Far better Get: Amazon vs. Microsoft

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are ranked next and 3rd, respectively, on Fortune’s list of Most Admired Businesses. That’s not surprising. These tech titans have both attained amazing good results, and the two have been worthwhile investments in the previous.

In the previous yr, shares of Amazon have jumped 65% and Microsoft stock is up 55%. But which is the greater buy nowadays?

Amazon: The retail huge

Amazon has an amazing record of accomplishments: It can be the most significant e-commerce marketplace in the United States and the 2nd-most significant retailer in the planet, with around 1.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises on its platform. In addition, Amazon Website Services is the primary supplier of general public cloud products and services all over the world, with a 32% market share in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Amazon delivery driver holding a package with an open delivery van behind him

Impression source: Amazon.

Further than its core markets, Amazon is also attaining traction in electronic marketing. The firm’s articles platforms — Amazon marketplace, Fire Television, and Twitch — are precious real estate in the advertising entire world and entrepreneurs are willing to pay back for it. Amazon also supplies ad tech platforms to both of those buyers and sellers, allowing for it to financial gain from advertisement sales occurring on and off company-owned web-sites and applications.

In 2020, Amazon’s digital ad revenue attained $15.7 billion, according to eMarketer. That signifies 10.3% of the U.S. electronic advertisement sector, placing the enterprise in 3rd location behind Alphabet‘s Google and Fb. Notably, Amazon has attained major ground given that 2018, when its advertisement small business generated $9.9 billion, using a 6.8% current market share.

These three growing markets — on the internet procuring, cloud computing, and digital promoting — have powered Amazon’s potent economical performance in latest yrs.






$177.9 billion

$386.1 billion


Absolutely free money movement

$6.4 billion

$25.9 billion


Info resource: Amazon SEC filings. CAGR = compound annual growth charge.

In spite of its massive dimensions, Amazon stays perfectly positioned for progress in its core marketplaces. The corporation a short while ago signed an exclusive 10-yr offer with the NFL to deliver Thursday Evening Football to Amazon Prime Video. This partnership should generate growth in Key memberships and support Amazon grow its digital ad small business.

Microsoft: The computer software huge

Microsoft has an similarly spectacular background. The Microsoft 365 suite contains field-leading programs like Phrase, PowerPoint, and Excel, which have served the corporation seize almost 90% of the marketplace for business office productivity software package.

Four Microsoft surface computers.

Impression supply: Microsoft.

Furthermore, Home windows is the primary desktop running procedure around the world by a vast margin, enabling Microsoft to earn licensing earnings from third-celebration Pc producers.

In cloud computing, Microsoft Azure currently ranks second behind AWS, but it truly is growing extra immediately. Revenue jumped 56% in fiscal 2020 (ended June 30, 2020), serving to Azure capture a 20% market share, up from 18% at the conclude of 2019.

Notably, Microsoft is driving this advancement by way of continued investments in details heart infrastructure, as nicely as by expanding its assistance offerings, specifically in the spots of synthetic intelligence, info analytics, and developer tools.

Finally, gaming has turn into a sizable element of this tech titan’s business. In point, gaming income achieved $9.6 billion in fiscal 2020, representing just beneath 7% of Microsoft’s total product sales. And by the initially half of 2021, gaming income is up 38%, driven by powerful Sport Go membership sales and the highly thriving launch of the Xbox Series X and S.

As a full, Microsoft’s fiscal general performance has been extraordinary in new yrs, in particular for an company of its size.



Q2 2021 (TTM)



$96.6 billion

$153.3 billion


Totally free funds circulation

$31.4 billion

$50.4 billion


Knowledge supply: Microsoft SEC filings. TTM = trailing 12 months. CAGR = compound yearly development rate.

As a final believed, compared with Amazon, Microsoft pays a dividend. At present, the dividend produce sits at .84% — not substantially when compared to some shares, but with Microsoft’s deep pockets, this dividend is as close to a positive factor as you might be likely to find.

Likely ahead, Microsoft is primed for progress. Electronic transformation efforts really should be a tailwind for its productivity software and cloud computing corporations. And as video games and esports grow to be a lot more common with customers, Microsoft may possibly be able to develop its gaming business into a third enormous profits stream.

The verdict

Individually, I you should not consider you can go erroneous with both of these firms. Both of those have attained practically unmatched results, and both advantage from strong competitive positions, balanced harmony sheets, and major industry possibilities.

That being claimed, Amazon wins this contest. The organization is escalating much more quickly, and its dominant posture in cloud computing gives it an advantage. Moreover, Amazon’s electronic ad enterprise is speedily taking sector share, producing it a big participant in nevertheless one more substantial business. I feel that leaves a lot more lengthy-time period upside for buyers.

This article represents the view of the author, who may perhaps disagree with the “official” recommendation posture of a Motley Idiot top quality advisory company. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even a single of our own — allows us all assume critically about investing and make selections that help us turn into smarter, happier, and richer.