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Microsoft: A Journey Through Innovation and Growth

History of Microsoft

Microsoft, founded on April 4, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has left an indelible mark on the technology landscape. Initially focused on developing and selling BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, Microsoft quickly rose to prominence. Let’s delve into key milestones:

  1. Operating System Dominance: Microsoft’s MS-DOS and Windows operating systems became ubiquitous in the 1980s and ’90s, capturing over 90% of the personal computer market.
  2. Product Diversification: Beyond operating systems, Microsoft ventured into office suites (Microsoft Office), video games (Xbox series), consumer electronics, and digital services (including MSN, Zune, and Windows Phone ).
  3. Acquisitions: Microsoft has acquired over 225 companies, including notable ones like Skype, LinkedIn, GitHub, and Nokia’s mobile division.
Young Bill Gates with Microsoft Windows OS
Young Bill Gates with Microsoft Windows OS | Image from Torizone

Business Acquisitions

Microsoft’s strategic acquisitions have shaped its trajectory:

  • LinkedIn ($26.2B, 2016): The largest acquisition, bolstering professional networking and employment platforms.
  • Skype ($8.5B, 2011): A video chat and internet communications service.
  • GitHub ($7.5B, 2018): A source code management platform.

Total Assets and Top Stockholders

Microsoft’s total assets have grown consistently:

  • As of December 31, 2023, total assets reached $470.558 billion, reflecting a 29.08% year-over-year increase.

The top institutional stockholders include:

  1. Vanguard Group Inc.: Holds 8.95% of Microsoft shares.
  2. BlackRock Inc.: Owns 7.25% of outstanding shares.
  3. State Street Corporation: Holds 4.01% of shares.

Notably, Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates, still owns around 0.9% of the company.

In summary, Microsoft’s journey from BASIC interpreters to a global tech giant exemplifies innovation, diversification, and strategic acquisitions. Its continued growth and influence remain pivotal in shaping the digital landscape.

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