Microsoft Tops Estimates as Azure, Office Products Drive Gains

Microsoft Corp on Thursday topped Wall Street forecasts for quarterly profit as the technology company signed up more businesses to its Azure cloud computing services and Office 365 productivity suite.

Much of Microsoft’s recent growth has been fuelled by its cloud computing business as more enterprises seek to cut data storage costs by adopting cloud-based software and moving their applications to data centres.

The company’s flagship cloud product Azure, which competes with Amazon.com’s dominant cloud infrastructure offering Amazon Web Services (AWS), recorded revenue growth of 93 percent in the third quarter ended March 31.

“Microsoft on the heels of Azure is gaining further steam in this massive secular cloud shift, and the results speak to that,” said Daniel Ives at research firm GBH Insights.

Azure’s growth has propelled Microsoft to the No. 2 position in the $15.6 billion (roughly Rs. 1.04 lakh crores) cloud computing market with a 14 percent share, behind AWS’s 32 percent, research firm Canalys estimated in February.

Microsoft shares, which are up almost 40 percent over the past year, rose slightly after closing 2.1 percent higher at $94.26 (roughly Rs. 6,290).

Revenue at Microsoft’s productivity and business processes unit, which includes Office 365, rose 17 percent to $9 billion (roughly Rs. 60,000 crores), topping analysts’ average expectation of $8.73 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue for Microsoft’s More Personal Computing unit rose 13 percent to $9.9 billion (roughly Rs. 66,000 crores), including a 32 percent increase for its Surface business.

Kristin Chester, senior finance manager of Microsoft investor relations, said the growth was “better than expected” and stemmed from the business’s evolving product portfolio.

Microsoft “refocused its efforts and catered to a productivity audience with a Surface that is both a tablet and a PC,” said Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst with Nucleas Research. “Apple is still playing catch up to that.”

Overall, the Redmond, Washington-based software maker’s revenue rose 16 percent to $26.82 billion (roughly Rs. 1.8 lakh crores), ahead of expectations of $25.77 billion.

Net income rose to $7.42 billion, or 95 cents per share, from $5.49 billion or 70 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had expected earnings of 85 cents per share.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

Paul Ryan forces out House priest because he ‘aligned with Democrats’: report

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan forced out the Jesuit priest who had served as House chaplain since 2011, in an apparent partisan squabble, a new report said Thursday.

House Democrats believe the ouster of Rev. Patrick Conroy was “because Republicans thought he was aligned with Democrats,” a senior Democratic aide told The Hill.

Conroy’s letter of resignation, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, said he was stepping down because of a request from the Wisconsin Republican, who is also a Catholic.

“As you have requested, I hereby offer my resignation as the 60th Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives,” the April 15 letter to Ryan said.

Four sources — two from each party — told the website that Conroy was told he had to retire or he would be canned.

In a prayer during deliberations on tax cuts last year, Conroy asked that lawmakers should be “fair to all Americans,” a new report said Thursday.

One Democratic lawmaker said Ryan objected to the prayer on the House floor that Republicans viewed as critical of the GOP tax cut bill.

Other sources said Ryan thought Conroy favored Democrats in the House, and cited the prayer and the priest’s invitation to a Muslim to offer a prayer before the chambers as the reasons behind the chaplain’s demise.

“Some of the more conservative evangelical Republicans didn’t like that the Father had invited a Muslim person to give the opening prayer,” a source said.

A senior GOP aide said Conroy’s exit “was not because of any particular prayer.”

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Matt Lauer Addresses ‘False Allegations’ for First Time

Matt Lauer is speaking out about the sexual misconduct allegations that led to his termination from NBC’s Today show.

For the first time in five months, since he was fired in November 2017, Lauer, 60, revealed he chose to raise his voice now to address the reports following his initial statement.

“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months. I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost,” Lauer said in a statement to The Washington Post on Wednesday and published on Thursday.

“But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false,” he concluded the statement.

