What is Microsoft?


Microsoft is one of the most influential technology companies in the world. It produces some of the most popular computer software, cloud computing services, video games, and hardware platforms for tablets, smartphones, and computers. The company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, and has offices around the globe. Some of Microsoft’s most notable products include the Windows operating system, the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software and services, Bing search, the Edge web browser, and the Visual Studio IDE. It also publishes books through its Microsoft Press imprint and makes Xbox video game consoles, Surface tablet computers, and augmented reality (AR) hardware through the HoloLens brand.

While the company doesn’t get the same amount of attention as tech giants like Google and Apple, it is still a powerful force to be reckoned with. It runs the world’s most popular cloud computing service, Azure, and maintains Windows 11 and the entire Office suite of software applications. It’s also building new hardware like the Surface Series X and making a big splash in the gaming industry with its Xbox lineup of consoles and various gaming subscription services.

The company is the largest software vendor in the world, and its best-known product is the Windows operating system. Its other major software products are the Office suite of productivity apps, the Edge browser, and the Azure cloud platform. The company also publishes books through its Microsoft Press and makes video games through the Xbox Game Studios division. The company is a member of the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by revenue and is considered to be among the Big Five computer software companies, alongside Alphabet (parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.

Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, two Harvard University classmates, the company started out developing a compiler for BASIC, a popular mainframe computer programming language that was used on an early personal computer called the Altair 8800. After securing a contract with the Altair’s manufacturer, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, to develop a BASIC interpreter for it, the pair founded their company and named it after its primary product lines — microcomputer and software.

Since then, Microsoft has expanded to become one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Its flagship software products now include Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Skype, and SharePoint. Its cloud offerings include Azure and OneDrive, while its mobile devices feature the Microsoft Edge and Bing browsers. Its video game lineup includes the Xbox series of consoles and the Surface Pro line of touchscreen laptops and tablets. The company has also established a reputation as an expert in the field of artificial intelligence, and its president has spoken out about the responsible use of the technology. It has also made significant investments in companies like OpenAI and GitHub, the source code repository. In addition to its own hardware and software, the company has partnerships with a number of other tech companies including Intel and AMD.

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