Microsoft – The Biggest Software Company in the World
The world’s largest software maker, Microsoft makes products that have revolutionized the tech industry. Its most popular offerings are its operating systems and office suites, including the widely used Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs. But the company also produces hardware such as its Xbox gaming consoles and Surface tablets and laptops. Microsoft also operates the online cloud-based service Azure.
Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, the company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. As of 2017, it employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. Its revenue in that year was US$143 billion, making it one of the world’s biggest companies by revenue.
In addition to operating system software, the company offers a wide range of productivity and business applications for desktops, laptops, tablet computers, smartphones, smart devices, and servers. Its Internet search engine (Bing), digital services, and software development tools round out the portfolio. The company also markets computer accessories, such as mouses and keyboards.
The company’s most famous product is Windows, which has powered a large portion of the world’s PCs since its release in 1985. In the late 1990s, Microsoft began to diversify its line of home computer products, with the release of the Xbox game console in 2001. The device was graphically superior to its competitors, and it also provided a new revenue stream for the company.
As Microsoft expanded its hardware and online offerings, it encountered stiff competition from rivals such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. In response, the company began to focus more on software development and less on manufacturing its own devices. In addition, the company started to sell Windows licenses in bulk to major manufacturers and developed its Windows Marketplace online store to offer a wider selection of software to customers.
Over time, the company has also faced criticism for its monopolistic practices and alleged antitrust violations. The Justice Department and the European Commission have both imposed fines against Microsoft for allegedly restricting customers’ ability to buy alternative software programs. However, Microsoft has defended its business decisions by arguing that, far from stifling competition and technical innovation, they have encouraged both.
In 2014, Microsoft hired Satya Nadella as its new CEO. His vision was to transform the stodgy Microsoft into a more modern and innovative organization. He focused on improving the company’s culture, reducing hierarchies, and freeing engineers from having to spend their time dealing with upper management and bickering in meetings. As a result, the company has seen an uptick in productivity and innovation. It’s now one of the most respected technology firms in the world. The company’s most popular products include Windows, Office, and the Xbox gaming console. It has also been a major player in the field of artificial intelligence. As a leader in the space, it has partnered with top universities and researchers to create cutting-edge AI technologies that can make life more convenient and productive for people all over the world. Its latest offering, Project Oxford, is an advanced deep learning technology that can understand and interpret natural speech.