Microsoft Corporation is a multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington. The company makes software, hardware, and services that support invention, manufacturing, licensing, and business processes. Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, Microsoft has become one of the world’s leading software publishers. Products from the company include consumer-level operating systems and desktop applications, as well as the market-leading office suite Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. Microsoft has made billionaires of its employees, but its recent efforts in emerging markets have led to criticism of this company’s aggressive growth strategy.
In 2001, Microsoft launched the Xbox gaming console, competing with Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft then released the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and released the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Microsoft also produces a line of Surface tablet computers, which bundle hardware and the Windows operating system. First introduced in 2012, the Surface tablet computer has been replaced by a number of subsequent models. In 2008, Microsoft entered the public cloud market with Windows Azure. Microsoft has since gained the trust of many users, but critics of the company’s business strategy have noted that the company has monopolistic power and that it imposes a high price for its products.
As a software company, Microsoft is often criticized for its corporate culture and working practices. The company has faced criticism over the security of its software, the reliability of its products, and its use of permatemp employees, which do not receive medical benefits. Other critics claim that Microsoft overworks its employees, causing them to become grumpy and burnt-out. This culture has led to several lawsuits, with the company settling with the Justice Department in 1994.
Microsoft Office is a suite of desktop productivity applications from the Microsoft Corporation. Its products, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, have become essential in many businesses and households. Microsoft Office is supported by Windows, Mac OS X, and most Linux variants. In addition to Microsoft Office, the company also provides services like OneDrive, SharePoint, and FrontPage. These applications allow businesses to connect with their customers through email and collaborate on projects and manage business tasks.
Microsoft began releasing new versions of its software when it realized the commercial potential of network systems and the Internet. Windows NT was released in 1993 and was widely praised as the standard for PC networking. It soon surpassed rivals Novell’s NetWare in sales. But the company did not venture into Internet software until Netscape Communications Corp. introduced Navigator, a Web browser. Ultimately, Microsoft embraced the new technology and is now one of the leading players in the industry.
Today’s business environment requires quick communication, data sharing, and mobile technology. Microsoft provides the tools to make businesses more efficient. Microsoft Outlook, for example, serves as a portal for e-mail, tasks, calendars, and contacts. Its Live Workspace online storage space allows users to store documents and files globally. Smartphones also offer advanced computing capabilities. Microsoft recognizes the importance of technology for small business. Investing in IT solutions can save a business a lot of time and money.