What Is Microsoft Corporation?
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company that has been based in Redmond, Washington, since 1986. It produces computer software and hardware for consumers and businesses. Among its most well-known products are the Windows line of operating systems and Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. The company also offers cloud computing services through its Azure platform.
Microsoft is one of the largest information technology companies in the world, with more than 400,000 employees worldwide. In 2018, the company generated over $23 billion in revenue. A majority of its revenues come from products and services sold to businesses. However, the company’s revenue also comes from consumer products, such as Office applications.
Most of Microsoft’s software products are developed internally, though Microsoft has made several acquisitions over the years. Some of the biggest purchases have been LinkedIn, which was acquired for $26 billion in 2016, and Skype, which was acquired for $8.5 billion in 2011. Other notable acquisitions include GitHub, which was purchased in 2018 for $7 billion.
Microsoft is also a major provider of video games. It launched its Xbox gaming console system in 2001 and quickly climbed to second place in the video game market. Though it had a few initial challenges, the console was a success and quickly became the most popular video game console in the world.
The Microsoft Office product suite includes a variety of tools that support a wide range of productivity needs for users. Users can create presentations, designs, icons, and 3D models. They can communicate via email, manage tasks, and share contacts with Outlook.
Microsoft is a leader in cloud computing, with its Azure platform. The company provides cloud-based computing infrastructure to service providers, as well as business process applications. This allowed Microsoft to make more than $168 billion in revenue in 2021.
Microsoft’s main research and development center is in Redmond, Washington. It also has research labs in New York, Cambridge, India, and Bermuda. Additionally, Microsoft has offices in more than 60 countries.
In addition to cloud services, Microsoft is a leading provider of video games. While Xbox has faced competition from other popular consoles, such as the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation, and GameCube, it is still the most popular video game system in the world.
As one of the top IT companies in the world, Microsoft has become a target for various criticisms. The company is frequently accused of using monopolistic power and force retention tactics to maintain its position. For instance, a judge found Microsoft in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), which prohibits corporations from engaging in “unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in the sale of goods or services.”
In February 2008, the European Union fined Microsoft for illegally bundling multimedia software with the Windows operating system. Microsoft was criticized for its sales practices that discouraged customers from trying alternatives. The EU eventually levied the largest fine in the history of the organization.
Microsoft also faces accusations of employee burnout and other issues. Many of its employees are employed without medical benefits, which can cause stress and burnout.