Microsoft and their Four Biggest Competitors: Apple, IBM, Oracle, and Google

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Updated: Mar 25, 2023
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Microsoft is a multinational technology corporation founded on April 4th, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Bill Gates was a high school student. When he and his longtime friend Paul Allen met for the first time, they came up with the idea of creating software that would help people to do the process of writing and calculations easier and at a faster rate. The most important thing was that it was affordable for basically everyone. The idea of this software was made after Bill worked at a place where they measured traffic flow patterns, and after some time working there, he told Paul about the process that this company was doing. Paul went public with their new project called Traf of Data. This was the same process that the company Paul worked for was doing, just that, in this case, the process was measuring traffic patterns at an accelerated rate. By this time, they were only 17 and 19, respectively, so they realized that together they were able to accomplish big things, and this project would let them have the economic freedom that they always dreamed about having.

In 1975, when Microsoft was finally founded with the initial name of Micro-Soft, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, and Paul Allen left his current job so that both of them could work full time at Micro-Soft and put their maximum effort to make it the most well-known and successful software company in the industry. They began the project in the library of the University of Washington, where Paul Allen’s father used to work as a librarian. They used one computer “to create an easy to read data charts on hourly traffic flows” (Mejia, 2018). Without all the experience they got from this year’s working in the library, they would not have been able to understand all those microprocessors, and Microsoft most likely would have never been created.

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The list of Microsoft products is extremely large, so there will be a list of the most popular Microsoft products they have sold throughout the existence of the company. The main and the most used one of all time is Windows. Everyone has at least used Windows software once in their lives; even though there are many people that say that Apple Software’s going to make the Windows software disappear, Windows sold 400 million copies of its last version. The second one is Office which has been helping people to perform better at their jobs. It has made life easier and less time-consuming for everyone. The last but not least important product that they have sold is the Xbox; there have been several versions of this product, and every time a new version comes out, it is extreme attraction to gamers.

The industry that this multinational belongs to is computer software, internet video games, and many more; this helps us to realize how creative and big this company is. We can see how much work each one of the employees who work for Microsoft has put in during these years to develop new products and make the company better.

The industry they belong to is technology; their market is doing extremely well, even though they are not doing as great as they used to before Apple became their biggest competitor. Throughout the years, they have been facing new competitors because, in today’s world, everyone wants to create or invent something new. Their four biggest competitors at the moment are Apple, IBM, Oracle, and Google. Apple has been increasing its revenues super rapidly even after its founder Steve Jobs died.

This company’s market can be classified as one of the top 5 earnings for the past ten years, as its CEO and founder was the richest man in the world until Jeff Bezos took his place two years ago. Bill Gates, the founder of the company, has always put more importance on the well-being of the company’s employees than anything else, and I think that this is one of the most important things whenever you are the manager of a company. The reason why I say this is because Bill Gates has been in charge of a foundation called Bill and Melinda Gates. He has been donating millions and millions of dollars since its opening year in 2000; Bill Gates announced in 2014 his retirement as chairman of Microsoft to focus only on the foundation ( editors, 2019), which has been for years his biggest project and where he has put all his effort and extra time that Microsoft has left him. All this charity, he does shows the whole world what kind of person Bill Gates is, a kind and generous person who is always willing to help.

Moving more into this investigation of the history of this magnificent company, the next topic that will be covered is going to be the culture and the organizational artifacts of the company. The characteristics of the organizational culture are: “Accountability, Quality and Innovation, Responsiveness to Customers, Growth Mindset, Diversity, and Inclusion” (Lombardo, 2017). This culture or artifacts are there only to ensure the rewards and the well-being of his employees.

The relationship between Bill Gates and his employees was exceptional; the connection with them was so big that “he used to memorize the working license plates of each one of his employees so that he could keep track of them whenever they arrived at the workplace and whenever they left” (Brandon, 2016), the only reason why he did this was that he wanted to know who was actually a hundred percent committed to the company and to the development of the company.

