Perhaps Microsoft's cloud-first strategy seems to some like a runaway train, leaving partners and slower-moving customers on the platforms with their "baggage" of on-premise products and expertise.

Or, perhaps that's not the full story. Microsoft's appearance at last week's Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference reveals more forethought and learning than that. There, the company's CVP & CFO for Commercial and Enterprise Dave O'Hara, whose territory includes Office, Dynamics, AI, and Research, answered questions by Credit Suisse Analyst Michael Nemeroff.

As O'Hara observed many times in the interview, he offers a CFO's perspective; he is not one of Microsoft's frequent keynote speakers like Judson Althoff, Ja...

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