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History of Microsoft

The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 and generated profits of $16,000. In the 1980s microsoft flourished as it provided the operating system DOS for IBM’s PC.

Today Microsoft is an international company present in 102 different countries, employing 76,000 people and generalting a profit of $44.28 billion per year.

Microsoft takes up 18.3 million square feet of office building space and is ranked 15th in the world's top 500 companies. Microsoft's has driven 93% of the world's desktop computers since 1991 and its office software dominates 90% of the market and earns the company $9 billion a year. In 1990 Microsoft became the first software company to reach $1 billion in revenue. In 2003 Microsoft's revenue increased by $3.82 billion to $32.19 billion with a net income of $9993 billion. Although Microsoft have been accused of fraudulent accounting in order to show profit[1].

The company headquarters are in Redmond, Washington, USA. Microsoft have ownership of MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia.

The company has faced much controversy over the years as many have attributed their success to their illegal monopoly over operating systems which effectively pushes competition out of the market. The company has faced legal proceedings aroung the world and have been found guilty on the charges of holding an unfair monopoly. However, as microsoft are an extrmely rich company, the finacial penalties they face are insignificant and they often pay their way out of any legal obligations to rectify this monopoly.

Microsoft’s Philanthropy

Bill Gates likes to consider himself above all as a philanthropic man. At the Government Leaders Forum he quoted Carnegie: ‘he who dies rich dies disgraced.’ Although Gates found the funny side to this, saying that he was still working on it, his charity has been described as the ‘Microsoft of charities’. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was launched by a donation from Bill Gates of £54 million in 2000. Gates has a very philanthropic public image and has joined Bono on the cover of Time magazine as Humanitarian of the year and was voted 8th in the list of “Heroes of our Time” by the New Statesman.

However, the ‘Microsoft of charities’ may hold alternative meanings as it has been criticised for disinvestments. In January the Los Angeles Times exposed the foundation for investing over £254 million in oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total who were being accused of causing health problems in Nigeria which, ironically, is another area of funding for the trust[2].

Microsoft's Partner Companies

Charteris plc


International role

Microsoft have faced criticism and legal action around the world. The main accusations are that they constitute a monopoly and effectively push competitors out of the market. Court cases in the US and Europe give some indication of how they conduct their business and political activities.

Lobbying firms


  1. Corporate Watch (2004) Microsoft: A Corporate ProfileCorporate Watch (accessed 05/04/07)
  2. MChinty, S (2007) Billionaire, benefactor...but is Bill Gates a force for good? The Scotsman 31st January (accessed 28/02/07)
  3. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
  4. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 29 January 2015
  5. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 29 January 2015
  6. Hanover Communications profile 2016, Register of consultant lobbyists, accessed 25 April 2016