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Products: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation


Founded in 1975, we develop and support software, services, devices, and solutions that deliver new value for customers and help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Our products include operating systems; cross-device productivity applications; server applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; and video games. We also design, manufacture, and sell devices, including PCs, tablets, gaming and entertainment consoles, other intelligent devices, and related accessories.

We offer an array of services, including cloud-based solutions that provide customers with software, services, platforms, and content, and we provide solution support and consulting services. We also deliver relevant online advertising to a global audience.

Embracing Our Future

Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world. Our platforms and tools help drive small business productivity, large business competitiveness, and public-sector efficiency. They also support new startups, improve educational and health outcomes, and empower human ingenuity.

We continue to transform our business to lead in the new era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. We bring technology and products together into experiences and solutions that unlock value for our customers. In this next phase of innovation, computing is more powerful and ubiquitous from the cloud to the edge. Artificial intelligence (“AI”) capabilities are rapidly advancing, fueled by data and knowledge of the world. Physical and virtual worlds are coming together to create richer experiences that understand the context surrounding people, the things they use, the places they go, and their activities and relationships. A person’s experience with technology spans a multitude of devices and has become increasingly more natural and multi-sensory with voice, ink, and gaze interactions.


As of June 30, 2018, we employed approximately 131,000 people on a full-time basis, 78,000 in the U.S. and 53,000 internationally. Of the total employed people, 42,000 were in operations, including manufacturing, distribution, product support, and consulting services; 42,000 were in product research and development; 36,000 were in sales and marketing; and 11,000 were in general and administration. Certain of our employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements.


We operate our business and report our financial performance using three segments: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Our segments provide management with a comprehensive financial view of our key businesses. The segments enable the alignment of strategies and objectives across the development, sales, marketing, and services organizations, and they provide a framework for timely and rational allocation of resources within businesses.

Productivity and Business Processes

Our Productivity and Business Processes segment consists of products and services in our portfolio of productivity, communication, and information services, spanning a variety of devices and platforms. This segment primarily comprises:

  • Office Commercial, including Office 365 subscriptions and Office licensed on-premises, comprising Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (“CALs”).

  • Office Consumer, including Office 365 subscriptions and Office licensed on-premises, and Office Consumer Services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive.

  • LinkedIn, including Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions.

  • Dynamics business solutions, including Dynamics ERP on-premises, Dynamics CRM on-premises, and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based applications across ERP and CRM.

Office Commercial

Office Commercial is designed to increase personal, team, and organizational productivity through a range of products and services. Growth depends on our ability to reach new users in new markets such as first-line workers, small and medium businesses, and growth markets, as well as add value to our core product and service offerings to span productivity categories such as communication, collaboration, analytics, and security. Office Commercial revenue is mainly affected by a combination of continued installed base growth and average revenue per user expansion, as well as the continued shift from Office licensed on-premises to Office 365. CALs provide certain Office Commercial products and services with access rights to our server products and CAL revenue is reported with the associated Office products and services.

Office Consumer

Office Consumer is designed to increase personal productivity through a range of products and services. Growth depends on our ability to reach new users, add value to our core product set, and continue to expand our product and service offerings into new markets. Office Consumer revenue is mainly affected by the percentage of customers that buy Office with their new devices and the continued shift from Office licensed on-premises to Office 365. Office Consumer Services revenue is mainly affected by the demand for communication and storage through Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive, which is largely driven by subscriptions, advertising, and the sale of minutes.


LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful, and is the world's largest professional network on the Internet. LinkedIn offers services that can be used by customers to transform the way they hire, market, sell, and learn. In addition to LinkedIn’s free services, LinkedIn offers three categories of monetized solutions: Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions, which includes Sales Solutions. Talent Solutions is comprised of two elements: Hiring, and Learning and Development. Hiring provides services to recruiters that enable them to attract, recruit, and hire talent. Learning and Development provides subscriptions to enterprises and individuals to access online learning content. Marketing Solutions enables companies to advertise to LinkedIn’s member base. Premium Subscriptions enables professionals to manage their professional identity, grow their network, and connect with talent through additional services like premium search. Premium Subscriptions also includes Sales Solutions, which helps sales professionals find, qualify, and create sales opportunities and accelerate social selling capabilities. Growth will depend on our ability to increase the number of LinkedIn members and our ability to continue offering services that provide value for our members and increase their engagement. LinkedIn revenue is mainly affected by demand from enterprises and professional organizations for subscriptions to Talent Solutions and Premium Subscriptions offerings, as well as member engagement and the quality of the sponsored content delivered to those members to drive Marketing Solutions.


Dynamics provides on-premises and cloud-based business solutions for financial management, enterprise resource planning (“ERP”), customer relationship management (“CRM”), supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of global enterprises. Dynamics revenue is largely driven by the number of users licensed and the continued shift to Dynamics 365, a unified set of cloud-based intelligent business applications.


