Microsoft Corporation (the “Company” or “Microsoft”) was founded as a partnership in 1975 and incorporated in 1981. Microsoft develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for a multitude of computing devices. Microsoft® software includes scalable operating systems for servers, personal computers (PCs), and intelligent devices; server applications for client/server environments; knowledge worker productivity applications; and software development tools. The Company’s online efforts include the MSN® network of Internet products and services and alliances with companies involved with broadband access and various forms of digital interactivity. Microsoft also licenses consumer software programs; sells hardware devices; provides consulting services; trains and certifies system integrators and developers; and researches and develops advanced technologies for future software products.
Microsoft’s business strategy emphasizes the development of a broad line of software products for information technology (IT) professionals, knowledge workers, developers, and consumers, marketed through multiple channels of distribution. The Company is structured around the following core groups: the Business Groups; the Worldwide Sales, Marketing, and Services Group; Microsoft Research; and the Operations Group.
The Company’s product segments, which are based on the Business Groups, are Desktop and Enterprise Software and Services, Consumer Software, Services, and Devices, Consumer Commerce Investments, and Other. The Desktop and Enterprise Software and Services segment includes the Platforms Group and the Productivity and Business Services Group. The Platforms Group has responsibility for continuing to evolve the Windows platform. In addition, the division includes the .NET Enterprise Server Group, the Developer Tools Division, and the Windows Digital Media Division. The Productivity and Business Services Group drives Microsoft’s broad vision for productivity and business process applications and services. This group includes the Office Division, the Emerging Technologies Group, the Business Tools Division, and the Business Applications Group, which includes bCentral™ and Microsoft Great Plains®.
The Consumer Software, Services, and Devices segment contains the MSN Business Group; the Personal Services Business Group; and the Home and Retail Division. MSN Business Group runs the network programming, business development, and worldwide sales and marketing for MSN and Microsoft’s other services efforts, including MSN eShop, the MSNBC venture, Slate®, and MSNTV. The Personal Services Group (PSG) focuses on making it easier for consumers and businesses to connect online and to deliver software as a service on a variety of devices. PSG encompasses Microsoft’s Personal .NET initiative, the Services Platform Division, the Mobility Group, the MSN Internet Access, Consumer Devices Group, and the User Interface Platform Division. The Home and Retail Division develops and markets learning and entertainment software and the future Xbox game console.
The Consumer Commerce Investment segment includes Expedia, Inc., the HomeAdvisor™ online real estate service, and the MSN CarPoint® online automotive service.
For financial reporting, revenue from Microsoft Press® and Hardware is included in the Other segment.
The Worldwide Sales, Marketing, and Services Group integrates the activities of Microsoft’s sales and service partners with the needs of Microsoft customers around the world. In addition, the group includes Microsoft Product Support Services, the Network Solutions Group, the Enterprise Partner Group, the Central Marketing Organization, and all three of Microsoft’s major business-sales regions worldwide.
Microsoft Research works on devising innovative solutions to computer science problems, such as making computers easier to use, designing software for the next generation of hardware, improving the software design process, and investigating the mathematical underpinnings of computer science.
The Operations Group is responsible for managing business operations and overall business planning. This includes corporate functions such as finance, administration, human resources, and information technology.
Microsoft has four product segments: Desktop and Enterprise Software and Services; Consumer Software, Services, and Devices; Consumer Commerce Investments; and Other. See Notes to Financial Statements for financial information regarding segment reporting.
Desktop and Enterprise Software and Services
Desktop and Enterprise Software and Services includes Desktop Applications; Desktop Platforms; and Enterprise Software and Services. For segment reporting purposes, Desktop Applications includes revenue from Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio®, Microsoft Great Plains, bCentral; and client access licenses for Windows NT® Server and Windows 2000 Server, Exchange, and BackOffice®. Desktop Platforms includes revenue from Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, and other desktop operating systems. Enterprise Software and Services includes Enterprise Platforms, Server Applications, Developer Tools and Services, and Enterprise Services.
Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office is a suite of software programs featuring seamless integration of the most commonly used desktop applications. Microsoft Office is based upon a document-centric concept, with common commands and extensive use of cross-application capabilities. Microsoft Office is available in several versions, with certain combinations of products, and available for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Microsoft Office XP helps users complete common business tasks, including word processing, electronic mail (e-mail), presentations, and data management, with features like smart tags, task panes, integrated e-mail, document recovery, and send for review. Products offered in the various versions include the word processor Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Outlook®personal information management and communication client, Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation graphics program, Microsoft Access database management application, and others. Microsoft Word is a word-processing program designed to create documents such as reports, letters, business plans, and more. Microsoft Excel creates data-rich spreadsheets for universal viewing on the Internet and for collaboration, allows users to analyze data with charts, and incorporates Microsoft PivotTable® views and graphs. Microsoft Outlook personal information management and communication client provides a single, integrated solution for organizing and managing digital communication tools such as e-mail and instant messaging, along with day-to-day information, including calendars, contacts, task lists, and notes. Microsoft PowerPoint presentation graphics program is a complete set of tools for creating professional presentations. Microsoft Access database management application allows for easy access and retrieval of information and includes pre-packaged solutions to create databases quickly. Microsoft FrontPage® is a Web site creation and management tool for Web sites on the Internet or intranets. Microsoft Publisher business desktop publishing is a program for creating professional-looking marketing and business materials.
Other Desktop Application Products. The Company also offers other stand-alone desktop application products. Microsoft Project is a project management program for scheduling, organizing, and analyzing tasks, deadlines, and resources. Microsoft Visio is a diagramming program that helps people visualize and communicate ideas, information, and systems. Most of the applications included in the various software program suites are also licensed separately.
Microsoft Great Plains.Microsoft Great Plains offers a range of integrated business and accounting products, including Dynamics, Solomon, and eEnterprise, which deliver broad and deep functionality. Dynamics provides Internet-ready accounting and business management capabilities for small- to mid-sized companies. Solomon offers a full range of e-business and accounting applications for small- to mid-sized companies. eEnterprise supports mid-sized to larger companies by providing a collaborative environment for information management and sharing.
bCentral. Microsoft’s small businesses portal, bCentral, allows companies to leverage the Internet to drive their business forward. Microsoft bCentral Site Manager is a Web site management and hosting service which empowers small businesses to easily create and manage their own Web sites, while allowing for higher-end editing in Microsoft FrontPage. Microsoft bCentral LinkExchange™ provides services to small businesses and Web site owners to increase their online traffic and sales with free advertising banner ads on their site in exchange for placing ads on other network sites.
Client Access Licenses.A client access license gives a client computer the legal right to access a computer running a Microsoft server product and the services supported by the server.
Windows XP. Windows XP is the next major version of the Windows operating system and is scheduled for widespread availability in October 2001. Windows XP extends the personal computing experience by uniting PCs, devices, and services, and brings the solid foundation of Windows 2000 to home PC users, enhancing reliability, security, and performance. Windows XP Home Edition is designed for individuals or families at home and includes experiences for digital media, home networking, and communications. Windows XP Professional is for businesses of all sizes and for people who demand the most out of their computing experience. Windows XP Professional adds remote access, security, performance, manageability, and multilingual features to help users improve productivity and connectivity.
Windows 2000 Professional.The successor to Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional operating system combines features to create a mainstream operating system for desktop and notebook computing in all organizations. Windows 2000 Professional contains the enhanced business features of Windows 98 such as Plug and Play, easy-to-use user interface, and power management and integrates the strengths of Windows NT Workstation including standards-based security, manageability, and reliability.
Windows NT Workstation. A fully integrated, multitasking 32-bit PC operating system, Windows NT Workstation provides security, robustness, and portability. Windows NT Workstation combines the Windows 98 operating system interface and usability features with the reliability and security of Windows NT for the business environment.
Windows Millennium Edition.Windows Millennium Edition (Me) operating system is designed specifically for home users to manage digital photos and music, work with video, create a home network, and communicate with other consumers.
Windows 98. The successor to Windows 95, Windows 98 is a personal computer operating system that provides a Web-oriented user interface and better system performance along with easier system diagnostics and maintenance. Windows 98 supports graphics, sound, and multimedia technologies and provides the ability to easily add and remove peripheral devices and support for Universal Serial Bus (USB).
