Microsoft Corporation at a Glance

Uppers

  • Excellent  benefits, perks and compensation packages
  • Good work environment and many opportunities to work on latest technology
  • Very strong résumé presence

Downers

  • Big company bureaucracy and office politics

The Bottom Line

  • Microsoft has a well-earned reputation as a top employer and top firm in its field.

About Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft is omnipresent. Its Windows operating system and Office suite of productivity software dominate their markets. The company's cloud computing platform, Azure, is one of the leaders in that burgeoning market. Customers range from individuals and small businesses to the world's biggest companies and government agencies. Microsoft makes tablets (Surface), game consoles (Xbox), and even laptop computers (introduced in 2015), and it also owns Skype, the video meeting service. And in 2016, Microsoft added LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network, to its portfolio in a $26 billion deal. Microsoft's software is included in most personal computers including those from Dell Technologies, HP Inc., and Lenovo.

Operations

Microsoft operates three business segments: More Personal Computing, Productivity and Business Processes, and Intelligent Cloud, along with a Corporate segment.

The More Personal Computing segment generates about 43% of revenue by selling products and services for end users, developers, and IT managers across devices. Included are Windows OS 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 33% 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. Sales of Microsoft Office alone comprises nearly 30% of the company's total revenue. Newly acquired LinkedIn resides in this segment.

The Intelligent Cloud segment, 25%, consists of its public, private, and hybrid server products and cloud services. Products and services include SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and Azure.

Geographic Reach

Redmond, WA-headquartered Microsoft operates in some 190 countries with international sales accounting for 52% of revenue and the balance coming from the US.

The company has regional centers around the world as well as data centers and research and development facilities. Corporate headquarters outside of Seattle, WA resides on nearly 500 acres and has approximately 15 million square feet of space that houses engineering, sales, marketing, and operations organizations. It also has significant a R&D presence in China and India and large a technical support location in Dublin, Ireland.

Sales and Marketing

Microsoft sells its products and services online and through OEMs, distributors, and resellers. Maintaining its brand identity and keeping itself in front-of-mind for potential consumer and commercial buyers is a key strategy to ongoing sales, and to that end the company spends about $15 billion annually on sales and marketing activities.

Financial Performance

Following a year of lower revenue in FY2016, the company's revenue recovered with a 5% increase, to $90.0 billion, in FY2017 (ended June 30). The sales upswing was due to growth in its Microsoft Office product line, revenue inclusion from its LinkedIn acquisition, and higher revenue from server products and cloud services.

Net income continued a multi-year upward trend, rising 26% to $21.2 billion on higher revenues, and lower charges against impairments and restructuring activities.

At the end of FY2017, cash on hand was $7.7 billion, up $1.2 billion from the prior year end. Cash from operations was nearly $40.0 billion based in large part on net income and large adjustment concerning deferred revenue. Financing activities contributed $8.4 billion by issuing $44.3 billion in debt while returning a large amount of money to shareholders via dividends and stock buy-backs. Investing activities used $46.7 billion during the year, most of it via exchanging investments purchased with the company's massive cache of $125 billion in short-term investments.

Strategy

Microsoft isn't just on the desktop anymore and its not just for PCs, either.

From its Azure cloud computing operations to its Surface tablets (and now Surface Book notebook computer), the company is planting its flag in the cloud and mobile. Cloud customers are attracted by the stability of Microsoft products (and the company itself) as well as the industries -- such as health care -- that Microsoft's customers are in. Microsoft competes with Amazon's Amazon Web Services and Google in cloud services, a fight that has seen prices drop as services increase. Microsoft keys on the capability of its public cloud to integrate with customers' hybrid and private clouds.

Microsoft also has adapted its software for other devices such as those that run on the Apple iOS and the Android OS from Google. The Office 365 is a cloud-based version of its Office productivity suite; its consumer client base now numbers 27.0 million.

The company continues to depend on PC makers such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo to load its software on their computers. That means not only the operating system, but Office as well. Microsoft's notebook computer is a direct competitor with similar products of its customers. The hope within Microsoft is that the computer will inject energy into the slumping PC market, improving the environment for other PC makers as well.

In the phone business, Microsoft shifted its focus toward providing software rather than hardware. It sold its feature phone business to Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group, and HMD Global, a deal that included manufacturing facilities in Vietnam. Without the entry-level class of phones, Microsoft continues with Windows 10 Mobile and the Lumia line of phones and those from OEM partners Acer, Trinity, and VAIO.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In June 2017 Microsoft moved to bolster the security of its enterprise software by agreeing to acquire Hexadite. The company develops tools for automatically investigating security incidents and remedying them. Microsoft expects Hexadite's products to strengthen and extend its enterprise security offerings. The price was reported to be about $100 million.