Competitors to Office include software and global application vendors, such as Apple, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Slack, and numerous web-based and mobile application competitors as well as local application developers. Apple distributes versions of its pre-installed application software, such as email and calendar products, through its PCs, tablets, and phones. Cisco Systems is using its position in enterprise communications equipment to grow its unified communications business. Google provides a hosted messaging and productivity suite. Skype for Business and Skype also compete with a variety of instant messaging, voice, and video communication providers, ranging from start-ups to established enterprises. Web-based offerings competing with individual applications have also positioned themselves as alternatives to our products and services. We compete by providing powerful, flexible, secure, and easy-to-use productivity and collaboration tools and services that create comprehensive solutions and work well with technologies our customers already have both on-premises or in the cloud.

LinkedIn faces competition from online recruiting companies, talent management companies, and larger companies that are focusing on talent management and human resource services; job boards; traditional recruiting firms; and companies that provide learning and development products and services. Marketing Solutions competes with online and offline outlets that generate revenue from advertisers and marketers.

Dynamics competes with vendors such as Infor, Oracle, NetSuite. Salesforce.com, SAP, and The Sage Group to provide on-premise and cloud-based business solutions for small, medium, and large organizations.

Intelligent Cloud

Our Intelligent Cloud segment consists of our public, private, and hybrid server products and cloud services that can power modern business. This segment primarily comprises:

  • Server products and cloud services, including SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and related CALs, and Azure.

  • Enterprise Services, including Premier Support Services and Microsoft Consulting Services.

Server Products and Cloud Services

Our server products are designed to make IT professionals, developers, and their systems more productive and efficient. Server software is integrated server infrastructure and middleware designed to support software applications built on the Windows Server operating system. This includes the server platform, database, business intelligence, storage, management and operations, virtualization, service-oriented architecture platform, security, and identity software. We also license standalone and software development lifecycle tools for software architects, developers, testers, and project managers. Server products revenue is mainly affected by purchases through volume licensing programs, licenses sold to OEMs, and retail packaged products. CALs provide access rights to certain server products, including SQL Server and Windows Server, and revenue is reported along with the associated server product.

Azure is a comprehensive set of cloud services that offer developers, IT professionals, and enterprises freedom to build, deploy, and manage applications on any platform or device. Customers can use Azure through our global network of datacenters for basic computing, networking, storage, mobile and web app services, AI, Internet of Things (“IoT”), cognitive services, and machine learning. Azure enables customers to devote more resources to development and use of applications that benefit their organizations, rather than managing on-premises hardware and software. Azure revenue is mainly affected by infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service consumption-based services, and per user-based services such as Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Enterprise Services

Enterprise Services, including Premier Support Services and Microsoft Consulting Services, assist customers in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions and provide training and certification to developers and IT professionals on various Microsoft products.


Our server products face competition from a wide variety of server operating systems and applications offered by companies with a range of market approaches. Vertically integrated computer manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Oracle offer their own versions of the Unix operating system preinstalled on server hardware. Nearly all computer manufacturers offer server hardware for the Linux operating system and many contribute to Linux operating system development. The competitive position of Linux has also benefited from the large number of compatible applications now produced by many commercial and non-commercial software developers. A number of companies, such as Red Hat, supply versions of Linux.

We compete to provide enterprise-wide computing solutions and point solutions with numerous commercial software vendors that offer solutions and middleware technology platforms, software applications for connectivity (both Internet and intranet), security, hosting, database, and e-business servers. IBM and Oracle lead a group of companies focused on the Java Platform Enterprise Edition that competes with our enterprise-wide computing solutions. Commercial competitors for our server applications for PC-based distributed client-server environments include CA Technologies, IBM, and Oracle. Our web application platform software competes with open source software such as Apache, Linux, MySQL, and PHP. In middleware, we compete against Java vendors.

Our database, business intelligence, and data warehousing solutions offerings compete with products from IBM, Oracle, SAP, and other companies. Our system management solutions compete with server management and server virtualization platform providers, such as BMC, CA Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and VMware. Our products for software developers compete against offerings from Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and other companies, and also against open-source projects, including Eclipse (sponsored by CA Technologies, IBM, Oracle, and SAP), PHP, and Ruby on Rails.

We believe our server products provide customers with advantages in performance, total costs of ownership, and productivity by delivering superior applications, development tools, compatibility with a broad base of hardware and software applications, security, and manageability.

Azure faces diverse competition from companies such as Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce.com, VMware, and open source offerings. Azure’s competitive advantage includes enabling a hybrid cloud, allowing deployment of existing datacenters with our public cloud into a single, cohesive infrastructure, and the ability to run at a scale that meets the needs of businesses of all sizes and complexities.

Our Enterprise Services business competes with a wide range of companies that provide strategy and business planning, application development, and infrastructure services, including multinational consulting firms and small niche businesses focused on specific technologies.

More Personal Computing

Our More Personal Computing segment consists of products and services geared towards harmonizing the interests of end users, developers, and IT professionals across all devices. This segment primarily comprises:

  • Windows, including Windows OEM licensing (“Windows OEM”) and other non-volume licensing of the Windows operating system; Windows Commercial, comprising volume licensing of the Windows operating system, Windows cloud services, and other Windows commercial offerings; patent licensing; Windows IoT; and MSN advertising.

