Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation that manufactures computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers and related services headquartered on the Microsoft Redmond campus located in Redmond, Washington, USA. Its best-known software products are the Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox game consoles and the Microsoft Surface line of touchscreen personal computers. Microsoft was ranked 21st in the 2020 Fortune 500 largest US corporations by total revenue; as of 2019, it was the world's largest software maker by revenue.
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975 to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. In the mid-1980s, Microsoft came to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS followed by Windows. The company's initial public offering (IPO) in 1986 and the subsequent rise in the value of its shares produced three billionaires and approximately 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has increasingly diversified away from the operating systems market and made a number of corporate acquisitions, the largest of which was the $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in December 2016, followed by the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype Technologies in May. 2011.
As of 2015, Microsoft dominates the IBM PC-compatible operating system market and the office software suite market, although it has ceded much of the overall Android operating system market. The company also produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops, laptops, tabs, gadgets and servers, including web search (via Bing), digital services marketplace (via MSN), mixed reality (HoloLens), cloud computing. (Azure) and software development (Visual Studio).
Steve Ballmer succeeded Gates as CEO in 2000 and later developed a "devices and services" strategy. It started with Microsoft acquiring Danger Inc. in 2008, first entered the personal computer market in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers, and then formed Microsoft Mobile through the acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services. . Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has downsized hardware and focused instead on cloud computing, helping the company's stock hit its highest value since December 1999.
Previously ousted by Apple in 2010, in 2018 Microsoft regained its position as the most valuable public company in the world. In April 2019, Microsoft reached a trillion-dollar market cap, becoming the third US public company to exceed $1 trillion in value after Apple and Amazon, respectively. As of 2022, Microsoft is ranked fourth in the world in brand value.
Microsoft has been criticized for its monopolistic practices, and the company's software has been criticized for problems with ease of use, reliability, and security.
Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen aspired to start a business using their computer programming skills. In 1972, they founded Traf-O-Data, which sold a rudimentary computer for tracking and analyzing traffic data. Gates went to Harvard University and Allen received a degree in computer science from the University of Washington, although he later dropped out to work at Honeywell. The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) Altair 8800 microcomputer, which inspired Allen's proposal to program a BASIC interpreter for the device. Gates called MITS and claimed he had a working interpreter, and MITS requested a demo. Allen worked on the Altair simulator, and Gates developed the interpreter. and it worked flawlessly when they demonstrated it to MITS in March 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair BASIC: 108, 112–114. Gates and Allen founded Microsoft on April 4, 1975, and Gates became CEO, and Allen suggested the name "Micro-Soft", short for "microcomputer". software. In August 1977, the company entered into an agreement with the ASCII magazine in Japan, resulting in Microsoft's first international ASCII office. Microsoft moved its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. In August 1977, the company entered into an agreement with the ASCII magazine in Japan, resulting in Microsoft's first international ASCII office. Microsoft moved its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. In August 1977, the company entered into an agreement with the ASCII magazine in Japan, resulting in Microsoft's first international ASCII office. Microsoft moved its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington in January 1979.
Microsoft entered the operating system (OS) business in 1980 with its own version of Unix called Xenix, but it was MS-DOS that solidified the company's dominance. In November 1980, IBM entered into a contract with Microsoft to provide a version of the CP/M OS for use in the IBM Personal Computer (IBM PC). For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, which it named MS-DOS, although IBM renamed it IBM PC DOS. Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS after the release of the IBM PC in August 1981. IBM copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, so other companies had to reverse engineer it to allow third-party hardware to work as compatible with the IBM PC, but no such restriction applies to operating systems. Over time, Microsoft became the leading provider of PC operating systems: 210 The company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as a publishing division called Microsoft Press. 232 Paul Allen left Microsoft in 1983 after he developed Hodgkin's disease. Allen argued in The Idea Man: A Memoir of a Microsoft Co-Founder that Gates wanted to reduce his stake in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. Allen later invested in low-tech industries, sports teams, commercial real estate, neuroscience, private spaceflight, and more. Microsoft co-founder's memoir that Gates wanted to reduce his stake in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think that works hard enough. Allen later invested in low-tech industries, sports teams, commercial real estate, neuroscience, private spaceflight, and more. Microsoft co-founder's memoir that Gates wanted to reduce his stake in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. Allen later invested in low-tech industries, sports teams, commercial real estate, neuroscience, private spaceflight, and more. when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. Allen later invested in low-tech industries, sports teams, commercial real estate, neuroscience, private spaceflight, and more. when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. Allen later invested in low-tech industries, sports teams, commercial real estate, neuroscience, private spaceflight, and more.
1985–1994: Windows and Office
Microsoft released Windows on November 20, 1985 as a graphical extension for MS-DOS: 242–243, 246, despite the fact that they had begun joint development of OS/2 with IBM the previous August. Microsoft moved its headquarters from Bellevue to Redmond, Washington on February 26, 1986, and went public on March 13, raising the stock to about four billionaires and 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Microsoft released its version of OS/2 to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on April 2, 1987. In 1990, the Federal Trade Commission tested Microsoft for possible collusion because of its partnership with IBM, beginning more than a decade of litigation. clashes with the government. : 243–244 Meanwhile, the company was working on Microsoft Windows NT, which was largely based on their copy of the OS/2 code. It was shipped on July 21, 1993, with a new modular kernel and a 32-bit Win32 application programming interface (API), making it easier to port from 16-bit (MS-DOS-based) Windows. Microsoft informed IBM about Windows NT, and the partnership with OS/2 deteriorated.
