Nissan. But the company has been slow to go all-in on advertising to avoid annoying gamers with ads, and advertisers haven`t moved significant budgets there.

Video game advertising is a small but growing industry. Within esports specifically, research firm eMarketer expects for marketers to spend 20 million on the industry by 2020.

Read more: Inside Amazon`s growing ad business: Everything we know about how the e-commerce giant is making inroads with marketers

While the Amazon roles are focused on the gaming industry, the listings state that the team that these two roles will be part of could apply to other industries. The post for the lead engineering role says that role could be based out of Amazon`s headquarters in Seattle or the Bay Area, suggesting that Amazon is targeting Silicon Valley talent.

Amazon`s influence in advertising has grown over the past couple of years but advertisers knock its lack of data as a so-called walled garden as one of their biggest complaints about the e-commerce giant. However, these two job postings hint that staffers could have more access to data than they have up until now.

"As an initial member of the founding team you will have unparalleled access, scope and impact to Amazon`s closely guarded trove of purchase pattern data," reads the listings.

Amazon`s move into gaming has marketers intrigued

Trevor George, CEO of digital agency Blue Wheel Media, said he believed that the Amazon`s postings fit into the company`s small but growing programmatic business. He also speculated that the roles were for Twitch.

Amazon makes the bulk of its advertising revenue from ads placed on its website and apps and has been moving into video and display advertising to grow budgets from marketers that don`t sell items on Amazon.

Read more: Amazon wants to take on OTT heavyweights like Roku for advertising dollars. Here`s the pitch deck it`s using to sell marketers video ads.

"This is in line with the general direction that Amazon Advertising is moving to be heavier on display and video units," George said. "They`re finally starting to take advantage of the insane reach they have in the gaming industry because of Twitch."

He said the team referenced in the job postings suggest that Amazon will expand advertisers` access to targeting tools in Amazon DSP, the company`s demand-side platform that places ads on publishers` websites. For example, an advertiser like Sony could target consumers who own Microsoft`s Xbox consoles or people who play specific games.

Will Margaritis, SVP of e-commerce at Dentsu Aegis Network, said he was intrigued by Amazon`s postings because of their focus on machine learning, which implied to him that Amazon could be developing technology to serve personalized ads to consumers.

However, he warned that Amazon`s move into gaming could cause users to revolt. While Twitch has ramped up its pitch to apply to non-gaming brands, advertisers are still concerned that too many ads may cause users to revolt.

"Stealth advertising is likely the only way to do this at scale — if the consumer is unaware they`re being advertised to, they`re less likely to review bomb the product," he said.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This Facebook exec cofounded and then got fired from Pets.com. Here`s why she is no longer hiding from this failure.

Satya Nadella

  • On Thursday, Microsoft announced it generated 11.4 billion in revenue from its intelligent-cloud unit, which includes Azure and other cloud-computing services.
  • For the first time since the segment was incepted in 2015, intelligent cloud generated more revenue than productivity and businesses processes and more personal computing, the units that include Office and  Windows, respectively.
  • Growth for its Microsoft Azure cloud has slowed down — although an analyst said it was likely because the revenue base is becoming larger, making it hard to keep up a high rate of growth.

For the first time, Microsoft`s cloud business unit generated more revenue than its segments that include Windows and Office.

Microsoft announced on Thursday in its earnings that its cloud business unit, called intelligent cloud, generated 11.4 billion in revenue. In comparison, its more-personal-computing unit, which includes Windows products, the Surface line, gaming, and search, generated 11.3 billion. And its productivity-and-business-processes unit, which includes Office, Dynamics 365, and LinkedIn, generated 11 billion.

The company first instituted this corporate reporting structure, breaking its businesses down into these three specific segments, in 2015.

Intelligent cloud includes Microsoft`s cloud Azure and other services. In total, revenue for this business increased 19% from this time the previous year. This was largely driven by Azure, which grew 64% from the previous year. Microsoft did not break out the revenue numbers for Azure.

However, Microsoft does share a figure it refers to as "commercial cloud," which basically sums up the revenue it gets from Azure, Office 365, and other business-focused cloud services. In the last quarter, commercial-cloud revenue was at 11 billion, up 39% from the same period in 2018. That accounts for about a third of overall Microsoft revenue.

Azure growth did slow down from the previous quarters. Last quarter, Azure`s year-over-year revenue growth was 73%, and in the previous quarter, it was 76%.

Read more: Microsoft blew away Wall Street estimates in its most recent quarter and grew its revenue by 12% from last year

Still, Patrick Moorhead, the founder, president, and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said he wasn`t worried about this slowdown — it`s only natural that as Azure gets bigger, it`ll get that much harder to maintain growth.

"I am not concerned with the declining Azure growth rates right now," Moorhead told Business Insider. "I am keeping my eye on it, but right now, I attribute it to the law of very large numbers. As we have even seen from AWS, as the revenue base gets massive, it`s hard to keep the rate of increase going."

SEE ALSO: A cofounder of NPM, a startup that 11 million developers rely on, has resigned in the wake of a period of employee unrest

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Slack and Flickr, says 2 beliefs have brought him the greatest success in life

Franky Zapata has been driven by a single dream since he was little: being able to fly. Not in an airplane, he says, since the windows function like a screen, but like a bird.
Three British cabinet ministers are set to resign the day Boris Johnson, if as expected, becomes Britain`s next prime minister, The Times newspaper reported on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday defended signing a letter along with 36 other countries in support of China`s policies in its western region of Xinjiang, where the United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.

Reed Hastings

  • The tech industry`s second quarter earning season kicked off in mid-July, with Netflix first out of the gate with its results.
  • Over a period of several weeks all the leading tech companies, from Facebook to Google, will provide closely-watched updates on their businesses.
  • In addition to covering the headline numbers and results, Business Insider Prime will go deeper with smart analysis to give you the most important takeaways from the balance sheets to the earnings conference calls. 
  • Keep checking this page throughout the Q2 earnings season for the latest analysis, breakouts and interviews as the succession of tech companies report their earnings results. 



Netflix`s price hikes help explain its terrible quarter and Wall Street analysts say it needs to be careful as new competitors spring up

Exclusive data predicted Netflix`s weakness in key markets before its huge subscriber miss, and could hold clues about future growth


For the first time ever, Microsoft`s cloud business unit generated more revenue than the Windows or Office segments


When is your company reporting? Check out Market Insider`s 2019 Q2 Earnings Calendar.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch SpaceX`s `most difficult launch ever`

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