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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is a multinational computer technology corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.

Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its most profitable products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

As of the third quarter of 2009, Microsoft was ranked as the third largest company in the world, following PetroChina and ExxonMobil. It is also one of the largest technological corporations in the world.

Microsoft possesses footholds in other markets than just IT software, with assets such as the MSNBC cable television network and the MSN Internet portal. The company also markets both computer hardware products such as the Microsoft mouse and the Microsoft Natural keyboard, as well as home entertainment products such as the Xbox, Xbox 360, Zune and MSN TV.

The company's initial public stock offering (IPO) was in 1986; the ensuing rise of the company's stock price has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.


History

The company was founded on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreter for the Altair 8800. Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Windows line of operating systems. Many of its products have achieved near-ubiquity in the desktop computer market. One commentator notes that Microsoft's original mission was "a computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software."

Throughout its history the company has been the target of criticism, including monopolistic business practices and anti-competitive strategies including refusal to deal and tying. The U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission, among others, have ruled against Microsoft for antitrust violations. (See also United States v. Microsoft, European Union Microsoft competition case.)

Structure

Product divisions

The management and finances of Microsoft's products are currently arranged into five business divisions:


Board of Directors

The company is run by a Board of Directors consisting of ten people, made up of mostly company outsiders (as is customary for publicly traded companies).

Current members of the board of directors are:

  • Satya Nadella - Chief Executive Officer
  • Bill Gates - Chairman
  • Dina Dublon - Former Chief Financial Officer, JPMorgan Chase
  • Raymond Gilmartin - Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Reed Hastings - Founder, Chairman and CEO, Netflix, Inc.
  • Maria M. Klawe - President, Harvey Mudd College
  • David F. Marquardt - General Partner, August Capital
  • Charles H. Noski - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Bank of America Corporation
  • Dr. Helmut Panke - Former Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG

The ten board members are elected every year at the annual shareholders' meeting, and those who do not get a majority of votes must submit a resignation to the board, which will subsequently choose whether or not to accept the resignation.

There are five committees within the board which oversee more specific matters. These committees include the Audit Committee, which handles accounting issues with the company including auditing and reporting; the Compensation Committee, which approves compensation for the CEO and other employees of the company; the Finance Committee, which handles financial matters such as proposing mergers and acquisitions; the Governance and Nominating Committee, which handles various corporate matters including nomination of the board; and the Antitrust Compliance Committee, which attempts to prevent company practices from violating antitrust laws.

Other Corporate Structures

There are several other aspects to the corporate structure of Microsoft. For worldwide matters there is the Executive Team, made up of sixteen company officers across the globe, which is charged with various duties including making sure employees understand Microsoft's culture of business. The sixteen officers of the Executive Team include the Chairman and Chief Software Architect, the CEO, the General Counsel and Secretary, the CFO, senior and group vice presidents from the business units, the CEO of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions; and the heads of Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Services; Human Resources; and Corporate Marketing. In addition to the Executive Team there is also the Corporate Staff Council, which handles all major staff functions of the company, including approving corporate policies. The Corporate Staff Council is made up of employees from the Law and Corporate Affairs, Finance, Human Resources, Corporate Marketing, and Advanced Strategy and Policy groups at Microsoft. Other Executive Officers include the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the various product divisions, leaders of the marketing section, and the CTO, among others.

Criticism

(This section is incomplete)

See also


External links


Microsoft
People
Founders
Bill GatesPaul Allen
Board of directors
Steve Ballmer · James Cash, Jr. · Dina Dublon · Bill Gates · Raymond Gilmartin · Reed Hastings · Maria Klawe · David Marquardt · Charles Noski · Helmut Panke · Jon Shirley
Senior Leadership Team
Satya Nadella (CEO) · Scott Guthrie · Amy Hood (CEO) · Qi Lu · Terry Myerson · Harry Shum · Kevin Turner (COO)
Corporate VPs
Joe Belfiore · Richard Rashid (SVP) · S. Somasegar (SVP)
Divisions
Engineering groups (Accessories · Mobile) · Digital Crimes Unit · Garage · Press · Research · Studios · .NET Foundation · Outercurve Foundation
Regional branches
Algeria · Egypt · India · Japan · Pakistan
Product families
Operating systems (Microsoft Windows· Software (Office · Servers · Visual Studio· Band · HoloLens · Lumia · Surface · Xbox
Web properties
Bing · Channel 9 · CodePlex · Developer Network · MSN · Office.com · OneDrive · Outlook.com · Microsoft TechNet · Windows Store
Conferences
Build · MIX · PDC · TechEd · WinHEC · WPC · OneDrive · Outlook.com · TechNet · Windows Store
Criticism
Bundling of Microsoft Windows · iLoo · Internet Explorer · _NSAKEY · Windows · (2000 · ME · XP · Vista· Xbox 360

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