Microsoft in April 2017 bought Deis, a startup software company, to aid in its competition with Amazon Web Services and Google to provide cloud services. Deis provides open-source software that helps companies build applications on top of cloud services. With Deis, Microsoft seeks to make it easier for developers to write applications for its Azure cloud services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn adds to Microsoft's services and deepens capability to compete with relationship-oriented software providers such as Salesforce.com. At $26 billion it was Microsoft's biggest acquisition. LinkedIn will operate as an independent subsidiary of Microsoft with the same management. That said, Microsoft and LinkedIn intend to integrate a number of their products. For example, people drafting their résumés in Microsoft's Word can update their LinkedIn profiles and find and apply for jobs there. LinkedIn Learning will be available in Office 365 and the Windows ecosystem.

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Microsoft Corporation

1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-8300
Phone: 1 (425) 882-8080
Fax: 1 (800) 546-7516

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: MSFT
  • Stock Exchange: NASDAQ
  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • President and Chief Legal Officer: Bradford L. Smith
  • Chairman: John W. Thompson
  • 2017 Employees: 124,000

Major Office Locations

  • Redmond, WA

Other Locations

  • Birmingham, AL
  • Bentonville, AR
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Tempe, AZ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Aliso Viejo, CA
  • Corte Madera, CA
  • Costa Mesa, CA
  • Irvine, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Mission Viejo, CA
  • Mountain View, CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Playa Vista, CA
  • Redondo Beach, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Boulder, CO
  • Broomfield, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Farmington, CT
  • Washington, DC
  • Newark, DE
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Wilton Manors, FL
  • Alpharetta, GA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Bloomington, IL
  • Chicago, IL
  • Downers Grove, IL
  • Evanston, IL
  • Northlake, IL
  • Oak Brook, IL
  • Schaumburg, IL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Overland Park, KS
  • Metairie, LA
  • Andover, MA
  • Boston, MA
  • Burlington, MA
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Natick, MA
  • Bethesda, MD
  • Chevy Chase, MD
  • Southfield, MI
  • Bloomington, MN
  • Edina, MN
  • Saint Louis, MO
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Fargo, ND
  • Salem, NH
  • Bridgewater, NJ
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Wayne, NJ
  • Reno, NV
  • Hauppauge, NY
  • Huntington Station, NY
  • New York, NY
  • White Plains, NY
  • Beachwood, OH
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Mason, OH
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Lake Oswego, OR
  • Portland, OR
  • Wilsonville, OR
  • King Of Prussia, PA
  • Malvern, PA
  • Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Providence, RI
  • Franklin, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Austin, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Irving, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Arlington, VA
  • Bristow, VA
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Reston, VA
  • Bellevue, WA
  • Issaquah, WA
  • Kirkland, WA
  • Quincy, WA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Madison, WI
  • Waukesha, WI
  • Barueri, Brazil
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Calgary, Canada
  • Edmonton, Canada
  • Halifax, Canada
  • Montréal, Canada
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Québec, Canada
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Victoria, Canada
  • Winnipeg, Canada
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Camberley, England
  • Reading, England
  • Espoo, Finland
  • Salo, Finland
  • Tampere, Finland
  • Aix En Provence, France
  • Lille, France
  • Lyon, France
  • Marseille, France
  • Nantes, France
  • Neuilly Sur Seine, France
  • Oberhausbergen, France
  • Ramonville-Saint-Agne, France
  • Villebon Sur Yvette, France
  • Bengaluru, India
  • Chandigarh, India
  • Chennai, India
  • Gurgaon, India
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Indore, India
  • Kolkata, India
  • Mumbai, India
  • New Delhi, India
  • Pune, India
  • Chofu, Japan
  • Fukuoka, Japan
  • Hiroshima, Japan
  • Nagoya, Japan
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Sapporo, Japan
  • Sendai, Japan
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Chelyabinsk, Russia
  • Ekaterinburg, Russia
  • Kaliningrad, Russia
  • Kazan, Russia
  • Kemerovo, Russia
  • Khabarovsk, Russia
  • Krasnodar, Russia
  • Krasnoyarsk, Russia
  • Nizhni Novgorod, Russia
  • Novosibirsk, Russia
  • Orenburg, Russia
  • Rostov-On-Don, Russia
  • Samara, Russia
  • Saratov, Russia
  • Ufa, Russia
  • Vladivostok, Russia
  • Volgograd, Russia
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Lund, Sweden
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