Microsoft Corporation, incorporated in 1981, is engaged in developing, licensing and supporting a range of software products and services. The Company also designs and sells hardware, and delivers online advertising to the customers. The Company operates in five segments: Windows & Windows Live Division (Windows Division), Server and Tools, Online Services Division (OSD), Microsoft Business Division (MBD), and Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD). The Company’s products include operating systems for personal computers (PCs), servers, phones, and other intelligent devices; server applications for distributed computing environments; productivity applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; video games, and online advertising. It also designs and sells hardware, including the Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment console, Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox 360 accessories, and Microsoft PC hardware products. In July 2012, the Company purchased Edgewater Fullscope's Process Industries 2 (PI2) software and intellectual property. In July 2012, Comcast Corp. acquired the Company's 50% stake in MSNBC.com. In October 2012, it acquired PhoneFactor Inc.
In October 2011, the Company acquired Skype Global S.a r.l. In November 2011, it acquired VideoSurf Inc. In April 2012, LeGuide.com SA acquired shopping sites in seven European countries, such as United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands and Sweden; the Ciao brand; a technology platform supporting Ciao sites, and a base to about 3,000 merchant customers, from the Company.
The Company offers cloud-based solutions that provide customers with software, services and content over the Internet by way of shared computing resources located in centralized data centers. Cloud revenue is earned primarily from usage fees and advertising. Its cloud-based computing services include Bing, Windows Live Essentials suite, Xbox LIVE service, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customer relationship management services and the Azure family of platform and database services. In addition to selling individual products and services, the Company offers suites of products and services. It provides consulting and product and solution support services, and trains and certifies computer system integrators and developers. The Company does business worldwide and has offices in more than 100 countries.
Windows & Windows Live Division
The Windows Division develops and markets PC operating systems, related software and online services, and PC hardware products. The collection of software, hardware, and services is designed for everyday tasks through Web browsing and seamless operations across the user’s hardware and software. Principal products and services include Windows 7 and prior versions of the Windows operating system; Windows Live suite of applications and Web services, and Microsoft PC hardware products.
The Company competes with Apple, Google and Yahoo!.
Server and Tools
Server and Tools develops and markets server software, software developer tools, services, and solutions. Server software is an integrated server infrastructure and middleware designed to support software applications built on the Windows Server operating system. This includes the server platform, database, storage, management and operations, service-oriented architecture platform, security and identity software. Server and Tools also builds standalone and software development lifecycle tools for software architects, developers, testers, and project managers. Server offerings can be run onsite, in a partner-hosted environment, or in a Microsoft-hosted environment. Its cloud-based services consists of an operating system with computing, storage, and management capabilities and a relational database, which allow customers to run enterprise workloads and Web applications in the cloud. These services also include a platform that helps developers connect applications and services in the cloud or on premise.
Server and Tools offers a range of enterprise consulting and product support services (Enterprise Services) that assist customers in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions. Server and Tools also provides training and certification to developers and information technology professionals for its Server and Tools, Microsoft Business Division, and Windows & Windows Live Division products and services. Principal products and services include Windows Server operating systems; Windows Azure; Microsoft SQL Server; SQL Azure; Windows Intune; Windows Embedded; Visual Studio; Silverlight; System Center products; Microsoft Consulting Services, and Premier product support services.
The Company competes with Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, CA Technologies, BMC, VMWare, Sybase, Intel, Adobe, Amazon, Google, Salesforce.com, Metrowerks and MontaVista Software, add SAP.
Online Services Division
OSD develops and markets information and content designed to help people simplify tasks and make decisions online, and that help advertisers connect with audiences. OSD offerings include Bing, MSN, Microsoft adCenter, and Atlas online tools for advertisers. Bing and MSN generate revenue through the sale of search and display advertising. The Company provides updated and new online offerings on a frequent basis. In July 2010, it completed the algorithmic transition in the United States and Canada. In October 2010, it completed the paid search transition. Bing is the Company's Internet search engine that finds and organizes the answers people need so they can make informed decisions.
The Company competes with Google and Yahoo!.
Microsoft Business Division
MBD offerings consist of the Microsoft Office system (consisting mainly of Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync) and Microsoft Dynamics business solutions. Microsoft Office system products are designed for personal, team, and organization productivity through a range of programs, services, and software solutions, which may be delivered either on premise or as a cloud-based service. Microsoft Dynamics products provide business solutions for financial management, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of global enterprises. Microsoft Dynamics products provide business solutions for financial management, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of global enterprises. Principal products and services include Microsoft Office; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft SharePoint; Microsoft Lync; Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Office Web Apps, which are the online companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. In June 2011, MBD launched Office 365, which is an online services offering of Microsoft Office, Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync.
The Company competes with Adobe, Apple, Corel, Google, IBM, Oracle, Infor, Sage, SAP, Salesforce.com and Cisco.
Entertainment and Devices Division
EDD develops and markets products and services designed to entertain and connect people. The Xbox 360 entertainment platform, including Kinect, is designed to provide a variety of entertainment choices for individuals and families through the use of its devices, peripherals, content, and online services. Mediaroom is designed to provide live, recorded, and on-demand television programming. Windows Phone is designed to bring users closer to the people, applications, and content they need, while providing capabilities, such as Microsoft Office and Xbox LIVE functionality. Principal products and services include Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment console, Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox 360 video games, Xbox 360 accessories; Xbox LIVE; Mediaroom, and Windows Phone.
The Company competes with Nintendo, Sony, Apple, Google and Research In Motion.