Microsoft Corporation NASDAQ: MSFT

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Background of Microsoft Corporation

  • Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company which is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

  • Microsoft Corporation has a rich and extensive history which dates back to 1972, when childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen were looking at ways in which they could start a business through using their combined and shared skills in computer programming.

  • Traf-O-Data was founded in 1972 with the purpose of selling rudimentary computers which could be used to track and analyse traffic data from automobiles.

  • While Bill Gates enrolled at Harvard, Paul Allen started a degree in computer science by enrolling to Washington State University, but Paul Allen later dropped out to pursue work at Honeywell.

  • Paul Allen was inspired by an article regarding Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems’ Altair 8800 microcomputer in 1975 and he suggested that he, together with Bill Gates program a BASIC interpreter for the device.

  • When Bill Gates contacted MITS to claim that he had built a working interpreter, MITS wanted a demonstration which resulted in Paul Allen working on a simulator for the Altair while Bill Gates set to developing the interpreter.

  • In the demonstration, the interpreter was a success and MITS agreed to its distribution in addition to marketing it as Altair BASIC.

  • Microsoft Corporation was established in 1975 and Bill Gates became its CEO. Paul Allen suggested the name as it was short for Micro-computer software.

  • There was an agreement with ASCII Magazine in 1977 and this led to the first international office in addition to the relocation of headquarters to Bellevue in Washington in 1979.

  • In 1980, Microsoft Corporation made a swift entry into the Operating Software, or OS, business in 1980 with Xenix, which was Microsoft’s own version of Unix. Although this was a significant milestone, MS-DOS was what solidified Microsoft Corporation’s dominance.

  • Microsoft Office saw its release publicly in 1985 and it was aimed at being a graphical extension to MS-DOS. During 1986, the Microsoft Corporation headquarters relocated to Redmond, Washington.

  • In 1987, Microsoft Corporation released its version of OS/2 followed by work on Microsoft Windows NT which was heavily based on Microsoft Corporation’s copy of OS/2’s code with the software being shipped in 1993.

  • The Microsoft Office Suite was introduced in 1990 and contained separate bundles which included Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. During the same year, Windows 3.0 was launched and included a variety of new features and improvements.

  • The Microsoft Corporation product line was directed into computer networking along with the World Wide Web in 1995. Microsoft Corporation was one of the only major and established companies acting fast enough to become part of the World Wide Web.

  • The only other company that had the infrastructure and funding to compete with participation in this was Netscape and other companies such as WordPerfect, Novell, IBM, Lotus and Borland were soon to follow in this venture.

  • During the same year, Microsoft Corporation partnered with the NYPD to develop the Domain Awareness System to be used for Police surveillance in New York City.

  • Steve Ballmer became the new CEO of Microsoft Corporation in 2000 after Bill Gates had stepped down to become the Chief Software Architect.

  • With widespread expansion and developments on the Windows front, Windows XP was released in 2001, followed by Xbox which gave them entry into the video game console market which had been dominated by Sony and Nintendo at the time.

  • From 2007 to 2011, Microsoft Corporation released Windows Vista in addition to Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Corporation proceeded with its entry into cloud computing in 2008.

  • Bill Gates stepped down as the Chief Software Architect in 2008 while he retained other positions which related to the company as well as becoming an advisor specifically pertaining to key projects for Microsoft Corporation.

  • With the increasing development in smartphone technology and the struggle against its counterparts Apple and Google, Microsoft Corporation replaced Windows Mobile with that of Windows Phone OS while in close collaboration with Nokia.

  • Between 2011 to 2014, Windows 8 and 8.1 were launched respectively, along with the launch of Xbox One, and Surface devices, which became the first computer in the company history to have its hardware made by Microsoft Corporation itself.

  • By 2012, Microsoft Corporation had launched its Windows 8 phone shortly after launching Windows 8 for desktops along with the Microsoft Surface.

  • During the same year, Microsoft Corporation partnered with the NYPD to develop the Domain Awareness System to be used for Police surveillance in New York City.

  • Steve Ballmer stepped down as the Microsoft Corporation CEO and was succeeded by Satya Nadella who was previously involved with leading the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise division.

