Microsoft is one of the most dominant, famous and successful players in the technology industry. For many, Microsoft is synonymous with technology and certainly synonymous with computers (although not to the point of saying “get on the Microsoft” as one might say “use the Nintendo”). The company got its start when its founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen developed the DOS operating system. Eventually they created the first version of the Windows operating system, after which every successor has been named.
Microsoft became a defining force in the industry through aggressive marketing and business practices that caused some to accuse it of being monopolistic. However, in current times it is facing stiff competition from an ever mightier Apple Inc. (like the newcomer, Google, and makers of the Macintosh computer and pretty nearly every electronic beginning with a lowercase “i”). As for Google, its upcoming cloud-based operating system might well gain some market territory given Google’s dominance in other areas. However, Microsoft is no longer dependent solely on the success of Windows, having long since expanded into many other markets – perhaps most notably its Xbox division.
When Microsoft announced they were creating a console to rival Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Nintendo’s GameCube, people scoffed – taking on such titans was an almost impossible task, with many failed attempts littering the ground of history, and Microsoft had little to no experience in the video game hardware industry. The Xbox found an audience, though, and although it lost out to Sony’s juggernaut, it became popular enough for Microsoft to create a successor. The Xbox 360 has achieved a success few if any could have predicted. Their competitive presence in the gaming industry is real, as it is seriously contending against the PlayStation 3 and firmly establishing Microsoft as a real player in video game technology.