In 1990, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Office suite, which included individual applications such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. 301 On May 22, Microsoft released Windows 3.0 with an optimized graphical user interface and improved protected mode capabilities for the Intel 386 processor. Office and Windows have become dominant in their respective fields.
On July 27, 1994, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division filed a Competitive Effects Statement stating: "Beginning in 1988 and continuing through July 15, 1994, Microsoft encouraged many OEMs to enforce anti-competitive 'processor' licenses." -processor license, the OEM pays a royalty to Microsoft for each computer it sells with a specific microprocessor, regardless of whether the OEM sells a computer with a Microsoft operating system or a third-party operating system. the product is used as a penalty or tax for an OEM's use of a competing PC operating system. Since 1988, Microsoft's use of processor licenses has increased."
1995–2007: Going online, Windows 95, Windows XP, and Xbox
In accordance with Bill Gates' internal memorandum "The Tidal Wave of the Internet" dated May 26, 1995, Microsoft began to revise its offerings and expand its product line to include computer networks and the World Wide Web. With the exception of a few new companies such as Netscape, Microsoft was the only large and established company that moved fast enough to become part of the World Wide Web almost from the start. Other companies such as Borland, WordPerfect, Novell, IBM, and Lotus have been much slower to adapt to the new situation, giving Microsoft market dominance. On August 24, 1995, the company released Windows 95 with preemptive multitasking, a completely new user interface with a new start button, and 32-bit compatibility; like NT, it provided a Win32 API: 20 Windows 95 shipped with MSN, an online service that was originally meant to compete with the Internet and (for OEMs) Internet Explorer, a web browser. Internet Explorer was not bundled with the retail boxes of Windows 95 because the boxes were printed before the team finished the web browser, and was included with Windows 95 Plus instead! package. Backed by a high-profile marketing campaign and what The New York Times called "the brightest, craziest, and most expensive computer product introduction in the history of the industry," Windows 95 quickly became a success. Entering new markets in 1996, Microsoft and General Electric's NBC division created a new 24-hour cable news channel, MSNBC. Microsoft has created Windows CE 1.0, a new OS designed for devices with low memory and other limitations, such as personal digital assistants. October 1997
On January 13, 2000, Bill Gates handed over the position of CEO to Steve Ballmer, an old college friend of Gates and employee of the company since 1980, while creating the new position of chief software architect for himself.: 111, 228 different companies, including Microsoft formed Trusted Computing Platform Alliance in October 1999 to (among other things) improve security and protect intellectual property by detecting changes in hardware and software. Critics have denounced the alliance as a way to impose indiscriminate restrictions on how consumers use software and how computers behave, as well as a form of digital rights management: for example, a scenario in which a computer is not only protected for its owner, but also protected against its owner. On April 3, 2000, the United States v. USA judgment was rendered. Microsoft Corp., calling the company an "abusive monopoly." Microsoft later settled with the US Department of Justice in 2004. On October 25, 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP, merging the mainstream and NT lines of the OS into the NT codebase. Later that year, the company launched the Xbox, entering the video game console market dominated by Sony and Nintendo. In March 2004, the European Union brought an antitrust lawsuit against the company, citing it abusing its dominant position in the Windows operating system, resulting in a €497 million ($613 million) judgment requiring Microsoft to release new versions of Windows XP without Windows Media Player. : Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional N.
Following the Xbox, Microsoft is increasingly present in the hardware space. In 2006, Microsoft released the Zune series of digital media players, the successor to its previous Portable Media Center software platform. They expanded on Microsoft's previous hardware commitment after the release of the original Microsoft Mouse in 1983; as of 2007, the company sold the best-selling wired keyboard (Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000), mouse (IntelliMouse), and desktop webcam (LifeCam) in the US. The same year, the company also released the Surface digital desk, later renamed PixelSense.
2007-2011: Microsoft Azure, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Microsoft Stores
Released in January 2007, the next version of Windows, Vista, focused on features, security, and a redesigned user interface dubbed Aero. Microsoft Office 2007, released at the same time, featured a "Ribbon" user interface that was significantly different from its predecessors. Relatively strong sales for both products helped drive record profits in 2007. The European Union imposed another €899 million (US$1.4 billion) fine for Microsoft's failure to comply with the March 2004 judgment on February 27, 2008, saying the company accused the company of competing with unreasonable prices for key information about its workgroup and back office servers. Microsoft has stated that it is in compliance and that "these fines relate to past issues that have been resolved."
