Microsoft and Google both reported strong growth in their cloud businesses during Q1, as more corporate customers moved workloads.

Adoption which started with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is accelerating for Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella explained in an earnings statement, adding commercial services were a key driver during the period.

Microsoft Azure cloud revenue was up 50 per cent year-on-year, with the overall Intelligent Cloud unit recording a 23 per cent rise to $15.1 billion.

The company noted a continuing “verticalisation” of Azure involving tailoring services for specific industries. This is relevant to the mobile industry since Microsoft has made clear its intention to be a player here, purchasing telecom software companies Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch in 2020.

CTO Amy Hood said continuing cloud investment will drive a sequential increase in capex from $6 billion in Q1.

Google, meanwhile, recorded a 46 per cent rise in revenue from its Google Cloud division to $4 billion: CFO Ruth Porat noted its Google Cloud Platform outperformed its overall unit in terms of sales growth.

The company generated overall net profit of $17.9 billion and revenue of $55.3 billion.

But the company continues to face legal challenges: hours after its Q1 earnings announcement, a class action commenced in the UK over accusations Google secretly took consumer data from up to 5 million iPhones and used this to sell advertising.

Reuters reported Google could face a claim of up to $4 billion.