What Is Microsoft?

Microsoft (pronounced mes-ter) is the world’s largest software maker. The company produces the Windows operating system for personal computers, the market-leading Office business suite of applications, and a range of other consumer and enterprise software products.

The company also offers online services, such as the search engine Bing and the photo-sharing service OneDrive. Its corporate headquarters are in Redmond, Washington, and it has offices in more than 60 countries.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the company in 1975 while they were still at Harvard University. They were inspired by the Altair 8800, a primitive early computer that was featured on the cover of Popular Electronics magazine in January 1975. The pair contacted the developers of the computer and offered to write an interpreter for its BASIC programming language. In return, they were given 50 percent of the rights to the new system, which became the basis for Microsoft’s first product.

Since then, the company has expanded to include numerous other products and services. In the 1980s, it began selling the market-leading PC operating system Windows to compete with competing systems from a variety of manufacturers. It also developed the Office suite of business applications and the Internet Explorer Web browser.

In recent years, Microsoft has moved aggressively into new markets. In 2008 the company introduced Windows Azure, a cloud computing platform that lets businesses or individuals store data and application software remotely on the Internet and access them from any device with an Internet connection. In 2015, it released Windows 10, a version of its flagship operating system that includes Cortana, an artificial intelligence digital assistant that responds to voice commands and performs tasks like setting appointments, making restaurant reservations, and ordering goods.

The company has also diversified its revenue streams by selling the Xbox gaming console system and its own line of hybrid tablet computers that bundle hardware designed by the company with its Windows operating system. It has also made a series of large acquisitions in the past decade, including Skype for video-chat services and LinkedIn for career-focused social networking.

Although the company’s culture has changed substantially over the years, its employees continue to be very satisfied with their jobs. In a survey conducted by employee-review firm CareerBliss, Microsoft employees gave the company an overall rating of 4.0 out of 5, with the highest ratings going to those who feel their jobs are exciting and rewarding.

However, the company has a number of issues that need to be addressed to ensure its continued success. For example, some employees are unhappy with the way their salaries are calculated. The company’s review process requires managers to distribute employees across a scale, and some believe this creates an incentive to stack rank, or place low-performing employees below their peers in order to save money. However, the company has denied this claim. Despite these issues, the company continues to dominate the computer industry. Its products are used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

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