Gates stepped down as chief software architect on June 27, 2008, which was announced in June 2006, while retaining other company-related positions in addition to being a company advisor on key projects. The Azure Services Platform, the company's entry into the cloud computing market for Windows, was launched on October 27, 2008. On February 12, 2009, Microsoft announced its intention to open a chain of Microsoft-branded retail stores, and on October 22, 2009, the first Microsoft Store opened in Scottsdale, Arizona; the same day, Windows 7 was officially released to the general public. Windows 7 focused on improving Vista with easy-to-use features and performance improvements, rather than a massive redesign of Windows.
When the smartphone industry boomed in the late 2000s, Microsoft struggled to keep up with its competitors in providing a modern operating system for smartphones, falling behind Apple and Google-sponsored Android in the US. As a result, in 2010, Microsoft updated its aging flagship mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, replacing it with the new Windows Phone OS released in October of that year. It featured a new user interface design language codenamed "Metro" that made heavy use of simple shapes, typography, and iconography, using the concept of minimalism. Microsoft has implemented a new strategy for the software industry, ensuring a consistent user experience across all smartphones running the Windows Phone OS. It started an alliance with Nokia in 2011, and Microsoft worked closely with the company to co-develop Windows Phone, but remained a partner with longtime Windows Mobile OEM HTC. Microsoft is a founding member of the Open Networking Foundation, founded on March 23, 2011. Other founders were Google, HP Networking, Yahoo!, Verizon Communications, Deutsche Telekom and 17 other companies. This non-profit organization supports a cloud computing initiative called Software-Defined Networking. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation through simple software changes in telecommunications networks, wireless networks, data centers and other networking areas. The co-founders were Google, HP Networking, Yahoo!, Verizon Communications, Deutsche Telekom and 17 other companies. This non-profit organization supports a cloud computing initiative called Software-Defined Networking. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation through simple software changes in telecommunications networks, wireless networks, data centers and other networking areas. The co-founders were Google, HP Networking, Yahoo!, Verizon Communications, Deutsche Telekom and 17 other companies. This non-profit organization supports a cloud computing initiative called Software-Defined Networking. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation through simple software changes in telecommunications networks, wireless networks, data centers and other networking areas.
2011-2014: Windows 8/8.1, Xbox One, Outlook.com, and Surface devices.
Following the release of Windows Phone, Microsoft undertook a gradual rebranding of its product line throughout 2011 and 2012, with the corporation's logos, products, services, and websites using the principles and concepts of the Metro design language. Microsoft introduced Windows 8, an operating system designed for both personal computers and tablet computers, in Taipei in June 2011. A developer preview was released on September 13, which was subsequently replaced by a consumer preview on February 29, 2012, and released to the public in May. The Surface was unveiled on June 18, becoming the first computer in the company's history to feature hardware made by Microsoft. On June 25, Microsoft paid $1.2 billion to buy the social network Yammer.
In July 2012, Microsoft sold its 50% stake in MSNBC, which it had operated as a joint venture with NBC since 1996. 8 later this month. On October 26, 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface. Three days later, Windows Phone 8 was launched. To cope with the potential increase in demand for products and services, Microsoft opened a number of "holiday stores" across the US, in addition to the growing number of "regular" Microsoft stores that opened in 2012. On March 29, 2013, Microsoft launched the Patent Tracker.
In August 2012, the New York City Police Department announced a partnership with Microsoft to develop a domain awareness system that is used for police surveillance in New York City.
Kinect, a motion-sensing input device created by Microsoft and designed as a video game controller first introduced in November 2010, has been updated for the 2013 version of the Xbox One game console. Kinect's features were revealed in May 2013: 1080p ultra-wide camera, work in the dark thanks to an infrared sensor, more powerful processing power and new software, the ability to distinguish subtle movements (such as the movement of a thumb) and determine the user's heart rate by looking on his face. In 2011, Microsoft filed a patent application suggesting that the corporation could use the Kinect camera system to monitor viewer behavior as part of a plan to make viewing more interactive. On July 19, 2013, Microsoft shares experienced the biggest one-day percentage sell-off since 2000. after its fourth-quarter report raised investor concerns about the poor performance of both Windows 8 and the Surface tablet. Microsoft suffered a loss of more than 32 billion US dollars.
In line with the evolving PC business, in July 2013, Microsoft announced that it would reorganize the business into four new business units, namely Operating System, Applications, Cloud, and Devices. All previous divisions will be converted into new divisions without any staff reductions. On September 3, 2013, Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia's mobile division for $7 billion after Amy Hood became chief financial officer.
2014-2020: Windows 10, Microsoft Edge and HoloLens.
On February 4, 2014, Steve Ballmer stepped down as Microsoft CEO and was replaced by Satya Nadella, who previously led the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise division. That same day, John W. Thompson assumed the role of chairman in place of Bill Gates, who continued to participate as a technology advisor. Thompson became the second chairman in Microsoft history. On April 25, 2014, Microsoft acquired Nokia Devices and Services for $7.2 billion. This new subsidiary was renamed Microsoft Mobile Oy. On September 15, 2014, Microsoft acquired video game developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. On June 8, 2017, Microsoft acquired Hexadite, an Israeli security firm, for $100 million.
