Microsoft Corporation is a multinational technology company based in the United States.

The American multinational technology company Microsoft Corporation creates computer software, home appliances, laptops, and related services. The Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office package, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers are among Microsoft’s most well-known software offerings. Microsoft is headquartered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. The Xbox video gaming consoles and the Microsoft Surface range of touchscreen personal PCs are its two main hardware offerings. Microsoft was the world’s largest software company by revenue as of 2019; it was placed No. 21 in the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest American firms by total revenue in 2020 Along with Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Meta, it is one of the Big Five American technological firms.

On April 4, 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen established Microsoft in order to create and market BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. In the middle of the 1980s, MS-DOS and then Windows propelled it to the top of the market for personal computer operating systems. Three people became billionaires thanks to Microsoft’s 1986 initial public offering (IPO) and subsequent increase in share price, while an estimated 12,000 Microsoft employees became millionaires. Since the 1990s, it has diversified from the operating system market and acquired a number of businesses, the largest of which being LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016  and Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in May 2011.

Microsoft Corporation

Image via: Financial Times

Although it has lost the majority of the total operating system market to Android, Microsoft continues to hold a commanding position in the markets for operating systems compatible with IBM PCs and office software suites as of 2015. In addition, the company creates a wide variety of additional consumer and business software for desktops, laptops, tabs, gadgets, and servers, including Internet search (with Bing), the digital services market (through MSN), mixed reality (HoloLens), cloud computing (Azure), and software development (Visual Studio).

In 2000, Steve Ballmer succeeded Bill Gates as CEO, and he later developed the “devices and services” strategy In order to join the personal computer production industry for the first time in June 2012 with the release of the Microsoft Surface series of tablet PCs, Microsoft first acquired Danger Inc in 2008 Microsoft formed Microsoft Mobile after acquiring the devices and services division of Nokia, making its first foray into the personal computer manufacturing industry in June 2012 with the introduction of the Surface range of tablet PCs. The company has reduced its emphasis on hardware and increased its usage of cloud computing since Satya Nadella became CEO in 2014. This shift has helped the company’s stock achieve its highest value since December 1999.

In 2018, Microsoft recaptured its title as the most valuable publicly traded business in the world after being dethroned by Apple in 2010. [10] After Apple and Amazon, Microsoft became the third American public firm to have a market cap of $1 trillion or more when it did so in April 2019. Microsoft will have the fourth-highest worldwide brand valuation as of 2022 Microsoft has been under fire for its monopolistic business methods, as well as for issues with its software’s usability, reliability, and security childhood pals Paul Allen and Bill Gates wanted to use their expertise in computer programming to start a business In 1972, they established Traf-O-Data, a company that provided a crude computer for monitoring and analyzing data on vehicle traffic. While Allen attended Washington State University to earn a degree in computer science before leaving to work at Honeywell, Gates enrolled at Harvard University Allen proposed that they could develop a BASIC interpreter for the device after reading about the Altair 8800 microprocessor from Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) in the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics MITS called Gates and asked for a demonstration after Gates claimed to have a functional interpreter. While Gates created the interpreter, Allen created a simulator for the Altair, and it was successful.

When they showed it to MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March 1975, it worked well. MITS agreed to commercialize it as Altair BASIC and distribute it. 108, 112–114 On April 4, 1975, Gates and Allen founded Microsoft. Gates served as CEO, and Allen offered the term “Micro-Soft,” which is short for microcomputer software As a result of an arrangement the company made with ASCII Magazine in Japan in August 1977, ASCII Microsoft opened its first overseas office. In January 1979, Microsoft relocated its corporate headquarters to Bellevue, Washington.

Despite having started working together on OS/2 with IBM the previous August, Microsoft debuted Windows as a graphical addition to MS-DOS on November 20, 1985: 242-243, 246.  On February 26, 1986, Microsoft relocated its headquarters from Bellevue to Redmond, Washington, and on March 13,  it went public. As a result of the increase in stock price, Microsoft employees became an estimated four billionaires and 12,000 millionaires. On April 2, 1987, Microsoft made its version of OS/2 available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) The Federal Trade Commission investigated Microsoft in 1990 for potential collusion as a result of the company’s alliance with IBM, which was the start of more than a decade of legal disputes with the government: 243–244 The company was working on Microsoft Windows NT, which was significantly dependent on their technology, in the meantime.

The Microsoft Office suite, which included standalone programs like Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, was first released by Microsoft in 1990. [11]: 301 Microsoft released Windows 3.0 on May 22 with an improved protected mode capability for the Intel 386 processor and optimized user interface graphics. Both Office and Windows went on to become market leaders in their respective fields. According to a competitive effect statement submitted by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division on July 27, 1994, Microsoft coerced numerous OEMs to sign anti-competitive “per processor licenses” starting in 1988 and continuing through July 15, 1994. A per-processor license requires an OEM to pay a royalty to Microsoft for each computer it sells that uses a certain microprocessor, regardless of whether the OEM sells the computer with a Microsoft operating system or one from a third party. When no Microsoft product is being utilized, the royalty payment to Microsoft effectively functions as a fine or levy on the OEM for using a rival PC operating system. Microsoft has used per-processor licensing more frequently since 1988.

