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Microsoft CorporationA square divided into four sub-squares, colored red, green,
yellow and blue (clockwise), with the company name appearing to its right.
Microsoft's logo since 2012
Building 92 on the Microsoft Redmond campus in Redmond, Washington
Traded as

NASDAQ-100 component
DJIA component
S&P 100 component
S&P 500 component

ISIN US5949181045

Computer software
Computer hardware
Consumer electronics
Social networking service
Cloud computing
Video games
Corporate venture capital

Founded April 4, 1975; 44 years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.


Bill Gates
Paul Allen

Headquarters One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington

, U.S.
Area served
Key people

John W. Thompson
Brad Smith
Satya Nadella
Bill Gates
(Technical Advisor)


Windows Office Servers Skype Visual Studio Dynamics Xbox Surface Mobile List of

Azure Bing LinkedIn MSDN Office 365 OneDrive TechNet Pay Microsoft
Store Windows Update Xbox Live

Revenue Increase US$110.36 billion[1] (2018)

Operating income
Increase US$35.05 billion[1] (2018)
Net income
Increase US$16.57 billion[1] (2018)
Total assets Increase US$258.84 billion[1] (2018)
Total equity Increase US$82.71 billion[1] (2018)
Number of employees
Increase 134,944[2] (2018)
Subsidiaries List of Microsoft assets

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with

headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports
and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related
services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of
operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge
Web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and
the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers. As of 2016, it is
the world's largest software maker by revenue,[3] and one of the world's most
valuable companies.[4] The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and
"software".[5] Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the
largest United States corporations by total revenue.[6]

Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and
sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. It rose to dominate the personal
computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by
Microsoft Windows. The company's 1986 initial public offering (IPO), and subsequent
rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000
millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has increasingly
diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate
acquisitions, their largest being the acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in
December 2016,[7] followed by their acquisition of Skype Technologies for $8.5
billion in May 2011.[8]

As of 2015, Microsoft is market-dominant in the IBM PC compatible operating system

market and the office software suite market, although it has lost the majority of
the overall operating system market to Android.[9] The company also produces a wide
range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops and servers, including
Internet search (with Bing), the digital services market (through MSN), mixed
reality (HoloLens), cloud computing (Azure) and software development (Visual

Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, and later envisioned a "devices and
services" strategy.[10] This began with the acquisition of Danger Inc. in 2008,[11]
entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012
with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers; and later
forming Microsoft Mobile through the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services
division. Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has scaled back
on hardware and has instead focused on cloud computing, a move that helped the
company's shares reach its highest value since December 1999.[12][13]

In 2018, Microsoft surpassed Apple Inc. as the most valuable publicly traded
company in the world after being dethroned by the tech giant in 2010[14] and in
April 2019, Microsoft became the third U.S. public company to be valued at over $1
trillion after Apple and Amazon respectively, reached the trillion-dollar market
cap in 2018.[15]

1 History
1.1 1972�1985: The founding of Microsoft
1.2 1985�1994: Windows and Office
1.3 1995�2007: Foray into the Web, Windows 95, Windows XP, and Xbox
1.4 2007�2011: Microsoft Azure, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Microsoft
1.5 2011�2014: Windows 8/8.1, Xbox One,, and Surface devices
1.6 2014�present: Windows 10, Microsoft Edge and HoloLens
2 Corporate affairs
2.1 Operations
2.2 Board of Directors
2.3 Financial
2.4 Marketing
2.5 Layoffs
2.6 United States government
3 Corporate identity
3.1 Corporate culture
3.2 Environment
3.3 Headquarters
3.4 Flagship stores
3.5 Logo
3.6 Sponsorship
4 See also
5 References
6 External links

Main articles: History of Microsoft, Timeline of Microsoft, and Microsoft Windows
version history
1972�1985: The founding of Microsoft
Paul Allen and Bill Gates pose for the camera on October 19, 1981, surrounded by
PCs after signing a pivotal contract with IBM.[16]:228

Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen sought to make a business utilizing
their shared skills in computer programming.[17] In 1972 they founded their first
company, named Traf-O-Data, which sold a rudimentary computer to track and analyze
automobile traffic data. While Gates enrolled at Harvard, Allen pursued a degree in
computer science at Washington State University, though he later dropped out of
school to work at Honeywell.[18] The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics
featured Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems's (MITS) Altair 8800
microcomputer,[19] which inspired Allen to suggest that they could program a BASIC
interpreter for the device. After a call from Gates claiming to have a working
interpreter, MITS requested a demonstration. Since they didn't yet have one, Allen
worked on a simulator for the Altair while Gates developed the interpreter.
Although they developed the interpreter on a simulator and not the actual device,
it worked flawlessly when they demonstrated the interpreter in March 1975 to MITS
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair
BASIC.[16]:108, 112�114 Gates and Allen officially established Microsoft on April
4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO.[20] The original name of "Micro-Soft" (short for
microcomputer software) was suggested by Allen.[21][22] In August 1977 the company
formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first
international office, "ASCII Microsoft".[23] Microsoft moved its headquarters to
Bellevue, Washington in January 1979.[20]

Microsoft entered the operating system (OS) business in 1980 with its own version
of Unix, called Xenix.[24] However, it was MS-DOS that solidified the company's
dominance. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract
to Microsoft in November 1980 to provide a version of the CP/M OS, which was set to
be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (IBM PC).[25] For this deal,
Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products,
which it branded as MS-DOS, although IBM rebranded it to IBM PC DOS. Following the
release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS. Since
IBM had copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer it in
order for non-IBM hardware to run as IBM PC compatibles, but no such restriction
applied to the operating systems. Due to various factors, such as the software
selection available for MS-DOS, Microsoft eventually became the leading PC
operating systems vendor.[26][27]:210 The company expanded into new markets with
the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as with a publishing division
named Microsoft Press.[16]:232 Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after
developing Hodgkin's disease.[28] Allen claimed that Gates wanted to dilute his
share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't
think he was working hard enough.[29] After leaving Microsoft, Allen lost billions
of dollars on ill-conceived or mistimed technology investments. He later invested
in low-tech sectors, sports teams, and commercial real estate.[30]