Our mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. Since the company was founded in 1975, we have worked to achieve this mission by creating technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We develop and market software, services, hardware, and solutions that we believe deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. We do business throughout the world and have offices in more than 100 countries.
We generate revenue by developing, manufacturing, licensing, and supporting a wide range of software products and services for many different types of computing devices. Our software products and services include operating systems for servers, personal computers, and intelligent devices; server applications for distributed computing environments; information worker productivity applications; business solutions applications; high-performance computing applications; software development tools; and video games. We provide consulting and product and solution support services, and we train and certify computer system integrators and developers. We also design and sell hardware including the Xbox 360 video game console, the Zune digital music and entertainment device, and peripherals. Online offerings and information are delivered through Bing, Windows Live, Office Live, our MSN portals and channels, and the Microsoft Online Services platform which includes offerings for businesses such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Exchange Hosted Services, Exchange Online, and SharePoint Online. We enable the delivery of online advertising across our broad range of digital media properties and on Bing through our proprietary adCenter platform.
We also conduct research and develop advanced technologies for future software products and services. We believe that delivering breakthrough innovation and high-value solutions through our integrated software platform is the key to meeting our customers’ needs and to our future growth. We believe that we will continue to lay the foundation for long-term growth by delivering new products and services, creating new opportunities for partners, improving customer satisfaction, and improving our internal processes. Our focus is to build on this foundation through ongoing innovation in our integrated software platforms; by delivering compelling value propositions to customers; by responding effectively to customer and partner needs; and by continuing to emphasize the importance of product excellence, business efficacy, and accountability.
We have five operating segments: Client, Server and Tools, Online Services Business, Microsoft Business Division, and Entertainment and Devices Division. Our segments provide management with a comprehensive financial view of our key businesses. The segments enable the alignment of strategies and objectives across the development, sales, marketing, and services organizations, and they provide a framework for timely and rational allocation of development, sales, marketing, and services resources within businesses.
Due to our integrated business structure, operating costs included in one segment may benefit other segments. Therefore, these segments are not designed to measure operating income or loss that is directly related to the products and services included in each segment. Inter-segment cost commissions are estimated by management and used to compensate or charge each segment for such shared costs and to motivate shared effort. Segments should not be viewed as discrete or easily separable businesses.
Client has overall responsibility for technical architecture, engineering, and delivery of our Windows product family and is responsible for our relationships with personal computer manufacturers, including multinational and regional original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”). Client revenue growth is directly impacted by growth of PC purchases from OEMs that pre-install versions of Windows operating systems because the OEM channel accounts for over 80% of total Client revenue. The differences between unit growth rates and revenue growth rates from year to year are affected primarily by changes in the mix of OEM Windows premium edition operating systems licensed as a percentage of total OEM Windows operating systems licensed (“OEM premium mix”). Additional differences in growth rates result from the impact from lower cost netbook PCs, which are sold with a lower cost version of Windows, changes in geographic mix, and changes in the channel mix of products sold by large, multi-national OEMs versus those sold by local and regional system builders.
The majority of revenue in fiscal year 2009 came from sales of Windows Vista, which was released in fiscal year 2007. Windows XP operating systems reached end-of-life for most editions and sales channels (Windows XP Home Edition will continue to be available on netbooks and other Windows XP editions will continue to be available in China). Windows 7, the latest version of Windows, was released to manufacturing in July 2009 and is expected to be generally available on October 22, 2009.
Client offerings consist of premium and standard edition Windows operating systems. Premium editions are those that include additional functionality and are sold at a price above our standard editions.
Products: Windows Vista, including Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business, Enterprise, and Starter Edition; Windows XP, including Professional, Home, Media Center, and Tablet PC Edition; and other standard Windows operating systems.
