No doubt you've heard by now that Microsoft had a strong first quarter 2012, meeting Wall Street's expectations thanks to a strong showing in server application sales. And while The VAR Guy himself has weighed in with a closer look at the dollars and cents, I thought I'd try to offer some cloud perspectives.

Now, The VAR Guy wasn't especially impressed with this quote from Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner on the company's cloud momentum in the press release:
"We had another strong quarter for Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync, and saw growing demand for our public and private cloud services including Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Azure."

I agree with our resident blogger that some hard numbers on cloud adoption rates would have been far more helpful, especially with the launch of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud suite still in recent memory. But it's entirely in keeping with Microsoft's new Charlie Sheen-like marketing tactic of claiming "winning" in the cloud even with no numbers to back it up.

Far more telling than that generic, throwaway comment is the fact that even when highlighting just how much further the Microsoft Server and Tools Business has come this quarter, there's no mention of the Microsoft Windows Azure PaaS solution, which is included in that division. If there really is "growing demand," one might think it'd be listed as a revenue driver.

So in the final analysis, I'm even more skeptical than The VAR Guy. Microsoft likes to think of itself as the big fish in the pond. But when it comes to the cloud, that pond is more like an ocean, and it's surrounded by sharks. If Microsoft's cloud efforts are truly picking up the pace, we need less propaganda and more hard math, or else there's no way anyone's going to take them seriously.