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Microsoft is an American technology corporation, established in 1975. It specialises in the production of many hardware and software products.
Microsoft’s flagship software products are Microsoft Office Suite and Windows OS. Its hardware includes Xbox games consoles, Windows phones, and Surface laptops. The company also produces online advertising and cloud services, such as: Bing, OneDrive, Xbox Live and Yammer. Microsoft offers specialised training for developers and issues certificates, as well as providing full technical and marketing support for a number of their own products.
The business can be split into three main segments, as described by Microsoft: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing.
Productivity and Business Processes includes its range of productivity, communication and information services, such as Office 365 subscriptions, Dynamics business solutions, and LinkedIn (purchased in 2016 for $26 billion). This part of Microsoft’s business also includes consumer brands such as Outlook.com and Skype.
The Intelligent Cloud part of Microsoft’s service includes all of its server and cloud based services. This includes Microsoft SQL Server, Windows Server, and Azure. The main focus of this side of the business is on IT professionals and developers, in order to help them be more efficient and productive.
More Personal Computing includes the all computer operating systems (Windows OEM), various devices (Surface and PC accessories), and a range of gaming devices: the Xbox range, and the associated motion sensor, Kinect.
Microsoft went public on March 13, 1986, at a starting price of $21. The IPO was considered a success, with closing price on the same day being $35.50. Since then, the Microsoft stock price has been listed and traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange and is included in the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq 100, the S&P 100 and S&P 500 indices.
Throughout its lifetime it is estimated that Microsoft shares have made four billionaires, and approximately 12,000 millionaires out of its employees.
Despite the consistent growth, there have been two significant corrections for Microsoft share value: the first during the dotcom bubble in the late 1990s, and the second during the 2008 recession. Since early 2010 the price has moved steadily upwards.
As of the end of October 2020, MSFT share price has been traded at $222, creating a market capitalisation of $1.69 trillion. The current CEO, Satya Nadella, has overseen a period of significant growth, with continued innovation and a doubling MSFT stock quote during his tenure.
Under the leadership of Satya Nadella the company also focused on services and cloud business. In the Covid-19 environment these changes have served as a major benefit for Microsoft's business.
Looking at the Microsoft share price chart today, you can see that in a 1-year period the MSFT stock quote has been fluctuating within a range of $132 – $232. Since the large sell-off in March 2020, the Microsoft stock price grew from $132 on 23 March 2020 to $232 on 2 September 2020, which is a growth of 75 per cent.
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