Client faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market. Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat. Apple takes an integrated approach to the PC experience and has made inroads in share, particularly in the U.S. and in the consumer segment. The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix and is available without payment under a General Public License, has gained some acceptance, especially in emerging markets, as competitive pressures lead OEMs to reduce costs and new, lower-price PC form-factors gain adoption. Partners such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel have been actively working with alternative Linux-based operating systems.
The Windows operating system also faces competition from alternative platforms and new devices that may reduce consumer demand for traditional PCs. Competitors such as Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Opera Software Company offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of Windows products. User and usage volumes on mobile devices are increasing around the world relative to the PC. OEMs have been working to make the Google Android mobile operating system more compatible with small form-factor PCs or netbooks.
Our operating system products compete effectively by delivering innovative software, giving customers choice and flexibility, a familiar, easy-to-use interface, compatibility with a broad range of hardware and software applications, and the largest support network for any operating system.
Server and Tools
Server and Tools develops and markets software server products, software developer tools, services, and solutions. Windows Server-based products are integrated server infrastructure and middleware software designed to support software applications built on the Windows Server operating system. Windows Server-based products include the server platform including targeted segment solutions, database, storage, management and operations, service-oriented architecture platform, and security and identity software. The segment also builds standalone and software development lifecycle tools for software architects, developers, testers, and project managers. Server products can be run on-site, in a partner-hosted environment, or in a Microsoft-hosted environment.
We offer a broad range of consulting services and provide product support services that assist customers in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions. We also provide training and certification to developers and information technology professionals about our Server and Tools, Microsoft Business Division, and Client platform products.
Approximately 50% of Server and Tools revenue comes from multi-year licensing agreements, approximately 20% is purchased through fully packaged product and transactional volume licensing programs, and approximately 10% comes from licenses sold to OEMs. The remainder of Server and Tools revenue comes from consulting and product and solution support services.
Windows Server 2008 R2, the latest version of the Windows Server operating system was released to manufacturing in July 2009 and is expected to be generally available in September 2009.
Products and Services: Windows Server operating system; Microsoft SQL Server; Visual Studio; Silverlight; System Center products; Forefront security products; Biz Talk Server; Microsoft Consulting Services; Premier product support services; and other products and services.
Our server operating system products face intense competition from a wide variety of server operating systems and server applications, offered by companies with a variety of market approaches. Vertically integrated computer manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems offer their own versions of the Unix operating system preinstalled on server hardware. Nearly all computer manufacturers offer server hardware for the Linux operating system and many contribute to Linux operating system development. The competitive position of Linux has also benefited from the large number of compatible applications now produced by many leading commercial and non-commercial software developers. A number of companies supply versions of Linux, including Novell and Red Hat.
We have entered into business and technical collaboration agreements with Novell and other Linux providers to build, market, and support a series of solutions to enhance the interoperability of our products with their virtualization, management, and network security solutions, and to provide each other’s customers with patent coverage for their respective products.
We compete to provide enterprise-wide computing solutions with several companies that offer solutions and middleware technology platforms. IBM, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems lead a group of companies focused on the Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE). Commercial software developers that provide competing server applications for PC-based distributed client/server environments include CA, Inc., IBM, and Oracle. Our Web application platform software competes with open source software such as Apache, Linux, MySQL, and PHP, and we compete against Java middleware such as Geronimo, JBoss, and Spring Framework.
Numerous commercial software vendors offer competing software applications for connectivity (both Internet and intranet), security, hosting, and e-business servers. System Center competes with server management and server virtualization platform providers, such as BMC, CA, Inc., Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and VMWare in the management of information technology infrastructures. Forefront security products compete with McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro in protecting both client and server applications. Our products for software developers compete against offerings from Adobe, Borland, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, other companies, and open-source projects. Open source projects include Eclipse (sponsored by CA, IBM, Oracle, and SAP), PHP, and Ruby on Rails, among others. We believe that our server products provide customers with advantages in innovation, performance, total costs of ownership, and productivity by delivering superior applications, development tools, and compatibility with a broad base of hardware and software applications, security, and manageability.