A rep for Lauer did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

RELATED: Dirty Jokes, Flirty Banter: Insiders Describe the Culture of Matt Lauer’s Today Show

Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

An insider previously told PEOPLE that Lauer was let go due to sexual misconduct throughout 2014 with a female staffer, including at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Women have also anonymously accused Lauer of sexual harassment and assault in reports published by Variety and The New York Times.

Former colleague and co-host Ann Curry also recently told The Post that she approached two members of NBC’s management team after an NBC female staffer told Curry that she was “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer. “A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her. She was afraid of losing her job. … I believed her,” Curry said.

“I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women,” Curry told The Post.

Since Lauer was fired from Today for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior, he has remained in touch with some of his former co-workers and away from the public eye.

WATCH: Ann Curry On Her Reaction To The Matt Lauer Scandal: “I’m Not a Vengeful Person”

Lauer previously released a statement just hours after his termination that ended his over 20 years of co-anchoring the Today show.

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC,” he said.

“Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly,” he added.

Lauer continued: “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching, and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”

RELATED: Everything We Know About the Allegations Against Matt Lauer

Since his termination and the reports of his alleged sexual misconduct, Lauer has been laying low in the Hamptons — and a source close to him previously told PEOPLE that he remains “truly devastated” over the situation that ended his career at NBC.

In the aftermath of the allegations, Lauer and his wife Annette Roque “rarely talk” and are “preparing for divorce,” according to a source. (The couple, who wed in 1998, share three kids together: sons Jack, 16, and Thijs, 11, and daughter Romy, 14.)

Lauer’s statements on Thursday were released in the same Post report that claimed longtime NBC anchor Tom Brokaw allegedly made unwanted advances to two women, including former anchor Linda Vester.

RELATED: Hoda Kotb Says She Still ‘Keeps in Touch’ with Matt Lauer After His Today Show Firing

“I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago, because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” Brokaw said in a denial statement issued by NBC and obtained by The Post. “The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her, at that time or any other,” the statement continued.

A rep for Brokaw and NBC News did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Princess Beatrice Enjoys Vacation with Karlie Kloss & Ellie Goulding

Princess Beatrice is getting a little rest and relaxation with a few of her famous friends before her cousin Prince Harry‘s royal wedding in May.

The 29-year-old appeared happy in a group photo with a large group of friends in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan on Tuesday including supermodel Karlie Kloss and Ellie Goulding.

Among others invited to the trip were Kloss’ boyfriend Joshua Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner, and Misha Nonoo, Meghan Markle‘s fashion designer friend who is rumored to have introduced her to her soon-to-be husband.

Nonoo shared the group picture on her Instagram Story, with the caption, “Wadi Rum,” as Beatrice knelt next to Kushner with his hand on her shoulder while Goulding hugged boyfriend Caspar Jopling on the far left-hand side of the photo.

Goulding, 31, even gave her friends a rendition of her 2012 hit single “Burn” a cappella while strumming with her guitar.

Ellie Goulding singing "Burn" for her friends while on vacation

Ellie Goulding singing “Burn” for her friends while on vacation

Misha Nonoo/Instagram

Kloss previously shared photos of her vacation with Goulding in which they both sat atop ATVs while riding through the desert, with the caption, “Goulden hour 🌞.”

The supermodel, 25, also posted a photo of herself with longtime boyfriend Kushner sitting inside of an ATV with her face covered as he smiled at the camera.

“My ride or die ❤,” she captioned the photo.

While Beatrice’s friends come from all walks of high society life, one in particular, Nonoo, stands out. Meghan, 36, has frequently worn Nonoo’s design, most notably during the Invictus Games in September 2017 when the soon-to-be-royal made her first official appearance with Harry wearing a white “Husband Shirt.”

When asked for comment at the time, a representative for Nonoo told PEOPLE: “Misha will not be discussing anything surrounding her relationship with Meghan.”

