– Microsoft revenue growth hits six-year low

– Making big bets on artificial intelligence

– Stock has returned 157% over five years

That Microsoft’s (MSFT:NASDAQ) second quarter growth slowed across the board will seem alien to many investors that have come to rely on one of the world’s cloud computing powerhouses and more durable names in the technology sector sell-off over the last year or so.

Microsoft’s latest trading update delivered better earnings than expected ($2.32 versus $2.30) but a six-year low for revenue growth (2%). The slowdown, and conservative tone of commentary, points towards a deceleration that could drag on longer than optimists had hoped.

‘For all the shiny bells and whistles surrounding the likes of Google-owner Alphabet (GOOG:NASDAQ), Amazon (AMZN:NASDAQ) and Microsoft it is cloud computing which has been a real engine of growth,’ said Russ Mould, investment director at investment platform AJ Bell.

‘If these cloud businesses start to sputter, more…

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