Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, Microsoft has been one of the big names when it comes to technology since the mid-1980s. It has been a manufacturer of computer hardware, software, cloud computing and video games and many of them are widely used daily by almost everyone around the world.
But what had lead Microsoft to become as successful as it is did and still is right now? Let's have a look.
Created A Lot of Products
Microsoft is definitely not short of products in their portfolio, although they are kind more known for their software than hardware. Perhaps the most well-known and iconic piece of software they have created is the Windows operating system.
Anyone not using an Apple product or Linux is basically using Windows daily on their desktop and laptops. Besides Window, their office application, Office Suite is the other piece of software they are known, meant for businesses, office work and school and colleges.
Other than that, there is also their gaming console, the Xbox, catering to the gaming centric crowd. Then there is also their own telecommunication applications, Skype and Microsoft Teams and finally, their more recent browser, Microsoft Edge, with the company's search engine, Bing.
Essentially, Microsoft has products that caters for a lot of large crowds, allowing for a large userbase.
Microsoft's current CEO, Satya Nadella, took over the position back in 2014 and in his reign, he moved the company's focus towards services and cloud computing. This decision has been a fruitful one as it has proven to be more profitable and garnered a profit margin larger than of Apple and big revenue.
Their cloud computing service, known as Microsoft Azure, has the second biggest market share globally, right behind Amazon's own cloud computing services. Of course, this did not meant they have put their software services on the backburner.
Besides shifting the company's focus towards cloud computing, Satya also changed its work mentality and culture. He encourages the employees to abandon the previous mentality of being a know-it-all and instead focus on being willing to keep learning something such the needs of the customers and how to satisfy them.
As mentioned earlier, even though cloud computing is their biggest revenue stream right now, they still committed with their software, the Office Suite. They treated their software as a form of service, where they offer them in licenses and billions of people has used them for businesses to school work that they might as well not know any alternatives.
This form of software as a service has allow them to keep the majority of the markets share for office applications around the globe with hardly any real competitors.
Accommodating The Widest Customer Base
Unlike Apple whose operating system for both its desktops and mobile devices are a close ecosystem, Microsoft went the opposite route. They managed to get their operating system, Windows, as the default operating system on every desktop and laptop that is not Apple's.
Because of this, Microsoft made their software the go-to for the widest customer base possible and position themselves as the company being there for the needs of the large general audience. Thus they practically own the market for desktop and laptop operating system.
But it is not just the operating system alone. Alongside Windows, Microsoft also added in their own applications such the Office Suite, Microsoft Teams, Skype and their latest internet browser, Microsoft Edge with Bing being the default search engine. These are pre-installed with Windows and Microsoft tends to encourage users to use these applications.
Assess And Evaluates Employee's Performance
During Bill Gates' time as CEO of Microsoft, the company would try to be careful in choosing their employees. They would test potential candidates to see if they fit with their standards and criteria in order to find the best employees that are talented, passionate and can improvise on the fly.
With Satya Nadella as CEO now, the company has an assessment and evaluation for their employees. By putting them through interactive processes, they are encouraged to assess their own performance first before being evaluated and graded by their managers.
While the purpose and technique are different during both eras of the company, these evaluations and assessments within the company are about how they have a standard for their employees. Microsoft wants the best kind of employees who do not just simply work but have the desire to strive for bigger goals.