Culturally, politically and economically, there are few corporations that have exerted as much influence on the world business community as Microsoft, a company that will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2015 and now has more than 100,000 employees. But what are the consequences of this influence? We find out in this blog.
The inventor of many of our most popular day-to-day applications
Besides Office and Windows, many people don’t realise that Microsoft is also the company behind Skype, Bing, Azure and countless other day-to-day applications that have revolutionised the way in which we interact with technology.
According to a 2013 study by TeleGeography, Skype handled approximately one third of international phone traffic in 2012, which comprised 167 billion minutes in total. According to data from the Skype Journal and Skype Numerology in 2012, the application recorded around 31 million users simultaneously online in January 2012 (with a total of 560 million people who have ever used Skype), and just over one third of small businesses used the service as their primary communication service.
Microsoft was a pioneer of the work-from-home generation
If Microsoft did not become the world leader of the PC market, it is probable that another company (perhaps Apple) would have taken its place instead. Nevertheless, it was the invention of Windows and Office, and the growth of the internet in the 1990s that brought the PC into virtually every home in the Western World by the new millennium.
Now, millions of professionals are able to earn a living remotely, while thousands of companies already employ many remote workers because of the obvious cost reductions that can be made (employees save money not having to travel to work, businesses save money on rent and IT equipment, for example). But all this would not have been possible without applications like Word, Excel and Publisher, as well as a functional operating system like Windows that enables people to actually ‘use’ their computers in an efficient way.
But Microsoft has yet to tap into the mobile market
In truth, the PC will never be replaced. Businesses will always need large screens to use Word, Excel, manage e-mails and perform many other daily research and administration tasks. Clearly, none of this is practical on a small smart phone screen in a commercial setting. However, the smart phone will soon be the primary tool for accessing information, specifically for products and services, as people become more impatient.
For example, in the past, when someone wanted to book a restaurant reservation, they would often need to log on to a computer or wait until they get home from work. Now, however, they can make a reservation on a mobile app in a matter of seconds, and many businesses realised trend this as soon as the smart phone became available in 2007.
Microsoft’s legacy – trustworthy computing
Glenn Pittaway, Microsoft’s Principal Group Program Manager, makes a very good point stating that cybercriminals will recognise ‘which companies are prioritising security and which are not’. Were it not for Microsoft’s millions (perhaps billions) of dollars into investment in Windows security and the Microsoft Security Response Center, millions of businesses across the world could have fallen victim to critical malware or other viruses.
Despite criticism that the company is trying to monopolise the market by disabling support for older systems in order to force people to upgrade to newer versions, the corporation has made security its number one priority. That’s because, for the overwhelming majority of computer users and businesses out there, security is their number one priority as well. This is a company that has always understood its market’s core needs.
Damian Coates is the Commercial Accounts Director of Utilize who had been operating since 1997 and since then has been recognised as one of the leading providers of IT Support and Network services to customers located in London, Essex and Kent.