  • Devices, including Surface, PC accessories, and other intelligent devices.

  • Gaming, including Xbox hardware and Xbox software and services, comprising Xbox Live transactions, subscriptions, and advertising (“Xbox Live”), video games, and third-party video game royalties.

  • Search.


The Windows operating system is designed to deliver a more personal computing experience for users by enabling consistency of experience, applications, and information across their devices. Windows OEM revenue is impacted significantly by the number of Windows operating system licenses purchased by OEMs, which they pre-install on the devices they sell. In addition to computing device market volume, Windows OEM revenue is impacted by:

  • The mix of computing devices based on form factor and screen size.

  • Differences in device market demand between developed markets and growth markets.

  • Attachment of Windows to devices shipped.

  • Customer mix between consumer, small and medium businesses, and large enterprises.

  • Changes in inventory levels in the OEM channel.

  • Pricing changes and promotions, pricing variation that occurs when the mix of devices manufactured shifts from local and regional system builders to large multinational OEMs, and different pricing of Windows versions licensed.

  • Piracy.

Windows Commercial revenue, which includes volume licensing of the Windows operating system and Windows cloud services such as Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, is affected mainly by the demand from commercial customers for volume licensing and Software Assurance (“SA”), as well as advanced security offerings. Windows Commercial revenue often reflects the number of information workers in a licensed enterprise and is relatively independent of the number of PCs sold in a given year.

Patent licensing includes our programs to license patents we own for use across a broad array of technology areas, including mobile devices and cloud offerings.

Windows IoT extends the power of Windows and the cloud to intelligent systems by delivering specialized operating systems, tools, and services for use in embedded devices.

MSN advertising includes both native and display ads.


We design, manufacture, and sell devices, including Surface, PC accessories, and other intelligent devices, such as Surface Hub and HoloLens. Our devices are designed to enable people and organizations to connect to the people and content that matter most using Windows and integrated Microsoft products and services. Surface is designed to help organizations, students, and consumers be more productive.

In May 2016, we announced plans to streamline our smartphone hardware business. In November 2016, we completed the sale of our feature Phone business.


Our gaming platform is designed to provide a unique variety of entertainment using our devices, peripherals, applications, online services, and content. We released Xbox One S and Xbox One X in August 2016 and November 2017, respectively. With the launch of the Mixer service in May 2017, offering interactive live game streaming, and Xbox Game Pass in June 2017, providing unlimited access to over 100 Xbox titles, we continue to open new opportunities for customers to engage both on- and off-console.

Xbox Live enables people to connect and share online gaming experiences and is accessible on Xbox consoles, Windows-enabled devices, and other devices. Xbox Live is designed to benefit users by providing access to a network of certified applications and services and to benefit our developer and partner ecosystems by providing access to a large customer base. Xbox Live revenue is mainly affected by subscriptions and sales of Xbox Live enabled content, as well as advertising. We also continue to design and sell gaming content to showcase our unique platform capabilities for Xbox consoles, Windows-enabled devices, and other devices. Growth of our Gaming business is determined by the overall active user base through Xbox Live enabled content, availability of games, providing exclusive game content that gamers seek, the computational power and reliability of the devices used to access our content and services, and the ability to create new experiences via online services, downloadable content, and peripherals.


Our Search business, including Bing and Bing Ads, is designed to deliver relevant online advertising to a global audience. We have several partnerships with other companies, including Oath (formerly Yahoo! and AOL) which is owned by Verizon, through which we provide and monetize search queries. Growth depends on our ability to attract new users, understand intent, and match intent with relevant content and advertiser offerings.


Windows faces competition from various software products and from alternative platforms and devices, mainly from Apple and Google. We believe Windows competes effectively by giving customers choice, value, flexibility, security, an easy-to-use interface, and compatibility with a broad range of hardware and software applications, including those that enable productivity.

Devices face competition from various computer, tablet, and hardware manufacturers who offer a unique combination of high-quality industrial design and innovative technologies across various price points. These manufacturers, many of which are also current or potential partners and customers, include Apple and our Windows OEMs.

Our gaming platform competes with console platforms from Nintendo and Sony, both of which have a large, established base of customers. The lifecycle for gaming and entertainment consoles averages five to ten years. Nintendo released its latest generation console in March 2017 and Sony released its latest generation console in November 2013. We also compete with other providers of entertainment services through online marketplaces. We believe our gaming platform is effectively positioned against competitive products and services based on significant innovation in hardware architecture, user interface, developer tools, online gaming and entertainment services, and continued strong exclusive content from our own game franchises as well as other digital content offerings. Our video games competitors include Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard. Xbox Live faces competition from various online marketplaces, including those operated by Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Our search business competes with Google and a wide array of websites, social platforms like Facebook, and portals that provide content and online offerings to end users.

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