Enterprise Software and Services
Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server. Windows 2000 Server family builds on the Windows NT technology, integrating standards-based directory, Web, application, communications, file and print services with high reliability, efficient management, and support for networking hardware to provide the foundation for integrating with the Internet. Windows 2000 Server is a multipurpose network operating system for businesses of all sizes. Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating system is ideal for e-commerce and line-of-business applications and provides enhanced performance and scalability through symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and extended memory support. Windows Datacenter Server operating system is built for large-scale line-of-business and enterprise backend usage and supports server consolidation and enhanced scalability.
Windows NT Server. Windows NT Server is an operating system foundation for both server applications and file and print sharing, with network management features, administration tools, security, and high availability. Windows NT Server provides a scalable platform for business critical applications and databases, connectivity, system management, and e-mail servers. The operating system integrates Web services such as Microsoft Internet Information Server, a service used to manage intranet and Internet functionality, and Microsoft FrontPage Web site creation and management tool. Windows NT Server, Terminal Server Edition, an extension to the Windows NT Server, offers the application support of the Windows operating system platform with the centrally managed environment of the mainframe with terminal. Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition provides the means for building and deploying large-scale distributed applications for large and mission-critical servers featuring comprehensive clustering for scalability and availability.
Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers.Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers include Microsoft SQL Server™, Exchange Server, Application Center, BizTalk™ Server, Commerce Server, Content Management Server, Host Integration Server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server, Mobile Information Server, and SharePoint™ Portal Server. SQL Server is a fully Web-enabled database and data analysis product, providing core support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the ability to query across the Internet and beyond the firewall. Exchange Server is a messaging and collaboration server which provides e-mail, group scheduling, task management, and document routing capabilities. Application Center is Microsoft’s deployment and management tool for high-availability Web applications built on the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system. BizTalk Server enables companies to rapidly build and deploy integrated business processes within their organizations and with partners. Commerce Server provides a comprehensive set of features for building scalable, user-centric, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business e-commerce sites. Content Management Server is the enterprise Web content management system that enables companies to quickly and efficiently build, deploy, and maintain highly dynamic Internet, intranet, and extranet Web sites. Host Integration Server extends Microsoft Windows to other systems by providing application, data, and network integration. Internet Security and Acceleration Server provides secure, fast, and manageable Internet connectivity. It integrates an extensible, multilayer enterprise firewall and a scalable high-performance Web cache. Mobile Information Server mobile-enables the enterprise, extending the reach of Microsoft .NET Enterprise applications, enterprise data, and intranet content to the mobile user. SharePoint Portal Server extends the capabilities of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office by offering knowledge workers a powerful new way to easily organize, find, and share information. It combines the ability to easily create corporate Web portals with document management, content searching, and team collaboration features.
Other Servers. Designed for the branch office, department, and medium-sized business, BackOffice Server provides a wide range of infrastructure and application services including directory, networking, Web application, database, messaging and collaboration, Internet proxy and firewall, host integration, and Windows desktop management. Proxy Server is an extensible firewall and Web cache server that provides Internet security while improving network response time and efficiency. Site Server is the powerful intranet server, optimized for Microsoft Windows NT Server with Internet Information Server, for publishing and finding information easier and faster. Site Server Commerce is a comprehensive Internet commerce server that organizations can use to build and monitor dynamic and cost-effective business sites that take full advantage of the Web. Small Business Server is the flexible network solution designed to help small businesses with up to 50 computers. SNA Server provides connectivity to host data and applications. Systems Management Server helps centrally manage the distributed environment with integrated features, including hardware inventory, software inventory and metering, software distribution and installation, and remote troubleshooting tools.
