2019 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
Excellent benefits, perks and compensation packages
Good work environment and many opportunities to work on latest technology
Very strong résumé presence
Big company bureaucracy and office politics
Microsoft has a well-earned reputation as a top employer and top firm in its field.
About Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft is one of the world's leading technology companies with products that include the Windows operating system, Office productivity applications, and Azure cloud services. LinkedIn, its business-oriented social network, is used by millions to make connections. Outside the office, Microsoft's Xbox gaming system is second only to Sony's PlayStation. Microsoft's customers range from consumers and small businesses to the world's biggest companies and government agencies. Geographically, Microsoft's revenue is evenly split between the US and the other countries. Microsoft founded in 1975
Microsoft operates three business segments: More Personal Computing, Productivity and Business Processes, and Intelligent Cloud.
The More Personal Computing segment generates about 35% of revenue by selling products and services for end users, developers, and IT managers across devices. Included are Windows operating system products; devices, including the Surface tablet, phones, and PC accessories; gaming such as Xbox hardware and Xbox Live; video games; HoloLens virtual reality technology; and third-party video game royalties; and search advertising.
The Productivity and Business Processes segment, about one-third of sales, covers productivity, communication, and information products and services across devices and platforms. Among the products are Office, Office 365 (the cloud version), Exchange, SharePoint, Skype and Skype for Business, and the Dynamics ERP and CRM products. Office products and cloud services by themselves account for about a quarter of total revenue. LinkedIn is part of the segment.
The Intelligent Cloud segment, about 30% of revenue, consists of its public, private, and hybrid server products and cloud services headlined by the Azure cloud computing service. Other products and services include SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, and System Center.
Based in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft's sales are split between the US, which accounts for about 50% of revenue, and other countries, which provide the balance of sales.
Internationally, Microsoft operates research and development centers in China and India; data centers in Ireland, Singapore, and the Netherlands; and operations and facilities in Ireland, and the UK. The company also has offices in India, China, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, and the UK.
Sales and Marketing
Microsoft sells through multiple channels to a wide range of customers as well as conducting sales online and through OEMs, distributors, and resellers, as well as retailers.
Maintaining its brand identity and keeping itself in front-of-mind for potential consumer and commercial buyers is a key strategy to ongoing sales. Customers include consumers, small and medium organizations, large global enterprises, public-sector institutions, internet service providers, application developers, and OEMs.
The company spend $18.2 billion, $17.5 billion, and $15.5 billion on sales and marketing for the years 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively
Microsoft's revenue has grown at a 15% clip in each of the past two years, fueled by higher sales in each
of its business segments, while net income reached a company high in 2019.
Revenue totaled $125.8 billion in 2019 (ended June), up about $15.5 billion from 2018. The Intelligent Cloud segment's revenue rose 21% year-over-year, driven by server products and cloud services. Growth in Office and LinkedIn products fueled an increase in Productivity and Business Processes sales, while stronger contributions from Surface, Gaming, and Windows boosted revenue in the Personal Computing segment.
Net income jumped to $39.2 billion in 2019, $22.6 billion more than 2018, due to higher revenue and a tax bill that was about $15.4 million less year-over-year.
Microsoft's coffers held $11.3 billion in cash in 2019 compared to $11.9 billion the year before. In 2019, operations generated $52.2 million in cash, while investing activities used $15.7 million and financing activities used $36.8 million.
In the past several years Microsoft has reoriented its products to the cloud, which has driven sales higher. Microsoft's commercial cloud business, which includes Azure, Office 365 Commercial, the commercial portion of LinkedIn, and Dynamics 365 accounted for more than 73% of the company's revenue growth in 2018 and 2019. Revenue from the Azure cloud services business, which ranks second in size only to Amazon.com's Amazon Web Services, jumped 64% in 2019 from 2018.
The company offers customers subscriptions to cloud-based versions of its familiar Office productivity suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and other popular programs that fueled robust growth in 2018 and 2019.
In gaming, Microsoft is due to offer a new game-streaming service, Project xCloud, which will begin public trials in late 2019. To furnish new games for its Xbox system, Microsoft has about doubled first-party game studios through acquisitions for its subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.
The company might seem invulnerable, but Microsoft faces unrelenting competition throughout its portfolio. Amazon, IBM, Google are top rivals in web services and Apple and Google compete in operating systems and software. Those two companies also have thriving mobile phone businesses, which Microsoft lacks. In gaming, Electronic Arts, Activision-Blizzard, and others offer blockbuster games to players.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2020, Microsoft acquired Softomotive, a world-leading provider of robotic process automation (RPA). By bringing Softomotive's desktop automation together with the existing Microsoft Power Automate capabilities, at uniquely affordable pricing, Microsoft is further democratizing RPA and enabling everyone to create bots to automate manual business processes.
Also in 2020, Microsoft agreed to acquire Metaswitch Networks, a leading provider of virtualized network software and voice, data and communications solutions for operators. Microsoft intends to leverage the talent and technology of these two organizations, extending the Azure platform to both deploy and grow these capabilities at scale in a way that is secure, efficient and creates a sustainable ecosystem.
In early 2020, Microsoft acquired Affirmed Network, fully virtualized, cloud-native mobile network solutions enable operators to simplify network operations, reduce costs and rapidly create and launch new revenue-generating services. With Affirmed
In 2019 Microsoft acquired Movere, a developer of software for moving data to cloud computing environments. The deal will help Microsoft migrate customers to its Azure cloud. Movere's technology helps IT administrators figure out the best options when they move data into the public cloud.
Microsoft in 2019 acquired BlueTalon, a private company that develops data governance and compliance software. The software lets user run queries on sensitive data, while not revealing the underlying information. Microsoft plans to incorporate BlueTalon into its Azure Data Governance group. In another 2019 transaction Microsoft acquired jClarity, a Java support services company. The deal should help Java workloads run more efficiently on Microsoft's Azure cloud services.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft (originally named Micro-soft) in 1975 after Gates dropped out of Harvard at age 19 to sell a version of the programming language BASIC. While Gates was at Harvard, the pair wrote the language for Altair, the first commercial microcomputer. The company was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew by modifying BASIC for other computers.
Gates and Allen moved Microsoft to their native Seattle in 1979 and began developing software that let others write programs. The modern PC era dawned in 1980 when IBM chose Microsoft to write the operating system for its new machines. Although hesitant at first, Gates bought QDOS, short for "quick and dirty operating system," for $50,000 from a Seattle programmer, renaming it the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS).
Allen fell ill with Hodgkin's disease and left Microsoft in 1983. In the mid-1980s Microsoft introduced Windows, a graphics-based version of MS-DOS that borrowed from rival Apple's Macintosh system. The company went public in 1986, and Gates became the industry's first billionaire a year later. Microsoft introduced Windows NT in 1993 to compete with the UNIX operating system, popular on mainframes and large networks.
The early 1990s brought monopoly charges from inside and outside the industry. In 1995 antitrust concerns scotched a $1.5 billion acquisition of personal finance software maker Intuit.
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-8300
Phone: 1 (425) 882-8080
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: MSFT
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
CEO: Satya Nadella
President and Chief Legal Officer: Bradford L. Smith
Chairman: John W. Thompson
Employees (This Location): 866
Employees (All Locations): 163,000
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