On January 21, 2015, Microsoft announced the release of its first interactive whiteboard, the Microsoft Surface Hub. On July 29, 2015, Windows 10 was released and its server sister Windows Server 2016 was released in September 2016. In the first quarter of 2015, Microsoft was the third largest mobile phone manufacturer with 33 million units sold (7.2% of all) . While the vast majority (at least 75%) of them are not running any version of Windows Phone-these other phones are not classified as smartphones by Gartner-over the same time period, 8 million Windows smartphones were released (2.5% of all smartphones). ). by all manufacturers (but mostly Microsoft). Microsoft's share of the US smartphone market in January 2016 was 2.7%. In the summer of 2015, the company lost $7.6 billion due to its mobile phone business,
On March 1, 2016, Microsoft announced the merger of its PC and Xbox divisions, and Phil Spencer announced that Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps would be the focus of Microsoft's games going forward. On January 24, 2017, Microsoft introduced Intune for Education at the BETT 2017 Education Technology Conference in London. Intune for Education is a new cloud-based app and device management service for education. In May 2016, the company announced that it was laying off 1,850 employees and taking on a $950 million impairment and restructuring. In June 2016, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Azure Information Protection project. It is designed to help businesses protect their data as it moves between servers and devices. In November 2016, Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member during the Connect(); developer event in New York. Each Platinum Membership costs $500,000 per year. However, some analysts considered this unthinkable a decade earlier, as in 2001 then-CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux a "cancer". Microsoft planned to release Intune Education Preview "in the coming weeks" with general availability scheduled for Spring 2017 at $30 per device or through volume licensing agreements. However, some analysts considered this unthinkable a decade earlier, as in 2001 then-CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux a "cancer". Microsoft planned to release Intune Education Preview "in the coming weeks" with general availability scheduled for Spring 2017 at $30 per device or through volume licensing agreements. However, some analysts considered this unthinkable a decade earlier, as in 2001 then-CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux a "cancer". Microsoft planned to release Intune Education Preview "in the coming weeks" with general availability scheduled for Spring 2017 at $30 per device or through volume licensing agreements.
In January 2018, Microsoft patched Windows 10 to address processor issues related to the Intel Meltdown security breach. The fix resulted in issues with Microsoft Azure virtual machines that depend on Intel CPU architecture. On January 12, Microsoft released PowerShell Core 6.0 for macOS and Linux operating systems. In February 2018, Microsoft ended support for notifications for its Windows Phone devices, effectively ending firmware updates for discontinued devices. In March 2018, Microsoft recalled Windows 10 S to change it to a mode for the Windows operating system rather than a separate and unique operating system. In March, the company also set rules to prevent Office 365 users from using profanity in personal documents. April 2018 Microsoft released the Windows File Manager source code under the MIT license to celebrate the program's 20th anniversary. In April, the company once again expressed its willingness to embrace open source initiatives by announcing Azure Sphere as its own derivative of the Linux operating system. In May 2018, Microsoft partnered with 17 US intelligence agencies to develop cloud computing products. The project is called "Azure Government" and is associated with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) surveillance program. On June 4, 2018, Microsoft officially announced the acquisition of GitHub for $7.5 billion, the deal was closed on October 26, 2018. On July 10, 2018, Microsoft introduced the Surface Go platform to the public. Later that month, Microsoft Teams went free. In August 2018 Microsoft released two projects called Microsoft AccountGuard and Defending Democracy. The compatibility of Snapdragon 850 with Windows 10 on ARM architecture was also presented.
In August 2018, Toyota Tsusho partnered with Microsoft to create fish farming tools using the Microsoft Azure suite of applications for Internet of Things (IoT) technologies related to water management. The water pump mechanism, developed in part by researchers at Kindai University, uses artificial intelligence to count the number of fish on a conveyor belt, analyze the amount of fish, and determine the water flow efficiency based on the data the fish provides. The specific computer programs used in the process refer to the Azure Machine Learning Platforms and the Azure IoT Hub. In September 2018, Microsoft ended support for Skype Classic. On October 10, 2018, Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network despite holding over 60,000 patents. In November 2018, Microsoft agreed to supply 100,000 Microsoft HoloLens headsets to the United States military to "increase lethality by improving the ability to detect, make decisions, and engage before the enemy." In November 2018, Microsoft introduced Azure Multi-Factor Authentication for Microsoft Azure. In December 2018, Microsoft announced Project Mu, an open source release of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) kernel used in Microsoft Surface and Hyper-V products. The project promotes the idea of firmware as a service. In the same month, Microsoft announced the open source implementation of Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which will allow the company to move further towards transparent release of key platforms,
On February 20, 2019, Microsoft Corp said it would offer its AccountGuard cybersecurity service to 12 new markets in Europe, including Germany, France, and Spain, to address security breaches and protect customers in the political space from hacking. In February 2019, hundreds of Microsoft employees protested the company's war, cashing in on a $480 million contract to develop virtual reality headsets for the US military.
2020–present: Acquisitions, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows 11 On March 26, 2020, Microsoft announced it would acquire Affirmed Networks for approximately $1.35 billion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft has closed all of its retail stores indefinitely due to health concerns. On July 22, 2020, Microsoft announced plans to shut down its Mixer service, with plans to move existing partners to Facebook Gaming.