Developer Tools and Services. Software development tools and computer languages allow software developers to write programs in a particular computer language and translate programs into a binary machine-readable set of commands that activate and instruct various hardware devices. The Company develops and markets a number of software development environments and language compilers. Microsoft Visual C++® is the Company’s development system for Windows-based application development. The Microsoft Visual Basic® development system provides easy access to a wide variety of data sources by integrating the Microsoft Access database engine and the ability to take advantage of investments in commercial applications. The Microsoft Visual InterDev® development system includes integrated, team-based development tools for building Web-based applications based on HTML, Script, and components written in any language. Microsoft Visual J++development system for Java contains a high productivity Integrated Development Environment and a collection of integrated components to create, test, tune, and deploy Java code on multiple platforms. Microsoft Visual Studio® development system for Windows-based development is a suite of developer tools enabling developers to build components and applications using Visual Basic, Visual C++, Microsoft Visual FoxPro® database development system, Visual InterDev, and Visual J++. Developers can subscribe to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN®) information service and receive periodic updates via CD-ROMs, magazines, and several online information services. In addition, Microsoft receives certification fees through the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program, a program that provides credentials for those who have demonstrated in-depth knowledge of at least one Microsoft product.
Enterprise Services. Microsoft Enterprise Services assist organizations with every stage of technology planning, building, deployment, and support. Specializing in real-life IT solutions for the enterprise, Microsoft offers a full range of consulting services for advance technology requirements, including custom solutions services, enterprise application planning, architecture and design services, and proof-of-concept services. The Company provides product support services aligned to the customer segments, partner segments, and communities. Support offerings include the Alliance program, tailored for large enterprises running mission-critical applications on Microsoft platforms; the Premier program for enterprises; the Authorized Premier Support for all types of businesses who work jointly with Microsoft and Microsoft Gold Certified Partners; the Professional program for IT professionals, developers, and OEMs; and the Personal program for home users, which provides free online self-help resources and paid assisted phone support.
Consumer Software, Services, and Devices
Consumer Software, Services, and Devices includes MSN Internet access, MSN network services, PC and online games, Xbox, learning and productivity software, mobility and embedded systems.
MSN Internet Access. MSN Internet access is a Web-based online service. MSN provides easy and inexpensive access for users to a wide range of graphically rich online content. MSN Internet access includes MSN Explorer, the Internet software from Microsoft that makes it easier to get more from the Web. MSN Internet access subscribers can access their account from multiple sources, including a computer, television, Internet appliances, and Personal Data Assistants.
MSN Network Services. MSN network service provides services on the Internet, encompassing MSN properties such as Homepage and Search, as well as other services. MSN Hotmail® is the world’s leading free Web-based e-mail service. MSN Messenger Service is a free Internet messaging service that enables users to see when others are online and exchange instant messages with them. CNBC on MSN Money, located exclusively on MSN, is a complete online personal financial service that combines the award-winning finance tools and content from Microsoft with exclusive investment news and analysis from CNBC. MSN Music provides consumers with one place online to find old favorites, as well as discover new music, and delivers a high quality listening experience. MSN eShop is a one-stop online shopping resource.
PC and Online Games. The Company offers a line of entertainment products from classic software games to online games, simulations, sport products, and strategy games. Microsoft Flight Simulator is a popular aircraft flight simulation product. Other games include Combat Flight Simulator, Age of Empires®, MechWarrior™, Microsoft Links®, and other sports and action titles. Zone.com is a gaming community on the Internet allowing multiplayer gaming competitions of Microsoft’s popular CD-ROM games and classic card, board, and puzzle games.
Xbox.Microsoft Xbox™, scheduled for North America release in November 2001, is Microsoft’s future-generation video game console system that delivers high quality graphics and audio gameplay experiences and will ultimately enable new online gaming scenarios.
Learning and Productivity Software.Learning titles include Microsoft Encarta® multimedia encyclopedia and Microsoft Bookshelf® CD-ROM reference library. The Encarta family of products includes a multimedia encyclopedia database with interactive information, an interactive world atlas with three-dimensional maps, a world English dictionary, and an online version with monthly updates. Microsoft Bookshelf is a multimedia reference library that gives users fast, easy access to reference resources. Titles for children include My Personal Tutor, a comprehensive, grade-based learning suite with TutorAssistlearning technology that identifies a child’s specific learning needs and offers instruction, and a series of products based on the popular children’s book and television series, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus®. Microsoft’s productivity offerings include Microsoft Works, an integrated software program that contains basic word processing, spreadsheet, and database capabilities that allows the easy exchange of information from one tool to another. Microsoft Money offers leading tools and resources to conduct a wide range of financial activities. The Works Suite provides a comprehensive collection of software, including Microsoft Works, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Money, Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia, Microsoft Picture It!® Publishing, and Microsoft Streets & Trips.