Meghan Markle and Misha Nonoo

Meghan Markle and Misha Nonoo

Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Nonoo was previously married to Alexander Gilkes, the co-founder of Paddle 8, an online art auction house that once employed Harry’s cousin and Beatrice’s sister, Princess Eugenie. Gilkes is also one of Harry’s closest friends so Nonoo would have undoubtedly become well acquainted with Harry during her marriage to Gilkes.

Nonoo met Markle several years ago at a lunch in Miami where they were seated next to one another. They instantly became friends, and “got along like a house on fire,” Nonoo told the Evening Standard in October.

RELATED: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Announced the Reason They Don’t Want Wedding Gifts

“I love her to death,” Nonoo said. “She is the coolest girl in the world.”

Meghan recently said goodbye to her acting career in the season 7 finale of Suits. The actress, who played Rachel Zane since the show’s inception, retired with a TV wedding less than one month before her real-life nuptials to Harry.

While she may no longer be acting, the bride-to-be is busily preparing for her wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19. It’s unclear who will be Meghan’s maid of honor, but it was recently announced Prince William will serve as his brother’s best man. (Harry served as best man for William’s wedding in April 2011.)

Jersey Shore’s Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Is Engaged

Jersey Shore‘s Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino is officially off the market.

The reality star announced on social media Thursday that he popped the question to college sweetheart, Lauren Pesce — and she said yes!

“GYM TAN WE’RE ENGAGED!!” the 35-year-old wrote along with a photo of the happy couple riding a carousel. In a separate post, Sorrentino shared a picture of himself getting down on one knee and holding a ring in his hand as Pesce smiles at him.

“THE FUTURE MR & MRS SITUATION,” the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star wrote.

“SHE SAID YES !!! 🙏🏻❤ ” he captioned another.

Pesce also shared the news on her Instagram with a selfie and a close-up of the ring. “I said YES 💍 love you forever,” Pesce captioned the picture.

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RELATED: Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Says His College Sweetheart Lauren Pesce Has Stayed with Him Through His Darkest Times

Sorrentino and Pesce met and dated for nearly four years while they were in college but took a break as Sorrentino rose to household name status on Jersey Shore; the two rekindled their relationship after the show ended.

Us Weekly was first to report the news.

Trump ridicules adults in the media on Take Your Child to Work Day

President Trump seemed to seize the moment a bit on Thursday, taking jabs at some of the press corps members whose kids joined them at the White House for “Take Your Child to Work Day.”

Trump was first seen with the youngsters signing their press credentials and a few “Make America Great Again” hats in the White House Rose Garden.

He said only “friendly questions” should be asked, adding that the kids were “very aggressive” and “ask me better questions.”

TRUMP REBUKES ‘STUPID QUESTION’ FROM ABC NEWS STAR REPORTER

“You know, your parents are being very nice right now, I can’t believe it,” Trump said. “You know why? Because they don’t want to embarrass themselves in front of you.”

President Donald Trump is surrounded by children in the Oval Office in celebration of "Bring Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump signed hats and press credentials for the kids.

 (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

And to one kid, the president said they had “a nice father about 80 percent of the time.”

Trump then asked the kids if they wanted to go inside the Oval Office, to which they responded with an overwhelming “yes!” And when asked whether their parents should be allowed to join them inside, the kids chanted “out!” in unison.

“Out! I agree,” Trump said. “C’mon lets go, we’ll go to the oval office.”

TRUMP SLAMS NBC’S ‘SLEEPY EYES’ CHUCK TODD FOR ‘FAKE NEWS’ COMMENTS ABOUT NORTH KOREA

The group entered the famed office as the president continued to sign credentials before crowding around his desk for a photo op, which he said the kids would have to remember for years.

President Donald Trump is surrounded by kids in the Oval Office in celebration of "Bring Our Daughter and Sons to Work Day" at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The kids crowded around the president’s desk in the Oval Office for a photo.

 (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“Look how nice you’re parents are behaving, I can’t believe it,” Trump said. “They’re not screaming and they’re not going wild.”

Fox News Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.