Microsoft started to reevaluate its products and broaden its product line into computer networking and the World Wide Web after Bill Gates’s internal “Internet Tidal Wave letter” on May 26, 1995, Microsoft was the only significant, established corporation that moved quickly enough to be a part of the World Wide Web nearly from the beginning, with a few outliers of new businesses like Netscape. Microsoft would dominate the market since other businesses like Borland, WordPerfect, Novell, IBM, and Lotus would be significantly slower to adjust to the new circumstances Windows 95, which supplied the Win32 API and had pre-emptive multitasking, a completely redesigned user interface with a creative start button, and 32-bit compatibility was made available by the firm on August 24, 1995, 20 Windows 95 

Comes along with Internet Explorer (for OEMs), a Web browser, and MSN, an online service that was once meant to be a rival to the Internet. Because the retail versions of Windows 95 were printed before the development team had finished the Web browser, Internet Explorer was not included; instead, it was part of the Windows 95 Plus! bundle Supported by a well-known marketing campaign and “the splashiest, most frenetic, most expensive introduction of a computer product in the industry’s history,” according to The New York Times, Windows 95 gained popularity quite rapidly  In order to expand into new markets, Microsoft and General Electric’s NBC division 1996 launched MSNBC, a brand-new 24-hour cable news channel  Windows CE 1.0, a new OS made by Microsoft for gadgets like personal digital assistants that have memory limitations and other restrictions  The Justice Department petitioned the Federal District Court in October 1997, alleging that Microsoft had broken a contract made in 1994 and pleading with the court to halt the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

Microsoft announced the Zune series of digital media players in 2006 as the replacement to its previous software platform Portable Media Center, becoming more and more active in the hardware market after the debut of Xbox. As of 2007, the company marketed the best-selling wired keyboard (Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000), mouse (IntelliMouse), and desktop webcam (LifeCam) in the United States, expanding on earlier hardware commitments from Microsoft made with the release of the first Microsoft Mouse in 1983. Additionally, the business debuted the Surface “digital table” in that year.

The following version of Windows, Vista, was released in January 2007 and concentrated on features, security, and a revamped user interface known as Aero.   The concurrently released Microsoft Office 2007 had a “Ribbon” user interface, which marked a substantial change from the program’s forerunners. Both items’ relatively good sales contributed to a record profit in 2007 On February 27, 2008, the European Union levied further penalties of €899 million ($1.4 billion) for Microsoft’s violation of the March 2004 ruling, claiming that the corporation had charged rivals unfair pricing for crucial information regarding its workgroup and back office servers Microsoft claimed that it has complied with all laws and regulations and that “these penalties relate to previously fixed problems.” A was also established in 2007

Microsoft’s multi-core unit follows in the server industry’s footsteps of Sun and IBM Gates announced his decision to resign from his post as Chief Software Architect in June 2006, and he officially did so on June 27, 2008, but he continued to hold other company-related responsibilities and serve as an advisor on important projects  On October 27, 2008, the business introduced Azure Services Platform, its first into the Windows cloud computing market  The first retail Microsoft Store debuted on October 22, 2009, the same day Windows 7 was formally released to the public, after Microsoft announced its intention to launch a chain of Microsoft-branded retail stores on February 12, 2009. The primary goals of Windows 7 were to improve Vista’s usability and performance Microsoft had struggled to keep up with its competitors in supplying a cutting-edge smartphone operating system, slipping behind Apple and Google-sponsored Android in the United States as the smartphone market boomed in the late 2000s  As a result, Microsoft updated its outdated Windows Mobile flagship mobile operating system in 2010 and replaced it with the new Windows Phone OS, which was unveiled in October of that same year It made use of a brand-new user interface design language known as “Metro,” which was heavily influenced by minimalism and featured straightforward forms, typography, and iconography. By implementing a new approach for the software sector that offers a consistent user experience on all handsets running the Windows Phone OS, Microsoft has changed the game. In 2011, it began a partnership with Nokia, and Microsoft collaborated extensively with the business. but continued to work as partners with longtime Windows Mobile OEM HTC to co-develop Windows Phone A founding member of the Open Networking Foundation, which was established on March 23, 2011, is Microsoft. Google, HP Networking, Yahoo!, Verizon Communications, Deutsche Telekom, and 17 other businesses were co-founders. Software-Defined Networking is a cloud computing initiative that is supported by this nonprofit organization. The goal of the program is to accelerate innovation through straightforward software alterations in data centers, wireless networks, telecommunications networks, and other networking domains.

Following the launch of Windows Phone, Microsoft undertook a steady rebranding of its product line throughout 2011 and 2012, embracing the principles and concepts of the Metro design language in its logos, goods, services, and websites.  In Taipei in June 2011, Microsoft launched Windows 8, an operating system made to run both desktop and tablet PCs  On September 13, a developer preview was made available; on February 29, a consumer preview took its place, and in May, the general public could download it. On June 18, the Surface was unveiled, making it the first computer in business history whose hardware was produced by Microsoft purchased the social network Yammer on June 25 for US$1.2 billion. When they launched on July 31 Microsoft sold its 50% ownership in MSNBC, which it has jointly operated with NBC since 1996, in July 2012. On October 1, Microsoft made known its plans to release a news operation as a component of a redesigned MSN with Windows 8 later that month  Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface on October 26, 2012, The debut of Windows Phone 8 came three days later  Microsoft created a number of “holiday stores” across the U.S. to supplement the growing number of “bricks-and-mortar” Microsoft Stores that debuted in 2012. This was done to prepare for the possibility of an increase in demand for goods and services  Microsoft unveiled a Patent Tracker on March 29, 2013 The New York City Police Department announced a relationship with it in August 2012.