Microsoft is a leading provider of cloud computing services. It is also the world’s largest software publisher. Founded in 1975, it is based in Redmond, Washington. The company focuses on enterprise software, hardware, and consumer electronics.
It is one of the five “Big Five” information technology companies in the U.S. Along with IBM, HP, Apple, and Google, Microsoft produces computer software and devices for businesses.
Its products include the Windows operating system, the Word document editing and creation suite, and the Outlook email program. In addition, Microsoft makes web browsers and e-mail servers, cloud computing systems, video game consoles, and computer peripherals.
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. They started the company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and later relocated it to Redmond, Washington.
Bill Gates served as president and CEO until 2000. He handed over the title of chief software architect in 2006. But he remained chairman of the board.
In the late 1990s, Microsoft grew into a major presence in the business and entertainment industries, with a variety of competitive products. However, its rapid growth sparked resentment from rivals.
During the Great Recession of 2007-09, Microsoft’s unbroken string of profits continued. However, it was criticized for its monopolistic business practices.
Microsoft’s primary focus has been on providing cloud computing services. This includes its Azure platform, which is a rival to Amazon Web Services. It has also introduced a series of hybrid tablet computers, such as the Surface. These tablets are available as standalone units or bundled with the Windows operating system.