Microsoft Corporation, the largest company in the world dedicated to creating computer software. Microsoft develops and sells a wide variety of software products to businesses and consumers and has subsidiary offices in more than 60 countries. The company’s Windows operating systems for personal computers are the most widely used operating systems in the world. Microsoft has its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Microsoft’s other well-known products include Word, a word processor; Excel, a spreadsheet program; Access, a database program; and PowerPoint, a program for making business presentations. These programs are sold separately and as part of Office, an integrated software suite. The company also makes software applications for a wide variety of server products for businesses. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) allows users to browse the World Wide Web. Among the company’s other products are reference applications; games; financial software; programming languages for software developers; input devices, such as pointing devices and keyboards; software for personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cellular telephones; handwriting-recognition software; software for creating Web pages; and computer-related books.
Microsoft operates the Microsoft Network (MSN), a collection of news, travel, financial, entertainment, and information Web sites. Microsoft and NBC Universal jointly operate MSNBC, a 24-hour news, talk, and information cable-television channel and companion Web site.