Comey says Justice Department watchdog interviewed him over handling of memos

Former FBI Director James Comey told Fox News on Thursday night that the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General has interviewed him about his handling of memos detailing conversations between Comey and President Trump.

Fox News reported last week that the DOJ watchdog was looking into whether Comey gave classified information to unauthorized sources as part of a broader review of the former director’s outside communications, including with the media.

Comey told “Special Report” host Bret Baier that he expected Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz to issue a report about the memos “not on the handling of classified information, because that’s frivolous, but on: Did I comply with policy? Did I comply with my employment agreement?”

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IG PROBING COMEY MEMOS OVER CLASSIFIED MATERIAL

Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017, emphatically denied Thursday that sharing the memos with his legal team constituted a leak of classified information. Instead he compared the process to keeping a “diary.”

“I didn’t consider it part of an FBI file,” Comey told Baier when discussing one of the memos. “It was my personal aide-memoire … I always thought of it as mine.”

Comey also claimed that the FBI approved the use of one of the memos in his new book, “A Higher Loyalty.”

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, Comey said he made the decision to document his interactions with Trump in a way that would not trigger security classification. He also testified that he avoided putting classified material in the memos so that they could be more widely shared.

However, after a January 2017 meeting that included then-President-elect Trump at Trump Tower, Comey wrote that the material should have been classified at the SECRET level unless the intelligence agencies thought otherwise.

COMEY DENIES RELEASE OF MEMO CONTENTS WAS A ‘LEAK’ IN FOX NEWS INTERVIEW

“I am not sure of the proper classification here,” Comey wrote, “so have chosen SECRET. Please let me know if it should be higher or lower than that.”

Comey’s disclosure of his memos prompted Trump to describe him as a “liar and a leaker” earlier Thursday.

“He leaked classified information to get a special counsel and leaked the memos which are classified – the memos were about me and he didn’t write those memos accurately. He wrote a lot of phony stuff,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.”

Comey responded by saying Trump was “just wrong” and his statement was “false.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier, Alex Pappas, Catherine Herridge and Judson Berger contributed to this report.

Cardi B Came Through Dripping in Style at the Billboard Latin Music Awards 2018

Cardi B just gave us something to remember on the red carpet of the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Ahead of her performance of “La Modelo” with Ozuna, the Invasion of Privacy rapper appeared wearing a multicolored maxi dress with large hoop earrings, crystal-embellished pink nails—her signature—and voluminous hair. The dress, courtesy of stylist Kollin Carter, features a sheer, pleated fabric with blue, red, pink, green and yellow panels that cinches just under her bust, making her baby bump more evident.

To pair with the look, celebrity makeup artist Erika La’Pearl created a golden beauty look that includes pink and gold eyeshadow, cat-eye liner, and full eyelashes. For her skin, she complemented eyeshadow with golden highlights and light blush. Then, she finished with a mauve-toned lipstick.

Like the star and her highly-anticipated music, the look is bright and high-energy, while also giving feminine, diva vibes. Next to the glittering and bodycon dresses that dominated the carpet, it’s a refreshing take on red carpet fashion.

This comes of no surprise as the rapper is commonly appreciated her refreshing personality and a fashion sense that drips with confidence.

Tom Brokaw Accused of Sexual Misconduct at NBC News

Tom Brokaw has been accused of making inappropriate advances towards two women.

Brokaw, who has been with NBC since anchoring the Today show in 1976, is the latest journalist alleged of sexual harassment following Matt Lauer‘s termination in the fall. Brokaw, 78, has been married to wife Meredith Auld since 1962.

In a Washington Post report published on Thursday, former NBC correspondent Linda Vester claimed Brokaw made an unwanted advance, including a forcible attempt to kiss her, on two occasions in the 1990s. At the time, Vester was in her 20s and did not file a complaint.

RELATED: Ex-Today Staffer Talks Alleged Affair with Matt Lauer and Why She Didn’t Speak Out for 17 Years

Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty

“I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago, because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” Brokaw said in a denial statement issued by NBC and obtained by The Post.