Mobility and Embedded Systems. Microsoft develops a number of software platforms for mobile computing form factors. Products such as Pocket PC, Microsoft Mobile Explorer, and Microsoft Smartphone platform (currently codenamed Stinger) are designed to enable a variety of mobile scenarios. Microsoft’s embedded offerings include two embedded operating systems, Microsoft Windows CE and Microsoft Windows NT Embedded, as well as device specific solutions. Microsoft Windows CE, a robust real-time embedded operating system, is targeted at small footprint, mobile 32-bit devices. Microsoft Windows NT Embedded, based on the desktop and server versions of Microsoft’s operating systems, is targeted at higher-end embedded products and devices. Both embedded operating systems offer integrated tool sets to enable embedded system developers to quickly create sophisticated embedded device and application solutions. Microsoft Mobile Explorer enables secure mobile access to corporate or personal e-mail, corporate networks, and the Internet when connected to a wireless network. Microsoft Mobile Information Server is a scalable and reliable mobile applications server that provides enterprise customers and mobile operators with a rich platform for extending .NET Enterprise application and securely delivering real-time, wireless data to mobile devices.
Consumer Commerce Investments
Consumer Commerce Investments include Expedia, Inc., the HomeAdvisor online real estate service, and the CarPoint online automotive service.
Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. operates Expedia.com, a leading online travel service in the United States with localized versions in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Expedia.com provides air, car, and hotel booking, vacation package and cruise offerings, destination information, and mapping. On July 16, 2001, USA Networks, Inc. (USA) announced an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Expedia through the purchase of up to 37.5 million shares, approximately 75% of the current outstanding shares. If holders of more than 37.5 million Expedia shares elect to sell their shares to USA, there will be a pro rata reduction among all electing shareholders. Microsoft has agreed to transfer all of its 33.7 million shares and warrants, subject to pro-ration. It is expected that the transaction will close by December 31, 2001.
HomeAdvisor online real estate service. The HomeAdvisor online real estate service is a complete guide to the home-buying process and provides comprehensive tools for finding homes and loans on the Internet. HomeAdvisor provides users with the information and knowledge needed to take control of the home-buying process. This includes customized search features, worksheets and calculators, and editorial content and home-buying advice.
CarPoint online automotive service. The CarPoint online automotive service is the leading online automotive marketplace, visited by more than 7 million consumers each month. With details on more than 10,000 car models and 100,000 used vehicles, users can research and compare cars of virtually every make and model, identify local dealers, and receive instructions for post-purchase service and maintenance.
Hardware. The Company develops and markets several PC input devices including the Microsoft IntelliMouse® family of hand-held pointing devices that facilitate using the PC. The Company also markets several types of keyboards including the Microsoft Natural® Keyboard, an ergonomically designed keyboard. Microsoft sells various Microsoft SideWinder® game controllers and force feedback joysticks with realistic performance technology to use with PC games.
Microsoft Press. Microsoft Press offers comprehensive learning and training resources to help new users, power users, and professionals get the most from Microsoft technology through books, CDs, self-paced training kits, and videos that are created to accommodate different learning styles and preferences. Microsoft Press books are authored by professional and technical writers, both by Microsoft employees and independent authors.
The Company has entered into joint venture arrangements to take advantage of creative talent and content from other organizations. Microsoft owns 50 percent of MSNBC Cable L.L.C., a 24-hour cable news and information channel, and 50 percent of MSNBC Interactive News L.L.C., an interactive online news service. National Broadcasting Company (NBC) owns the remaining 50 percent of these two joint ventures. Microsoft owns 49 percent of Avanade Inc., a joint venture with Accenture Ltd, which offers solutions and services based on Windows 2000.
