Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft is an American multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, and personal computers.
Its most recognized software products include the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, Microsoft Office suite, and Internet Explorer web browser. Microsoft hardware products include the Xbox game console and the Microsoft Surface series of tablets.
In September 2013, Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia’s mobile unit for $7 billion; with the acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services to form Microsoft Mobile Oy, Microsoft will re-enter the smartphone hardware market.
In July 2013, Microsoft announced its intention to reorganize the business into four new divisions by function, which will absorb all previous divisions without any workforce cut. There divisions are: Operating System, Apps, Cloud, and Devices. In February 2014, Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as CEO.
In July 2014, Nadella released a memo announcing a new direction for Microsoft: sharpening the company’s devices and services strategy to focus on productivity and platforms. Shortly after that, the company announced that it would lay off 18,000 workers over the course of the next year (12,500 will be Nokia employees, brought on by Microsoft when it acquired Nokia’s devices and services division).