On July 31, 2020, it was reported that Microsoft was in talks to acquire TikTok after ByteDance was ordered by the Trump administration to transfer ownership of the app to the US. On August 3, 2020, after speculation about the deal, Donald Trump said that Microsoft could buy the application, however it must be completed by September 15, 2020, and that the US Treasury Department must receive a portion if accepted.
On August 5, 2020, Microsoft stopped testing xCloud game streaming for iOS devices. The future of xCloud on iOS remains unclear and is potentially independent of Microsoft, according to Microsoft. Apple has placed strict restrictions on "remote desktop clients", meaning that apps are only allowed to connect to the user's host device or game console owned by the user. On September 21, 2020, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire video game company ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for approximately $7.5 billion, with the deal expected to close in the second half of fiscal year 2021. On March 9, 2021, the acquisition was completed and ZeniMax Media became part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios division.
On September 22, 2020, Microsoft announced that it has an exclusive license to use the OpenAI GPT-3 artificial intelligence language generator. The previous version of GPT-3, called GPT-2, made headlines as "too dangerous to release" and had numerous features, including website development, drug prescribing, answering questions, and writing articles. On November 10, 2020, Microsoft released the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S game consoles.
In April 2021, Microsoft announced the purchase of Nuance Communications for approximately $16 billion. The Nuance acquisition was completed in March 2022. In 2021, due in part to strong quarterly revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft's valuation was around $2 trillion. The growing need for telecommuting and distance learning has boosted demand for cloud computing and increased sales of the company's games.
On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 11 during a livestream. The announcement was caused by confusion after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be the final version of the operating system; should be released in the third quarter of 2021. It was released to the general public on October 5, 2021.
In October 2021, Microsoft announced the start of rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) support for Microsoft Teams calls to help secure business communications when using video conferencing software. Users can verify that their calls are encrypted and can use a security code that both parties to the call must verify on their respective ends. On October 7, Microsoft acquired Ally.io, a software service that measures companies' progress towards OKRs. Microsoft plans to include Ally.io in the Viva employee engagement product family.
On January 18, 2022, Microsoft announced it would acquire American video game developer and holding company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash. Activision Blizzard is best known for producing franchises including but not limited to Warcraft, Diablo, Call of Duty, StarCraft, Candy Crush Saga, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Skylanders, and Overwatch. Activision and Microsoft released statements saying that the acquisition was to benefit their metaverse business, many viewed Microsoft's acquisition of video game studios as an attempt to compete with metaplatforms, and TheStreet cited that Microsoft wants to become the "Disney of the metaverse". . Microsoft has not released statements regarding Activision's recent legal controversy regarding employee abuse. but reports claim that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, the main target of the dispute, will leave the company after the acquisition is completed. The deal is expected to close in 2023 after review by the US Federal Trade Commission.
For corporate relations
Board of Directors
The company is run by a board of directors made up primarily of company outsiders, as is customary for public companies. Board members as of July 2020 are Satya Nadella, Reed Hoffman, Hugh Johnston, Teri List-Stoll, Sandy Peterson, Penny Pritzker, Charles Scharf, Arne Sorenson, John W. Stanton, John W. Thompson, Emma Walmsley and Padmasri Warrior. Members of the Management Board are elected every year at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders by a majority vote system. The council has four committees that oversee more specific matters. These committees include the Audit Committee, which deals with accounting matters in the company, including auditing and reporting; The Remuneration Committee, which approves the remuneration of the CEO and other employees of the company; Management and Nominations Committee, who deals with various corporate matters, including the appointment of the board of directors; and the Committee on Regulation and Public Policy, which deals with legal/antitrust issues, as well as privacy, commerce, digital security, artificial intelligence, and environmental sustainability.
On March 13, 2020, Gates announced that he was leaving the board of directors of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus more on his philanthropic work. According to Aaron Tilly of The Wall Street Journal, this "marks the biggest board departure in the tech industry since the death of longtime rival and co-founder of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs."
On January 13, 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft's board of directors plans to hire an outside law firm to review its policy on sexual harassment and gender discrimination, as well as publish a brief report on how the company handled past allegations of misconduct against Bill Gates. and other company executives.
- Bill Gates (1975–2000)
- Steve Ballmer (2000–2014)
- Satya Nadella (2014–present)
When Microsoft went public and launched its initial public offering (IPO) in 1986, the initial share price was $21; after the trading day, the price closed at $27.75. As of July 2010, after nine company share splits, any IPO shares will be multiplied by 288; if someone bought the IPO today, after splits and other factors, it would be worth about 9 cents: 235-236 The share price peaked in 1999 at about $119 ($60,928 adjusted for splits). The company began paying dividends on January 16, 2003, starting at eight cents per share for the fiscal year, followed by a dividend of sixteen cents per share the following year and a 2005 quarter and a special lump sum of three dollars per share in the second quarter of the financial year.
Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service have rated Microsoft AAA, with assets estimated at $41 billion compared to $8.5 billion of unsecured debt. Consequently, in February 2011, Microsoft issued $2.25 billion worth of corporate bonds with relatively low interest rates compared to government bonds. For the first time in 20 years, Apple Inc. outperformed Microsoft in the first quarter of 2011 on quarterly profits and revenues due to a slowdown in PC sales and continued huge losses in Microsoft's Online Services division (which contains the Bing search engine). Microsoft's profit was $5.2 billion, while Apple Inc. - $6 billion on revenues of $14.5 billion and $24.7 billion, respectively. Microsoft The Online Services Division has been consistently unprofitable since 2006, and lost $726 million in the first quarter of 2011. This follows a $2.5 billion loss in 2010.
On July 20, 2012, Microsoft posted its first quarterly loss despite record quarterly and fiscal year earnings, with a net loss of $492 million due to a write down of advertising company aQuantive, which was acquired for $6.2 billion. back in 2007. As of January 2014, Microsoft had a market capitalization of $314 billion, making it the 8th largest company in the world by market capitalization. On November 14, 2014, Microsoft overtook ExxonMobil to become the second largest company by market cap, behind only Apple Inc. Its total market value exceeded $410 billion and its share price reached $50.04 per share, the highest since the beginning of 2000. In 2015, Reuters reported that Microsoft Corp's overseas earnings were $76.4 billion, which was not taxed by the Internal Revenue Service. Under US law, corporations are not
In November 2018, the company won a $480 million military contract with the US government to introduce augmented reality (AR) technology into the weapons arsenal of US soldiers. The two-year contract could lead to follow-on orders for more than 100,000 headsets, according to documentation describing the bidding process. One of the key contract lines for the augmented reality technology seems to be its ability to provide "25 bloodless battles before the first battle", suggesting that real combat training will be an important aspect of the augmented reality headset's capabilities.
Microsoft is an international company. Thus, he needs subsidiaries present in any national markets in which he intends to harvest. An example is Microsoft Canada, created in 1985. Other countries have similar arrangements for funneling profits back to Redmond and distributing dividends to MSFT shareholders.
In 2004, Microsoft commissioned research firms to conduct independent studies comparing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Windows Server 2003 and Linux; firms have found that it is easier for companies to administer Windows than Linux, so those using Windows will administer faster, resulting in lower costs for their company (i.e. lower total cost of ownership). This sparked a wave of related research; a study by the Yankee Group concluded that migrating from one version of Windows Server to another is several times cheaper than migrating from Windows Server to Linux, although companies interviewed noted increased security and reliability of Linux servers and concerns that they would be blocked in the use of Microsoft products. In another study,
As part of the Get the Facts campaign, Microsoft highlighted the .NET Framework trading platform it developed in partnership with Accenture for the London Stock Exchange, claiming it provides "five nines" reliability. After lengthy downtime and unreliability, the London Stock Exchange announced in 2009 that it plans to abandon its Microsoft solution and move to a Linux-based solution in 2010.
In 2012, Microsoft hired a pollster named Mark Penn, whom The New York Times called "famous for bulldozing" his political opponents as executive vice president of advertising and strategy. Penn created a series of negative advertisements aimed at one of Microsoft's main competitors, Google. Ads called "Scroogled" attempt to prove that Google is "spoofing" consumers with search results rigged in favor of Google's paid advertisers, that Gmail is violating its users' privacy by serving ad results related to the content of their emails and shopping results in favor of Google products . Tech publications such as TechCrunch were highly critical of the ad campaign, while Google employees supported it.
In July 2014, Microsoft announced plans to lay off 18,000 employees. As of June 5, 2014, Microsoft employed 127,104 people, representing an approximately 14 percent reduction in the workforce and the largest Microsoft layoff in history. This included 12,500 specialists and factory personnel. Previously, Microsoft cut 5,800 jobs in 2009 due to the Great Recession of 2008-2017. In September 2014, Microsoft laid off 2,100 people, including 747 people in the Seattle-Redmond area, where the company is headquartered. The layoffs were the second wave of layoffs previously announced. As a result, the total number of cuts exceeded 15,000 out of 18,000 expected cuts. In October 2014, Microsoft reported that it had nearly completed layoffs of 18,000 employees, the largest layoff in history. In July 2015, Microsoft announced that it would cut another 7,800 jobs over the next few months. In May 2016, Microsoft announced it would cut another 1,850 jobs, mostly in Nokia's mobile phone division. As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring expense of approximately US$950 million, of which approximately US$200 million will be related to termination benefits.
Microsoft provides information about reported bugs in its software to US government intelligence agencies prior to a public release of a fix. A Microsoft spokesperson said the corporation is running several programs to make it easier to share such information with the US government. Following media reports about PRISM, the NSA's massive electronic surveillance program, in May 2013, several technology companies were named as participants, including Microsoft. According to leaks from said program, Microsoft joined the PRISM program in 2007. However, in June 2013, an official statement from Microsoft vehemently denied their participation in the program: "We only release customer data when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition, we always fulfill orders only for requests for specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to collect customer data, we don't participate in it."