The software industry is characterized by rapid technological change, which requires constant attention to computing technology trends, and shifting consumer demand, and rapid product innovation. The pace of change is accelerating as the computing needs of our customers move beyond the PC toward intelligent devices and appliances.
Most of the Company’s software products are developed internally. The Company also purchases technology, licenses intellectual property rights, and oversees third-party development and localization of certain products. Internal development enables Microsoft to maintain closer technical control over its products and gives the Company the freedom to designate which modifications and enhancements are most important and when they should be implemented. The Company has created a substantial body of proprietary development tools and has evolved development methodologies for creating and enhancing its products. These tools and methodologies are also designed to simplify a product’s portability among different operating systems, microprocessors, or computing devices. Product documentation is generally created internally.
The Company believes that a crucial factor in the success of a new product is getting it to market quickly to respond to new user needs or advances in intelligent devices, PCs, servers, and the Internet, without compromising product quality. The Company strives to become informed at the earliest possible time about changing usage patterns and hardware advances that may affect software design. Before releasing new software platforms, Microsoft provides to software vendors a range of development, training, testing resources, and guidelines for developing applications.
To best serve the needs of users around the world, Microsoft “localizes” many of its products to reflect local languages and conventions and to improve the quality and usability of the product in international markets. Localizing a product might require modifying the user interface, altering dialog boxes, and translating text. In Japanese versions, for example, all user messages and documentation are in Japanese with monetary references in the Japanese yen. Various Microsoft products have been localized into more than 30 languages.
During fiscal years 1999, 2000, and 2001, the Company spent $2.97 billion, $3.77 billion, and $4.38 billion, respectively, on product research and development activities excluding funding of joint venture activity. Those amounts represented 15.0%, 16.4%, and 17.3%, respectively, of revenue in each of those years. The Company is committed to continue high expenditures for research and product development.
Microsoft .NET is Microsoft’s platform for XML Web services. XML Web services allow applications to communicate and share data over the Internet, regardless of operating system or programming language. The Microsoft .NET platform includes a comprehensive family of products, built on XML and Internet industry standards, which provide for each aspect of developing, managing, using, and experiencing XML Web services. There are five areas where Microsoft is building the .NET platform today: Tools, Servers, XML Web Services, Clients, and .NET Experiences. In the Tools area, Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET framework supply a complete solution for developers to build, deploy, and run XML Web services. They maximize the performance, reliability, and security of XML Web services. The .NET Enterprise Servers, including the Windows 2000 Server family, make up Microsoft .NET’s server infrastructure for deploying, managing, and orchestrating XML Web services. Designed with mission-critical performance in mind, they provide enterprises with the agility they need to integrate their systems, applications, and partners through XML Web services, and the flexibility to adapt to changing business requirements.
In addition to developers creating XML Web services, Microsoft is creating a core set of building block services that perform routine tasks and act as the backbone for developers to build upon. The first set of XML Web services being built, codenamed “HailStorm”, is a group of user-centric services oriented around people, rather than specific devices, networks, or applications. HailStorm is based upon the Microsoft Passport user authentication system. With HailStorm, users receive relevant information, as they need it, delivered to the devices they are using, and based on preferences they have established.
Clients are PCs, laptops, workstations, phones, handheld computers, Tablet PCs, game consoles, and other smart devices. These smart clients and devices use software that supports XML Web services, which enable users to access their data regardless of the location, type, and number of clients used. Smart clients and devices leverage XML Web services to create .NET experiences that allow users to access information across the Internet and from stand-alone applications in an integrated way. Some of the products that Microsoft is transitioning into .NET experiences are Office, MSN, bCentral, and Visual Studio .NET.
Microsoft contracts out most of its manufacturing activity to third parties. Outside manufacturers produce various retail software packaged products and hardware. There are other custom manufacturers Microsoft could use in the event outsourced manufacturing becomes unavailable from current vendors.
The Company’s CD-ROM manufacturing facilities are located in Puerto Rico. The Company has multiple sources for raw materials, supplies, and components and is often able to acquire component parts and materials on a volume discount basis. Quality control tests are performed on purchased parts, CD-ROMs, and other products.
