Of course, not everyone is happy with the metric. Last month, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer criticized the figure, arguing that Microsoft should instead break out its actual commercial cloud revenue (and its margins) on a regular basis. Although Microsoft signs many of its customers to long-term contracts, the hypothetical nature of run rates is problematic. Actual quarterly revenue may provide a greater level of insight into the company's cloud businesses, but absent that, the run rate is the best metric Microsoft investors have.
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