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.
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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.
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.)
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