Online Services Business
The Online Services Business (“OSB”) consists of an online advertising platform with offerings for both publishers and advertisers, online information offerings such as Bing, MSN Portals and channels, and personal communications services such as email and instant messaging around the world. We earn revenue primarily from online advertising, including search, display, and email and messaging services. Revenue is also generated through subscriptions and transactions generated from online paid services, from advertiser and publisher tools, and digital marketing and advertising agency services. We continue to launch updated and new online offerings and expect to continue to do so in the future. During fiscal year 2009, we launched new releases of our proprietary advertising platforms, adCenter and added applications and services to our existing Windows Live suite.
Products and Services: Bing; Microsoft adCenter/adExpert; Microsoft Media Network (MMN); MSN portals, channels, and mobile services; Windows Live suite of applications and mobile services; Atlas online tools for advertisers and publishers; MSN Premium Web Services (consisting of MSN Internet Software Subscription, MSN Hotmail Plus, and MSN Software Services); and Razorfish media agency services.
OSB competes with AOL, Google, Yahoo!, and a wide array of Web sites and portals that provide content and online offerings of all types to end users. We compete with these organizations to provide advertising opportunities for merchants. The Internet advertising industry has grown significantly over the past several years, and we anticipate that this trend will continue long-term. Competitors are aggressively developing Internet offerings that seek to provide more effective ways of connecting advertisers with audiences through enhanced functionality in information services such as Internet search, improvements in communication services, and improved advertising infrastructure and support services. We believe our search engine, Bing, helps users make faster, more informed decisions by providing more relevant search results, expanded search services, and a broader selection of content. We have also enhanced the user interface to bring a richer search experience, which we believe will differentiate us from our competitors. To support the growth of our advertising business, we also are investing in improving the scale of our advertising platform, seamless integration of content and offerings to the mobile platform, rich and relevant content for wider consumer reach, enhanced communication services, technology, and operations, along with sustained sales efforts. We will continue to introduce new products and services that are aimed at attracting additional users through improvements in the user online experience. We believe that we can compete effectively across the breadth of our Internet services by providing users with software innovation in the form of information and communication services that help them find and use the information and experiences they want online and by providing merchants with effective advertising results through improved systems and sales support.
Microsoft Business Division
Microsoft Business Division (“MBD”) offerings consist of the Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Dynamics business solutions. Microsoft Office system products are designed to increase personal, team, and organization productivity through a range of programs, services, and software solutions. Growth of revenue from the Microsoft Office system offerings, which generate over 90% of MBD revenue, depends on our ability to add value to the core Office product set and to continue to expand our product offerings in other information worker areas such as content management, enterprise search, collaboration, unified communications, and business intelligence. Microsoft Dynamics products provide business solutions for financial management, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of global enterprises.
We evaluate MBD results based upon the nature of the end user in two primary parts: business revenue, which includes Microsoft Office system revenue generated through volume licensing agreements and Microsoft Dynamics revenue; and consumer revenue, which includes revenue from retail packaged product sales and OEM revenue. Approximately 80% of MBD revenue is generated from sales to businesses. Revenue from this category generally depends upon the number of information workers in a licensed enterprise and is therefore relatively independent of the number of PCs sold in a given year. Approximately 20% of MBD revenue is derived from sales to consumers. Most of this revenue is generated from new licenses acquired through fully packaged products and licenses sold through OEMs for new PCs and is generally affected by the level of PC shipments and product launches.
