Microsoft – The World’s Largest Software Company

Microsoft is the world’s largest software company based in Redmond, Washington, United States. Its most recognizable products include the Windows desktop operating system and the Office productivity suite. It is also a leader in business information technology with its Windows Server systems and cloud services. In addition, it has significant holdings in search (through Bing), the digital services market, mixed reality (HoloLens) and more.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen created Microsoft in 1975 while they were college students. Initially the pair worked on a compiler for an Altair 8800 microcomputer. However it was a partnership with IBM in 1980 that changed their lives forever. The contract between the two companies saw IBM provide computers and Microsoft supply the vital operating system which became known as DOS. For every IBM computer sold Microsoft would receive a royalty fee from the hardware maker.

This was a huge deal for the young company and gave it the funds to grow and develop its own technologies. By the time the first versions of Microsoft Word and Excel came out, the company was a force to be reckoned with.

Since the success of its operating systems, Microsoft has expanded into numerous other areas of computer technology. It now has a significant presence in mobile computing with its Windows phones and Surface tablets, the Xbox series of consoles and its Windows OS platform for computers. The firm has also taken steps into the field of cloud computing with the launch of its Azure platform which was announced in 2008. The platform allows people to build computing infrastructure in the cloud and then offer it as a service for users. In 2011 the firm launched a cloud version of its Office business software suite which included applications such as Word and Excel.

The firm has a global footprint and its stock is among the top three most valuable publicly traded shares in the US. As of this writing, Microsoft has a market cap of just over $1 trillion which makes it the third largest global company by valuation after Apple and Amazon.

It has subsidiaries in most nations across the globe and is one of the few large tech companies that operate its own data centers. For this reason the company is able to offer its cloud services on a more rapid basis than other providers of this type of service. It is not unusual for Microsoft to offer new releases of its software and services to customers before the company’s competitors can make them available in the same way. This helps to ensure that businesses are working with the most up-to-date technology possible. This can be advantageous to any organization that is looking for competitive advantages in an increasingly crowded technological landscape. For instance, the ability to access Microsoft’s online productivity suite from any location can help businesses be more agile in their operations and in their relationships with clients and suppliers. This can lead to improved productivity and even better financial results.

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