Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT) is one of the biggest corporate success stories in American history. From its humble beginnings in Bill Gates' Harvard dorm room, in only 35 years the company grew to become one of the biggest companies in the world.
IN PICTURES: 8 Great Companies With Top-Notch Healthcare Benefits
1975: The year Microsoft was founded. The company was initially formed as the partnership Micro-soft, which operated for over five years until the firm was incorporated in 1981.
Aug. 12, 1981: Microsoft releases its first personal computer running its operating system, MS-DOS 1.0.
4,000: The number of lines of code in MSDOS 1.0 – Microsoft's first operating system.
50 million: The number of lines of code estimated to be in Microsoft Vista.
Aug. 1, 1989: The first incarnation of Microsoft Office is released.
9 cents: the March 13, 1986, Microsoft IPO price, as adjusted for stock splits.
10,000: The estimated number of Microsoft employees that became millionaires as a result of their stock ownership in the firm.
88,180: The number of employees as of April 2010.
109: The number of countries where Microsoft has subsidiaries.
646: The number of office sites worldwide. Ninety-nine locations are owned by the company, with the remaining 547 under lease.
32,404,796: The total square feet owned or leased by Microsoft worldwide.
128: The number of companies that have been acquired by Microsoft as of the end of 2009.
$58 billion: Microsoft's fiscal year 2009 revenues.
40 million: The number of units of Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console sold worldwide. The major competitors in this market are Sony's PS3, which sold 35.7 million units, and Nintendo's Wii, which sold 70.93 million units.
5 million: The number of units of Microsoft's Zune music player sold. The Zune player has not performed as well as its chief competitor, the Apple iPod, which has sold over 260 million units.
$1.4 billion: The fine paid to the E.U. in 2008 for not complying with a 2004 antitrust judgment. This judgment was the largest ever imposed against a single company by the EU's competition regulators.
$1,276,627: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's total compensation in 2009. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980, as its 24th employee. Ballmer is now the 33rd-wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $14.5 billion, according to Forbes.
$53 billion: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' net worth. Gates is the second wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes. Microsoft's other founder, Paul Allen, is the 37th-wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth estimated at $13.5 billion.
The Bottom Line
Microsoft's continued success depends both on maintaining the dominance of its bread and butter Windows and Office products, as well as its ability to capture new markets to fuel further growth. Microsoft's Office 2010 for Windows was released June 15, 2010 and analysts will be watching its reception closely to see whether it will continue to drive profitability in the coming years. While Microsoft's stock has declined recently as economic uncertainty persists, the company's $37 billion in cash and short term investments ensures Microsoft has more than sufficient funding to drive growth once the economy stabilizes. (For more, see How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo.)
Catch up on the latest financial news, read Water Cooler Finance: Billion Dollar Summits and Barack Vs. BP.
Stock AnalysisRead about how a "60 Minutes" story on laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators led to a massive decline in the share price for the company.
Stock AnalysisDiscover how Rollins, Inc. grew and expanded, making numerous acquisitions, transitioning from the radio industry to the pest control industry.
EntrepreneurshipLearn more about America's favorite billionaire: Mark Cuban, outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the hit show "Shark Tank."
Investing NewsOn August 17, 2015, Zulily Inc (ZU), an e-commerce company that caters mothers and children, announced that it will be strategically acquired by QVC, a part of Liberty Media Corporation (LMCA), ...
EntrepreneurshipLearn about billionaire Bill Gates, and how the computer genius forged his own path from an early life and eventually changed the world with his innovation.
Investing BasicsUnderstand more about company bankruptcy and why a company would file for bankruptcy. Learn about three companies that went from industry leaders to bankruptcy.
Stock AnalysisDrugs mean big profits in America. Here's how the country's oldest pharmaceutical firm keeps its toehold in the market.
Trading StrategiesMicrosoft (MSFT) underperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average during the 2002 to 2007 bull market, but it has played catch-up in recent years.
EntrepreneurshipUnlike many industries, tech billionaires are mostly self-made. Many of these billionaires came from humble means and, through their own genius, changed the world.
Investing BasicsLearn some little-known facts about Southwest Airlines' surging business.
The range of products and services offered by Apple Inc. (AAPL) is broad, and the company is a fierce competitor in several ... Read Full Answer >>
Prior to its infamous accounting scandals and collapse, Enron used off-balance-sheet special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to hide ... Read Full Answer >>
The term "nostro" is Italian in origin. It means "our" or "ours." In accounting and finance, nostro accounts are often differentiated ... Read Full Answer >>
Although the measurement and analysis of a company's key performance indicators (KPIs) vary by company, it is important to ... Read Full Answer >>
Operations management is concerned with controlling the production process and business operations in the most efficient ... Read Full Answer >>
Apple's current mission statement is "Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, ... Read Full Answer >>