Products: Microsoft Office; Microsoft Office Project; Microsoft Office Visio; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server; FAST ESP; Microsoft Exchange Server; Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services; Microsoft Office Live Meeting; Microsoft Office Communications Server; Microsoft Office Communicator; Microsoft Tellme Service; Microsoft Dynamics ERP products including AX, NAV, GP, SL, Retail Management System, and Point of Sale; Microsoft Dynamics CRM; and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
Competitors to the Microsoft Office system include many software application vendors such as Adobe, Apple, Corel, Google, IBM, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, Zoho, and local application developers in Asia and Europe. Apple may distribute certain versions of its application software products with various models of its PCs and through its mobile devices. Corel (WordPerfect Suite) and IBM (Smartsuite) have measurable installed bases with their office productivity products. Corel’s suites, and many local software suites around the world, are aggressively priced for OEMs to preinstall them on low-priced PCs. Google provides Google Apps, a hosted messaging and productivity suite that competes with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SharePoint Server, and also provides an enterprise search offering that competes with Microsoft Search Server. IBM competes with Office system products with its Notes and Workplace offerings. The OpenOffice.org project provides a freely downloadable cross-platform application that also has been adapted by various commercial software vendors to sell under their brands, including IBM, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems. Web-based offerings such as 37Signals, Adobe, AjaxWrite, gOffice, ShareOffice, Socialtext, ThinkFree, Zoho, or other small projects competing with individual applications, can also provide an alternative to Microsoft Office system products. Our Microsoft Dynamics products compete with well-known vendors such as Intuit and Sage in the market focused on providing solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. The market for large organizations and divisions of global enterprises is intensely competitive with a small number of primary vendors including Oracle and SAP. Additionally, Salesforce.com’s on-demand customer relationship management offerings compete directly with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamic CRM’s on-premise offerings.
As we continue to respond to market demand for additional functionality and products, we will compete with additional vendors, most notably in content management and enterprise search, collaboration tools, unified communications, and business intelligence. These competitors include Autonomy, Cisco, Endeca, Google, IBM, Oracle, and SAP. We believe our products compete effectively with all of these vendors based on our strategy of providing flexible, easy to use solutions that work well with technologies our customers already have.
Entertainment and Devices Division
The Entertainment and Devices Division (“EDD”) is responsible for developing, producing, and marketing the Xbox video game system, including consoles and accessories, third-party games, games published under the Microsoft brand, and Xbox Live operations, as well as research, sales, and support of those products. In addition to Xbox, EDD offers the Zune digital music and entertainment device and accessories; PC software games; online games; Mediaroom, our Internet protocol television software; the Microsoft Surface computing platform; and mobile and embedded device platforms. EDD also leads the development efforts of our line of consumer software and hardware products including application software for Macintosh computers and Microsoft PC hardware products, and is responsible for all retail sales and marketing for Microsoft Office and the Windows operating systems.
Products: Xbox 360 console and games; Xbox Live; Zune; Mediaroom; numerous consumer software and hardware products (such as mice and keyboards); Windows Mobile software and services platform; Windows Embedded device operating system; Windows Automotive; and the Microsoft Surface computing platform.
Entertainment and devices businesses are highly competitive, characterized by rapid product life cycles, frequent introductions of new products and titles, and the development of new technologies. The markets for our products are characterized by significant price competition. We anticipate continued pricing pressure from our competitors. From time to time, we have responded to this pressure by reducing prices on certain products. Our competitors vary in size from very small companies with limited resources to very large, diversified corporations with substantial financial and marketing resources. We compete primarily on the basis of product innovation, quality and variety, timing of product releases, and effectiveness of distribution and marketing.
Our Xbox hardware business competes with console platforms from Nintendo and Sony, both of which have a large, established base of customers. The lifecycle for video game consoles averages five to 10 years. We released Xbox 360, our second generation console, in November 2005. Nintendo and Sony released new versions of their game consoles in late 2006. We believe the success of video game consoles is determined by the availability of games for the console, providing exclusive game content that gamers seek, the computational power and reliability of the console, and the ability to create new experiences via online services, downloadable content, and peripherals. We think the Xbox 360 is positioned well against competitive console products based on significant innovation in hardware architecture, new developer tools, online gaming services, and continued strong exclusive content from our own game franchises.