One of the most important things is how the chain of command is conformed; their organizational structure has a long list of people that take part in it. Their new CEO is Satya Nadella, now that Bill Gates decided to step down as the CEO and chairman of Microsoft, and unluckily Paul Allen, the cofounder, passed away last year ago, so they had to find someone else to be in charge of that position. And they trusted Nadella; so after several analyses that they did to several prospects that they had for the CEO position, he ended up being the best one. Now the chief of the Business Functions and the chief of the Engineering Group report to him all the results and all the ideas they have for the upcoming projects (Dudovskiy, 2019). This is going to help the company to be more open to all the future changes that it might think about doing; something else this is going to do is it will eliminate the bureaucracy of the company (Dudovskiy, 2019). This has worked for the past four years, in the ones Nadella has been in charge of, the biggest and most important internet and software developer in the world.

Talking more about the way their leader is, he has always had a growth mindset which has been allowing him to further the number of products they sell every year; he has been trying to implement new philosophies and the employee’s attitudes toward the work that they should have every day. This has not been an easy task for him because sometimes, even when changes are needed having to change so many people’s minds fast is complicated, so this is one of his main goals at the moment because once he reaches it, he said that the profit of the company would be affected in a very positive way.

The efficiency of the company talks by itself; they have been doing great for the past twenty years; even after Apple and all their competitors joined the market, they were still strong because of the effort that Bill Gates and Paul Allen always had for the product improvement, and the creation of new technologies.

Not everything was perfect for them; they had to face some ethical problems when they were just starting the company; they had a problem with Apple in 1984; the problem was that Apple developed a product that Microsoft used the idea of the operating system, and then used in order to create a new product, Apple did not find out about it any time soon after that happened and that is why they were lucky that Apple did not present any legal charges for using it (Ricky, 2015)

Microsoft’s mission statement is strongly aligned with its vision statement and is the optimization of the strategy and decision-making addressing its biggest competitors (Gregory, 2018). Their corporate mission statement is focused on the “Empowerment of every single person on the planet to achieve more” (Gregory, 2018). The most important component of their mission statement explains everything that Microsoft products can do.

Their code of ethics is something that cannot be left behind; Satya Nadella wrote a letter to all his employees, talking about the importance of maintaining their culture and their code of conduct at all times, no matter what the situation was (Nadella, 2019). One important thing that he said was that making good choices and ethical decisions will help the team to build better relationships with one another.

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They do not offer an actual course or training for the people who want to make their ethical decisions better and to have better relationships with their colleagues, but they do know some of the best ethics trainers, and they give them letters of recommendation to go to these places.
They do have a corporate social responsibility, and it is focused on “serving global needs of communities and fulfilling our responsibilities to the public” (Dudovskiy, 2017). They are proactive in their CSR initiatives; some of the most known projects they have are the Lagos Solar in Nigeria which uses batteries that are charged by solar panels, and the YouthSpark initiative, which consists of giving the opportunity to 300 million young people of getting an education, employment and they encourage entrepreneurship.

To conclude this essay, I would like to make a reflection on what I got from studying this company in-depth; first of all, what I think was the most important thing that I learned from this project was that no matter how big your goal is and no matter if you have the resources or not you can always achieve it, by perseverating and never giving up. Something else that I got from this is how easy it is to manage people whenever you figure out the best way to do so.


  1. Brandon, John. “How Bill Gates Kept His Microsoft Employees Committed.”, Inc., February 1st, 2016,
  2. Dudovskiy, John. “Microsoft Organizational Structure: Divisional Structure with Focus on Innovation.” Research-Methodology, January 31st, 2019,
  3. Editors, “Bill Gates.”, A&E Networks Television, January 17th, 2019,
  4. Editors, “13 Most Important Microsoft Product Lines.” Redmondmag, January 3rd, 2012,
  5. Ethics and Compliance, Microsoft. “Achieve More.” Software Asset Management – Microsoft SAM, 2019,
  6. Mejia, Zameena. “Microsoft Exists Because Paul Allen and Bill Gates Launched This High School Business First.” CNBC, CNBC, October 16th, 2018,

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Microsoft and Their Four Biggest Competitors: Apple, IBM, Oracle, and Google. (2023, Mar 25). Retrieved from