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. It's 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). The company's 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 organized its reporting units into productivity and platform segments that reflect its strategic direction in productivity and platform.

The More Personal Computing segment, 44% of sales, consists of 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, 29% 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.

The Intelligent Cloud segment, 27%, consists of its public, private, and hybrid server products and cloud services. Those products and services include SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and Azure.

Geographic Reach

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.

Sales and Marketing

Microsoft sells its products and services online and through OEMs, distributors, and resellers. The company's advertising spending has declined in recent years. It spent $1.6 billion in 2016 (ended June), compared $1.9 billion in 2015, $2.3 billion in 2014, and $2.6 billion in 2013.

Financial Performance

In 2016 Microsoft reported lower revenue for the first time in seven years. It fell 9% to $85 billion in 2016 from $93.6 billion in the prior year. Sales from More Personal Computing segment dropped 6% largely due to the deferral of $6.6 billion of the revenue realized from Windows 10, introduced in summer 2016. Overall, revenue from Windows tumbled 45% year-to-year. The company also felt the impact of foreign currency exchange rates from the strong US dollar.

While revenue tumbled, net income soared 33% higher to $16.8 billion in 2016 -- mostly on the absence of expenses the company had in 2015. It had impairment charges (for its phone business) and expenses for integration and restructuring.

In 2016, operating cash flow rose to $33.3 billion from cash provided by accounts payable and inventories.

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 and gained 10 million users in 2016 (ended June).

The company continues to depend on PC makers such as Dell 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

The 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn adds to Microsoft's services and deepens capability to compete with relationship-oriented software providers such as Salesforce.com. LinkedIn will operate as an independent subsidiary of Microsoft with the same management.

In 2014 Microsoft made a highly publicized agreement to acquire Swedish gaming firm Mojang AB, which created the hugely popular cult videogame Minecraft. The deal, valued at $2.5 billion and anticipated to close by the end of the year, will provide Microsoft with a hot mobile and cross-platform property that it hopes will spur growth for its own mobile offerings and attract a younger generation of consumers to its products.

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MICROSOFT CORPORATION

1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-8300
Phone: 1 (425) 882-8080
Fax: 1 (425) 936-6150

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • President and Chief Legal Officer: Bradford L. Smith
  • Chairman: John W. Thompson

Major Office Locations

  • Redmond, WA
  • Farmingdale, NY

Other Locations

  • Birmingham, AL
  • Bentonville, AR
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 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
  • 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
  • Danbury, CT
  • Farmington, CT
  • Washington, DC
  • Newark, DE
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Alpharetta, GA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Bloomington, IL
  • Chicago, IL
  • Downers Grove, IL
  • Evanston, IL
  • Northlake, IL
  • Oak Brook, IL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Overland Park, KS
  • Metairie, LA
  • Andover, MA
  • Boston, MA
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Natick, MA
  • Bethesda, MD
  • Chevy Chase, MD
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Southfield, MI
  • Bloomington, MN
  • Edina, MN
  • Saint Louis, MO
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Fargo, ND
  • Salem, NH
  • Bridgewater, NJ
  • Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Reno, NV
  • Albany, NY
  • Hauppauge, NY
  • New York, NY
  • Rochester, NY
  • White Plains, NY
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Mason, OH
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Lake Oswego, OR
  • Portland, OR
  • Wilsonville, OR
  • King Of Prussia, PA
  • Malvern, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Providence, RI
  • Franklin, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Austin, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Irving, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Arlington, VA
  • Ashburn, VA
  • Bristow, VA
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Reston, VA
  • Bellevue, WA
  • Edmonds, WA
  • Issaquah, WA
  • Kirkland, WA
  • Quincy, WA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Madison, WI
  • Waukesha, WI
  • Barueri, Brazil
  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Brasilia, Brazil
  • Curitiba, Brazil
  • Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Londrina, Brazil
  • Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Recife, Brazil
  • Ribeirao Preto, Brazil
  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Salvador, 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
  • Chongqing, China
  • Fuzhou, China
  • Guangzhou, China
  • Qingdao, China
  • Shanghai, China
  • Shenyang, China
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Camberley, England
  • Reading, England
  • Espoo, Finland
  • Salo, Finland
  • Tampere, Finland
  • Aix En Provence, France
  • Lille, France
  • Lyon Cedex 03, France
  • Nantes, France
  • Neuilly Sur Seine, France
  • Oberhausbergen, France
  • Ramonville St Agne, France
  • Villebon Sur Yvette, France
  • Bad Homburg, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Böblingen, Germany
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Köln, Germany
  • Landsberg Am Lech, Germany
  • München, Germany
  • Rostock, Germany
  • Stuttgart, Germany
  • Walldorf, Germany
  • Bengaluru, India
  • Chennai, India
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Kolkata, India
  • Mumbai, India
  • New Delhi, India
  • Casalecchio Di Reno, Italy
  • Milano, Italy
  • Olgiate Olona, Italy
  • Roma, Italy
  • Segrate, Italy
  • Chiyoda-Ku, Japan
  • Chofu, Japan
  • Fukuoka, Japan
  • Hiroshima, Japan
  • Nagoya, Japan
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Sapporo, Japan
  • Sendai, Japan
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Tromsø, Norway
  • Trondheim, Norway
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Lund, Sweden
  • Zürich, Switzerland
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