What Makes Microsoft a “Velvet Sweatshop?”
Microsoft is widely referred to as a “Velvet Sweatshop.” This characterization originated in a 1989 Seattle Times article and has become a common expression among employees and critics. While Microsoft’s work environment is largely convenient, critics argue that the company overworks its employees. Here’s a closer look at what makes Microsoft a “Velvet Sweatshop.”
Prior to the 1990s, Microsoft was primarily a hardware supplier. When personal computers became widely available, the company decided to shift its focus to consumer sales. The company achieved $1 billion in sales by 1990, and it eventually captured a larger percentage of the global PC market. Bill Gates’ vision had become a global force. The company is now one of the largest vendors of software, and its market share continues to grow. Microsoft is a leading provider of computer hardware, video games, and cloud services.
The company has many moving parts. While its core products such as Windows and Office remain the cornerstones of the company, it is increasingly expanding its business. Microsoft now has business units in productivity tools, cloud services, gaming, social media, and mobile devices. In addition to buying companies like LinkedIn, Microsoft is also increasing its focus on innovating through acquisitions. Microsoft is now one of the most valuable tech companies in the world, and continues to expand its offerings.
Microsoft Corporation is a multinational software company headquartered in Redmond, Washington. It has a presence in many countries and markets, developing operating systems and consumer electronics. It also has subsidiaries in LinkedIn, Nokia devices, Github, and Skype. Microsoft has sales offices all over the world, with its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The company’s research labs are located in Cambridge, England, Beijing, and Bengaluru, India. Various other locations have also been established for the company’s research.
Microsoft has created a suite of productivity applications for the Windows and Mac operating systems. The Office suite includes Microsoft Word and Excel, which are widely used for professional word processing. Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint also come with graphs, charts, and other data. Microsoft Access provides data management tools, while Outlook and OneNote help create and share professional presentations. In addition, Microsoft’s OneNote app allows users to record their thoughts and share them with others.
Microsoft has also been accused of monopolistic practices. Its dominant position in the market resulted in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in 1994. Microsoft agreed to change some of its sales practices to discourage competitors from using their products. Microsoft also was challenged over its proposed acquisition of Intuit Inc., a leading maker of financial software for PCs. But the settlement was never final. Microsoft continues to face lawsuits, a slew of legal challenges.
Microsoft’s strategy has also diversified into cloud computing. It has created Microsoft Azure, a cloud-based computing platform that allows service providers to build their own computing infrastructure in the “cloud” and offer it to customers. Office 365 is a cloud version of the company’s business software suite. Microsoft is also active in online search, video games, and digital services, and mobile phones. However, there are still some problems with Microsoft’s cloud-based strategy.