Microsoft manages all product fulfillment, licensing, and logistics services. The Company has regional operations centers in Ireland, Singapore, and the Greater Seattle area. The regional centers support all operations activities, including information processing, vendor management, logistics, and related supporting functions by geographical regions. The regional center in Dublin, Ireland supports the European, African, and Middle East regions, the center in Singapore supports the Asia Pacific region, and the center in the Greater Seattle area supports North and South America. Microsoft Licensing Incorporated (MSLI), a wholly-owned subsidiary in Reno, Nevada, manages the Company’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and certain organizational licensing operations.
Marketing and Distribution
The Company’s sales and marketing group seeks to build long-term relationships with customers of Microsoft. The OEM sales group includes the sales force that works with original equipment manufacturers that preinstall Microsoft software on their PCs. In addition to the OEM channel, Microsoft has three major geographic sales and marketing organizations: the South Pacific and Americas; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Asia.
Finished Goods Channels
Distributors and Resellers. The Company licenses and sells its products in the finished goods channels primarily to and through independent non-exclusive distributors and resellers. Distributors and resellers include Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Software Spectrum, Corporate Software & Technology, SOFTBANK, Software House International, ASAP Software Express, and Tech Pacific Group. Microsoft has a network of field sales representatives and field support personnel who solicit orders from distributors and resellers and provide product training and sales support.
Enterprise Accounts. The Microsoft Select program offers flexible software acquisition, licensing, and maintenance options specially customized to meet the needs of large multinational organizations. Targeted audiences include technology specialists and influential end users in large enterprises. Marketing efforts and fulfillment are generally coordinated with large account resellers.The Microsoft Open program is a licensing program that is targeted for small- and medium-sized organizations. It is available through the reseller channel and offers discounts based on initial purchase volumes. The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement program is a licensing program designed to provide a flexible licensing and service solution tailored to customers making a long-term licensing commitment. The agreements are designed to increase customer satisfaction by simplifying license administration, payment terms, and the contract process.
Certified Partners. Microsoft Certified Partners are independent companies that offer their clients leading-edge technology through consulting, deployment, remote and on-site maintenance, helpdesk support, packaged software applications, hosting services, training, and more. Microsoft Certified Partners encompass a broad range of expertise and vendor affiliations and have experience ranging from networking, e-commerce, collaboration, business intelligence, and other leading edge disciplines.
International Sales Sites. The Company has established marketing and/or support subsidiaries in more than 80 countries. Product is generally delivered by the Company’s owned or outsourced manufacturing operations, which are located in the geographical region in which the product was sold. By organizing geographically, the Company is able to provide service to international channel customers and access to Microsoft professionals located in the same region to serve their specific needs. Subsidiaries have the responsibility for selling products to customers, managing licensing programs, and providing support to all types of customers based in international countries.
The Company’s international operations, both OEM and finished goods, are subject to certain risks common to foreign operations in general, such as governmental regulations, import restrictions, and foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Microsoft hedges a portion of its foreign exchange risk.
Microsoft operating systems are licensed primarily to OEMs under agreements that grant the OEMs the right to distribute copies of the Company’s products with their computing devices, principally PCs. The Company also markets and licenses certain server operating systems, desktop applications, hardware devices, and consumer software programs to OEMs under similar arrangements. In almost all cases, the products are distributed under Microsoft trademarks. The Company has OEM agreements covering one or more of its products with virtually all of the major PC OEMs, including Acer, Actebis, Compaq, Dell, eMachines, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Micron, NEC, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. A substantial amount of OEM business is also conducted with system builders, which are low-volume customized PC vendors.
The Company works closely with large advertising and direct marketing firms. Advertising, direct marketing, worldwide packaging, and marketing materials are targeted to various end-user segments. The Company uses broad consumer media (television, radio, the Internet, and business publications) and trade publications. Microsoft has programs under which qualifying resellers and OEMs are reimbursed for certain advertising expenditures.
The Company’s customers include consumers, small- and medium-sized organizations, enterprises, educational institutions, ISPs, application developers, and OEMs. Most consumers of Microsoft products are individuals in businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and at home. The consumers and organizations obtain Microsoft products primarily through resellers and OEMs, which include certain Microsoft products with their computing hardware. The Notes to Financial Statements (see Item 8) quantify customers that represent more than 10% of the Company’s revenue. The Company’s practice is to ship its products promptly upon receipt of purchase orders from its customers and, consequently, backlog is not significant.
