What is Microsoft?
Microsoft is an American multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington. The company develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports computer software and electronic equipment. Its best-known products are the Windows line of operating systems, the Office suite of productivity applications, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. The company’s hardware products include the Xbox video game consoles and Surface tablets. It is one of the world’s largest technology companies and among the most profitable in history.
The company was founded on April 4, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, two dropouts from Harvard University. It was originally formed as a partnership between the pair but later became a publicly traded corporation after an initial public offering in 1986. Since then, it has expanded to become a major supplier of personal computers and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most valuable corporations.
In addition to producing a number of popular PC and electronic devices, the company also runs the cloud computing service Azure and maintains several desktop applications such as Windows 11 and Office 365. It has also branched out into mobile phones and gaming by creating the Xbox family of video game consoles. Microsoft is constantly looking to expand its reach and make new products.
Microsoft’s success has not come without controversy, however. The Windows platform took a while to catch on and was not always well received, particularly after the release of versions such as Vista and 8. The company has also struggled to compete in the smartphone market with its mobile apps and devices.
In the early days of Microsoft, the company primarily sold its software to computer manufacturers who would then use it as the operating system for their new machines. As the industry grew and personal computers became more commonplace, Microsoft began selling its software directly to consumers. In 2000, the company hired Steve Ballmer as its new CEO who helped transform the corporate culture and boost sales significantly. The company is now a dominant force in both the consumer and business markets with its software being used on almost every type of device.
The company has a very complex corporate structure that involves various divisions and teams working together to make decisions. The Executive Team, for instance, is made up of sixteen Microsoft officers from around the world who are charged with making sure that employees understand the company’s culture of business and have a clear understanding of their own roles in the organization. These executives are the Chairman and Chief Software Architect, CEO, General Counsel and Secretary, CFO, senior and group vice presidents from each of the product divisions and leaders of marketing sections, among others. The Corporate Staff Council handles all staff functions for the entire company including approving corporate policies. It is also responsible for overseeing the various divisions and regions of the world. The council is composed of executives from the Legal and Corporate Affairs, Finance, Human Resources, and Corporate Marketing departments.