Growth in Microsoft's cloud computing business helped push its profit up 24 per cent in the July-September quarter over the same time last year.

The Redmond, Washington-based tech company on Tuesday reported quarterly profit of USD 17.2 billion, or USD 2.27 per share, beating Wall Street expectations of USD 2.08 per share.

Microsoft profits have soared throughout the pandemic thanks to ongoing demand for its software and cloud computing services for remote work and study.

Microsoft posted revenue of USD 45.3 billion in its fiscal first quarter, up 22 per cent from last year. Analysts had been looking for revenue of USD 44 billion, according to FactSet Research.

Sales from what Microsoft calls its "intelligent cloud" segment, which includes server products and its Azure cloud computing platform, were USD 17 billion, up 31 per cent from a year ago. The company has been fiercely competing with Amazon, Google and other cloud providers for big business and government contracts.

There was relatively slower growth in Microsoft's personal computing business segment, which includes Windows software licenses for new computers. Sales in the segment grew by 12 per cent to USD 13.3 billion.

Microsoft has been unveiling the next generation of its Windows software, called Windows 11, its first major update in six years, but the PC market has also been hit by supply chain problems.