  • With the increase of innovation and technological developments in video gaming, Microsoft Corporation announced the merger between its PC and Xbox division, with the focus on Universal Windows Platform as the future of gaming.

  • Microsoft Corporation oversees a high-value, extensive and vast product portfolio ranging between computing and smartphone software technologies along with video gaming, to only name a few of its technological innovations.

  • In 2019 the total staff compliment for Microsoft Corporation reported was approximately 151,163.

Microsoft Corporation Shares Growth Driver

  • Since its inception and throughout its history, Microsoft Corporation has remained one of the most popular and reputable providers of software, amidst other products, despite innovations from its peers and competitors.

  • In more recent years, Microsoft Corporation has made some significant releases such as patches on Windows 10 to account for CPU issues, the release of PowerShell Core 6.0 for macOS and Linux systems, Windows 10 S and more.

  • In mid-2018, Microsoft Corporation partnered with 17 other American intelligence agencies with the purpose of developing cloud computing products in a project called ‘Axure Government’

  • Microsoft Corporation provided the United States Military in late 2018 with around 100,000 Microsoft HoloLens headsets with the purpose of increasing lethality through the enhanced ability to not only detect but decide and engage before the enemy could.

  • By 2019, Microsoft Corporation reported revenues of US$125.8 billion in addition to operational income of US$43.0 billion and Net income of US$39.2 billion.

  • In March 2020, due to the widespread concerns surrounding Covid-19, Microsoft Corporation announced the closure of all its retail stores indefinitely due to severe health concerns.

  • Microsoft has mobilized AI for Health purposes in addition to funding, which is used for research on the virus, along with Microsoft stores providing and delivering emergency remote operations and the development of healthcare bots to fight against Covid-19.

  • During March 2020, Microsoft Corporation donated $1 million to the Puget Sound’s response fund in aiding with alleviating some of the pandemic’s impact on communities.

  • Despite having issued an earnings warning which is related to the potential widespread and adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft Corporation is set to emerge in a stronger position as soon as the current economic downturn has eased out.

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Microsoft Corporation Investor Tip

  • Microsoft Corporation trades its shares on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ) under the stock symbol MSFT and it forms part of the NASDAQ-100, DJIA, S&P-100 and S&P-500 components.

  • An analysis on the market performance for the second quarter of 2020, which ended in December 2019, indicated an increase of 14% in revenue, with revenues for the quarter amounting to $36.9 billion. Operating income increased by 35% to $13.9 billion and Net income amounted to $11.6 billion, showing a 38% GAAP and 36% non-GAAP increase.

  • Data from the analysis should be weighed against forecasted performance during this pandemic, but for now, prices on shares show a steady increase, so shareholders who buy or sell shares should expect lucrative dividends and returns.

  • Sector

    Technology and computing

  • Industry

    Software development, Computer hardware, Consumer electronics, Internet

  • Sub industry

    Social Networking Service, Cloud Computing, Video Games, Corporate Venture Capital

How to buy Microsoft Corporation Shares

  • 1. Navigate to the AvaTrade website and select ‘Register
    2. Complete the registration form with the required information and submit documentation to verify your proof of Identity along with your proof of address.
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    4. Once you have downloaded the trading platform of your choice, you can use your AvaTrade live account details to log into your AvaTrade account on the trading platform.
    5. From the Market Watch screen on both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, you can select ‘Microsoft’ to buy/purchase shares.
    6. Alternatively, you can make use of AvaTrade’s online Web Trader or the AvaTradeGo mobile application.

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    • Can I buy Microsoft Corporation shares in South Africa?
      Yes, you can.


    • How to buy Microsoft Corporation shares
      By simply opening a free account on SA Shares, or by clicking the “Buy this Share” button to get started.


    • What is the current share price?
      By clicking on the link provided above, you can view the real-time Microsoft Corporation share price on the platform.


    • Is Microsoft Corporation a good share to buy?
      Yes. Microsoft Corporation has seen a steady increase in market performance at the end of the second quarter for 2020 with steady and maintained rate of finances forecasted for the remaining two quarters.


    • Can I buy Microsoft Corporation CFD through SA Shares?
      Yes, you can.

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