During the first six months of 2013, Microsoft received inquiries involving between 15,000 and 15,999 accounts. In December 2013, the company made a statement to further highlight the fact that they take their customers' privacy and data protection very seriously, even stating that "government tracking is now potentially an 'advanced persistent threat' along with sophisticated malware." programs and cyberattacks.” The announcement also marked the start of Microsoft's three-part program to improve Microsoft's encryption and transparency efforts. On July 1, 2014, as part of this program, they launched the first (of many) Microsoft Transparency Center, which provides "participating governments with the ability to view the source code of our key products,
In April 2016, the company sued the US government, alleging secrecy orders prevent the company from disclosing orders to customers in violation of the company's and customers' rights. Microsoft argued that the government is unconstitutionally indefinitely preventing Microsoft from informing its users that the government is asking for their emails and other documents, and that the Fourth Amendment gives people or businesses the right to know if the government is conducting a search or seizure. their property. On October 23, 2017, Microsoft said it would drop the lawsuit as a result of a US Department of Justice (DoJ) policy change. The Justice Department "changed its data request rules to warn Internet users that agencies are accessing their information."
A developer technical reference and articles for various Microsoft journals such as Microsoft Systems Journal (MSJ) are available through the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). MSDN also offers subscriptions for businesses and individuals, and more expensive subscriptions typically offer access to pre-beta versions of Microsoft software. In April 2004, Microsoft launched a community site for developers and users called Channel 9, which features a wiki and an online forum. Another community site providing daily video streaming and other services is On10.net, launched March 3, 2006. Free technical support has traditionally been provided through Usenet online newsgroups, and in the past through CompuServe, overseen by Microsoft employees; There can be multiple newsgroups for one product.
Known in its own internal lexicon, "eat your own dog food" is used to describe the policy of using pre-release and beta products within Microsoft for the purpose of testing them in "real" situations. It is usually shortened to "dog food" and used as a noun, verb, and adjective. Another jargon, FYIFV or FYIV ("Fuck you, I'm short-changed"), is used by an employee to indicate that they are financially independent and can leave their job any time they want.
Microsoft is a vocal opponent of the H-1B visa limit, which allows US companies to hire certain foreign workers. Bill Gates argues that the H1B visa limit makes it difficult for the company to hire employees, stating "I would definitely get rid of the H1B limit" in 2005. Critics of H1B visas argue that easing restrictions will lead to higher unemployment in the US. citizens due to H1B workers working for lower wages. The Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, a report on how progressive an organization considers a company's policy towards LGBT employees, rated Microsoft 87% from 2002 to 2004 and 100% from 2005 to 2010 after they allowed gender expression .
In August 2018, Microsoft implemented a policy requiring all subcontracting companies to require 12 weeks of paid parental leave for every employee. This expands on the previous 2015 requirement requiring 15 days of paid leave and sick leave each year. In 2015, Microsoft introduced its own parental leave policy providing for 12 weeks of parental leave with an additional 8 weeks for the parent who has given birth.
In 2011, Greenpeace released a report rating the top ten big brands in cloud computing on their sources of electricity for their data centers. At the time, data centers consumed up to 2% of all global electricity and this amount was projected to increase. Phil Radford of Greenpeace said "we are concerned that this new explosion in electricity use could lock us into old, polluting energy sources instead of the clean energy available today," and called on "Amazon, Microsoft and other leaders of the information-technology industry must embrace clean energy to power their cloud-based data centers." In 2013, Microsoft agreed to buy power generated by a Texas wind project to power one of its data centers. Microsoft is ranked on the 17th place in Greenpeace' s Guide to Greener Electronics (16th Edition) that ranks 18 electronics manufacturers according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. Microsoft's timeline for phasing out brominated flame retardant (BFRs) and phthalates in all products is 2012 but its commitment to phasing out PVC is not clear. As of January 2011, it has no products that are completely free from PVC and BFRs.
Microsoft's main U.S. campus received Silver certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program in 2008, and it has installed more than 2,000 solar panels on the rooftops of its buildings on its Silicon Valley campus, generating approximately 15 percent of all energy needed. funds in April 2005. Microsoft is using alternative forms of transit. It created one of the world's largest privately owned bus systems, the "Connector", to transport non-company people; for intra-campus transportation, Shuttle Connect uses a large fleet of hybrid vehicles to save fuel. The company also subsidizes regional public transportation provided by Sound Transit and King County Metro as an incentive. However, in February 2010 Microsoft opposed the addition of additional lanes for mass transit and high-occupancy vehicles (HOV) on State Route 520 and its floating bridge connecting Redmond to Seattle; the company did not want to delay construction any longer. Microsoft was ranked #1 on the Great Place to Work Institute's list of the world's best multinational jobs in 2011. In January 2020, the company pledged to remove all the carbon it has emitted since its founding in 1975 from carbon dioxide. October On September 9, 2020, Microsoft made remote work permanent. In January 2021, the company announced on Twitter that it had joined the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact,
The corporate headquarters, informally known as the Microsoft Redmond Campus, is located at One Microsoft Way in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft originally moved to the campus on February 26, 1986, a few weeks before the company went public on March 13. Since then, the headquarters has been expanded several times. It is estimated to cover over 8 million feet2 (750,000 m2) of office space and 30,000–40,000 employees. Additional offices are located in Bellevue and Issaquah, Washington (90,000 employees worldwide). The company plans a large-scale upgrade of its campus in Mountain View, California. The company has occupied this campus since 1981. In 2016, the company bought a 32-acre (13 ha) campus with plans to renovate and expand it by 25%.