“The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her, at that time or any other,” the statement continued.

The second woman, who worked as a production assistant, anonymously told The Post that Brokaw acted inappropriately toward her in the ’90s. Brokaw also denied the second accusation.

A rep for Brokaw and NBC News did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Also on Thursday, Variety published an interview with Vester in which she claimed Brokaw groped her in an NBC conference room and showed up at her hotel room uninvited. Vester also shared her journal entries from the time period to the publication.

Linda Vester

Linda Vester

Michael Buckner/Getty

“What Linda is doing, like others before her have done, is to give her truthful account in the hope that other women will not have to endure what she did,” Vester’s attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. (Wilkenfeld also represented one of the victims of Lauer’s sexual harassment.)

“Linda is literally seeking nothing for herself. She comes forward at her own expense and at her own peril. By her being willing to go on the record, perhaps this will embolden other brave women to tell their stories,” he said.

Brokaw commanded the anchor desk for NBC Nightly News for 22 years and is the only person to have hosted all three major NBC News programs: the Today show, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press. He currently serves as a Special Correspondent for NBC News.

As recently as April 21, Brokaw appeared on an NBC News broadcast of former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral.

Port Authority Official Resigns After Cursing at Cops During Traffic Stop

A Port Authority commissioner has resigned following the release of a video showing her dive into a profanity-laden rant against two police officers in New Jersey.

Two Tenafly Police Department officers pulled over a car carrying several passengers on March 31 for having a partially obscured license plate and tinted windows, according to NBC 4. As officers prepared to leave, dashcam footage recorded Caren Turner pulling up to the scene and approaching the two patrolmen after her daughter, a passenger in the car, called her for a ride. Turner, 60, was appointed as a commissioner at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey just last year, NJ.com reports.

“I’m here as a concerned citizen and friend of the mayor,” Turner says as she walks up to the patrol car.

An officer tells Turner that the driver of the vehicle had already been given all of the related information, and reminds her that she isn’t directly involved because everyone in the vehicle is an adult. Additionally, her daughter wasn’t the driver and wasn’t ticketed.

“No, no, no. I’m involved,” Turner replies. “Trust me. I’m very involved.”

As Turner attempts to get the officers to tell her why the vehicle was stopped, she displays her Port Authority badge, NBC reports.

“I am the commissioner of the Port Authority, and I am heading up over 4,000 police officers, Okay?” Turner says.

An officer then tells Turner she is being forceful with them, which isn’t helping her cause.

“I just don’t appreciate your demeanor. You’re being very demanding with me,” the patrolman says, before reminding Turner once more that she isn’t involved in the situation and her daughter isn’t the one in trouble.

“Your daughter is not being summoned. She was not the driver, it’s not her vehicle, it’s not your vehicle,” he says. “How are you involved?”

But the response leads Turner to tell both men she was going to speak with the Tenafly police commissioner about the traffic stop—seeemingly threatening the officers that she would use her position to get them in trouble. To further emphasize her anger, Turner tells the officers that they “ruined” Easter weekend for everyone in the car, the video shows.

RELATED VIDEO: Utah Trooper Miraculously Survives After Out-of-Control Car Sends Him Airborne in Dashcam Video

As the exchange continues, Turner calls both men a “disappointment.” The encounter only becomes more heated after the officers recommend she take the passengers home.

“You may shut the f— up and not tell me when I may take my kid and her friends, who are Ph.D. students from M.I.T. and Yale,” she says. “You may tell me nothing, because you told me nothing. Shame on both of you.”

Turner resigned from her position last week, just before the video was released to the public, according to NBC 4. In a statement to NJ.com, the Port Authority addressed a probe into Turner’s behavior that followed them becoming aware of the incident.

“Immediately upon learning of allegations that Commissioner Turner violated the Board’s newly-enacted Code of Ethics, an Inspector General investigation was begun,” the statement reads. “The investigation revealed conduct that was profoundly disturbing. After Commissioner Turner became aware of the investigation, she resigned.”