In addition to competing against software published for non-Xbox platforms, our games business also competes with numerous companies that we have licensed to develop and publish software for the Xbox consoles. Zune competes with Apple and other manufacturers of digital music and entertainment devices. Our PC hardware products face aggressive competition from computer and other hardware manufacturers, many of which are also current or potential partners. Mediaroom faces competition primarily from a variety of competitors that provide elements of an Internet protocol television delivery platform, but that do not provide end-to-end solutions for the network operator. Windows Mobile software and services faces substantial competition from Apple, Google, Nokia, Openwave Systems, Palm, QUALCOMM, Research In Motion, and Symbian. The embedded operating system business is highly fragmented with many competitive offerings. Key competitors include IBM, Intel, and versions of embeddable Linux from commercial Linux vendors such as Metrowerks and MontaVista Software.
Investing in Business and Product Development
Innovation is the foundation for Microsoft’s success. Our model for growth is based on our ability to initiate and embrace disruptive technology trends, to enter new markets, both in terms of geographies and product areas, and to drive broad adoption of the products and services we develop and market. We maintain our long-term commitment to research and development across a wide spectrum of technologies, tools, and platforms spanning communication and collaboration; information access and organization; entertainment; business and e-commerce; advertising; and devices.
Increasingly, we are taking a global approach to innovation. While our main research and development facilities are located in the United States, in Redmond, Washington, we also operate research facilities in other parts of the United States and around the world, including Canada, China, Denmark, England, India, Ireland, and Israel. This global approach will help us remain competitive in local markets and enables us to continue to attract top talent from across the world.
We invest in innovation by focusing on the emerging technology trends and breakthroughs that we believe offer the greatest opportunity to deliver value to our customers and growth for the company. Microsoft Research is one of the world’s largest computer science research organizations, and works in close collaboration with top universities around the world to advance the state-of-the-art in computer science, providing us a unique perspective on future technology trends.
Based on our assessment of key technology trends and our broad focus on long-term research and development of new products and services, areas where we see significant opportunities to drive future growth include:
Cloud computing and software plus services
The ability to combine the power of desktop and server software with the reach of the Internet is creating important opportunities for growth in almost every one of our businesses. Accordingly, we are focused on innovation and broadening our platform to develop a cloud computing ecosystem that positions us for success in areas including virtualization, management, and security identity. We are also focused on delivering end-to-end experiences that connect users to information, communications, entertainment, and people in new ways across their lives at home, at work, and the broadest possible range of mobile scenarios through investments in datacenters; new versions of Windows and Office that are designed to support a wide range of connected scenarios; solutions for businesses that can be deployed by a customer, by a service provider like Microsoft, or by a Microsoft partner; tools for developers and Web designers; and consumer products including Xbox 360 and Zune.
Natural user interfaces
The next few years will also see dramatic changes in the way people interact with technology as touch, gestures, handwriting, and speech recognition become a normal part of how we control devices. This will make technology more accessible and simpler to use and will create opportunities to reach new markets and deliver new kinds of computing experiences. Our long-term investments in natural user interfaces can be seen in products like Windows 7, the Microsoft Auto software platform, and Microsoft Surface.
New scenario innovation
Continuing improvement in the power of computers and devices and the speed and ubiquity of networks is creating opportunities to deliver innovation that will transform a number of key industries and address significant global issues including healthcare, environmental sustainability, and education. In healthcare, for example, computing will connect personal health information to medical research and help make healthcare more preventive, personalized, and cost-effective. Today, Microsoft products such as HealthVault and Amalga help individuals manage their personal health and enable healthcare professionals to integrate research and health information so they can deliver more effective care. We also believe that we are entering a period where personal computers will play an increasingly important role in virtually every field of scientific research and discovery.
As computing power increases, our ability to build software that has the intelligence to understand a user’s preferences based on the tools and information they have accessed in the past and anticipate their future needs is rapidly improving. This development will enable us to deliver a new generation of software solutions that make people more productive by enabling them to focus more on what they want to accomplish and less on the steps needed to use technology.