On October 26, 2015, the company opened a retail store on Fifth Avenue in New York. The space has a five-story glass showcase and covers 22,270 square feet. Microsoft has been looking for a flagship spot since 2009, according to company executives. The company's retail stores are part of a broader strategy to connect with its customers. The store's opening coincided with the launch of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. On November 12, 2015, Microsoft opened a second flagship store located at the Pitt Street Mall in Sydney.
Microsoft adopted the so-called "Pac-Man logo" designed by Scott Baker in 1987. Baker stated, "The new logo, written in cursive Helvetica, has a slash between the o and s to emphasize the 'soft' part of the letter. name and convey movement and speed. Dave Norris ran an internal joke campaign to keep the old logo, which was green, all caps, and featured a fancy O, nicknamed the blibbet, but it was dropped. Microsoft logo with the slogan "Your Potential. Our Passion under the main company name is based on a slogan that Microsoft used in 2008. In 2002, the company began using the logo in the United States and eventually launched a television campaign with the slogan, changed from the previous slogan "Where do you want to go today?" During the closed conference MGX (Microsoft Global Exchange) in 2010, Microsoft introduced the following company slogan "Be what will be next." They also had a slogan/slogan "To make it all make sense".
On August 23, 2012, Microsoft unveiled a new corporate logo at the opening of its 23rd Microsoft Store in Boston, indicating the company's shift in focus from the classic style to the tiled modern interface it uses or will use on Windows. Phone platform, Xbox 360, Windows 8, and future Office suites. The new logo also includes four squares in the colors of the current Windows logo, which were used to represent Microsoft's four core products: Windows (blue), Office (red), Xbox (green), and Bing (yellow). The logo also resembles the beginning of one of the Windows 95 commercials.
The company was the official sponsor of the Finnish national basketball team at EuroBasket 2015.
The company was the main sponsor of the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT (2017-2020).
The company was a sponsor of the Renault F1 Team (2016-2020).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft President Brad Smith announced that the first batch of supplies, including 15,000 goggles, infrared thermometers, medical caps, and protective suits, had been donated to Seattle, with more help coming soon.
During the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Microsoft began monitoring cyberattacks on behalf of the Russian government and Russian-backed hackers. In June 2022, Microsoft published a report on Russian cyberattacks and concluded that state-backed Russian hackers "engaged in 'strategic espionage' against governments, think tanks, businesses and aid groups" in 42 countries supporting Kyiv.
Criticism of Microsoft accompanied various aspects of its products and business practices. The company's software is often criticized for its ease of use, reliability, and security. They have also been criticized for using permanent employees (employees who have worked for years as "temporaries" and therefore without medical benefits), using forced retention tactics, which means employees will be sued if they try to leave. Microsoft has historically also been blamed for overworking employees, in many cases leading to burnout within just a few years of joining the company. The company is often referred to as a "velvet sweatshop", a term that originated in a 1989 Seattle Times article,
Microsoft's Ireland-based subsidiary, based in the Republic of Ireland, has reported £220bn in profits but paid no corporate tax for 2020, according to several news outlets. This is due to the fact that the company is tax resident in Bermuda as stated in the accounts. for "Microsoft Round Island One", a subsidiary that charges license fees for worldwide use of Microsoft software. Dame Margaret Hodge, UK Labor MP, said: "It is not surprising, but still shocking, that extremely wealthy global corporations openly, shamelessly and brazenly refuse to pay tax on the profits they make in the countries where they do business." .
In 2020, ProPublica reported that the company moved more than $39 billion of US profits to Puerto Rico using a mechanism designed to make it appear on paper that the company is unprofitable. As a result, the company paid tax on these profits at a rate of "nearly 0%". When the Internal Revenue Service audited these transactions, ProPublica reported that Microsoft actively resisted, including successfully lobbying Congress to change the law to make it harder for the agency to audit large corporations.
“Accept, expand, and extinguish” (EEE), also known as “accept, expand, and destroy,” is a phrase discovered by the US Department of Justice that was used internally by Microsoft to describe its strategy to enter product categories that include widespread adoption. standards used, extending those standards with their own capabilities, and then exploiting those differences to disadvantage competitors. Microsoft is often accused of using anti-competitive tactics and abusing its monopoly position. People who use their products and services often end up becoming dependent on them, a process known as vendor lock-in.
Microsoft was the first company to take part in the PRISM surveillance program, according to leaked NSA documents obtained by The Guardian and The Washington Post in June 2013 and confirmed by government officials after the leak. The program allows the government to secretly access data of non-US citizens hosted by US companies without a warrant. Microsoft denies participating in such a program.
Jesse Jackson believes Microsoft should hire more minorities and women. In 2015, he praised Microsoft for appointing two women to its board of directors.
Procedure for licensing service providers
The Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement, or SPLA, is a mechanism by which service providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) that license Microsoft products on a monthly basis can provide software and hosting services to end users. SPLA can be customized according to the proposed solution and the customers who use it.