The software business is intensely competitive and subject to rapid technological change. As the company pursues its largest strategic initiative, Microsoft .NET, the Company could experience more intense competition during the transition from the traditional core businesses to its new products based on the .NET platform. The Company continues to face movements from PC-based applications to server-based applications or Web-based application hosting services, from proprietary software to open source software, and from PCs to Internet-based devices. A number of Microsoft’s most significant competitors, including IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and AOL Time Warner, are collaborating with one another on various initiatives directed at competing with Microsoft. These initiatives relate in part to efforts to move software from individual PCs to centrally managed servers, which would present significant challenges to the Company’s historical business model. Other competitive collaborative efforts include the development of new platform technologies that are intended to replicate much of the value of Microsoft Windows operating systems. New computing form factors, including non-PC information devices, are gaining popularity and competing with PCs running Microsoft’s software products.
Microsoft faces formidable competition in these new areas and in all areas of its current business activity, including competition from many companies much larger than Microsoft. The rapid pace of technological change, particularly in the area of Internet platforms and services, continually creates new opportunities for existing competitors and start-ups and can quickly render existing technologies less valuable. The Company also faces relentless competition from software pirates who unlawfully copy and distribute Microsoft’s copyrighted software products, depriving the Company of large amounts of revenue on an annual basis.
The Company’s competitive position may be adversely affected by one or more of the following factors in the future, particularly in view of the fast pace of technological change in the computing industry.
Desktop and Enterprise Software and Services
The Company’s competitors include many software application vendors, such as IBM (Lotus), Oracle, Apple (Filemaker, Inc.), Sun Microsystems, Corel, Qualcomm, and local application developers in Europe and Asia. IBM and Corel have large installed bases with their spreadsheet and word processor products, respectively, and both have aggressive pricing strategies. Also, IBM and Apple preinstall certain of their application software products on various models of their PCs, competing directly with Microsoft’s desktop application software. Sun Microsystems’ Star Office is also very aggressive with its pricing, offering a free download from the Web or nominal charge for a CD. Additionally, Web-based application hosting services provide an alternative to PC-based applications such as Microsoft Office.
Microsoft’s operating system products face substantial competition from a wide variety of companies. Competitors such as IBM, Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems, and others are vertically integrated in both software development and hardware manufacturing and have developed operating systems that they preinstall on their own computers. Many of these operating system software products are also licensed to third-party OEMs for preinstallation on their computers. Microsoft’s operating system products compete with UNIX-based operating systems from a wide range of companies, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and others. Variants of UNIX run on a wide variety of computer platforms and have gained increasing acceptance as desktop operating systems. With increased attention toward open source software, the Linux operating system has gained increasing acceptance as well. Several computer manufacturers preinstall Linux on PC servers and many leading software developers have written applications that run on Linux. Microsoft Windows operating systems are also threatened by alternative platforms such as those based on Internet browsing software and Java technology promoted by AOL Time Warner and Sun Microsystems.
The Company competes in the business of providing enterprise-wide computing solutions with several competitors who enjoy a larger share of sales and larger installed bases. Many companies offer operating system software for mainframes and midrange computers, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems. Since legacy business systems are typically support-intensive, these competitors also offer substantial support services. Software developers that provide competing server applications for PC-based distributed client/server environments include Oracle, IBM, Computer Associates, Sybase, and Informix. There are also several software vendors who offer connectivity servers. As mentioned above, there are numerous companies and organizations that offer Internet and intranet server software, which compete against the Company’s business systems. Additionally, IBM has a large installed base of Lotus Notes and cc:Mail, both of which compete with the Company’s collaboration and e-mail products.
The Company’s developer products compete against offerings from Borland, Macromedia, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Symantec, and other companies.
Consumer Software, Services, and Devices
Microsoft’s online services network, MSN, faces formidable competition from AOL Time Warner (including its CompuServe unit), Yahoo!, and a vast array of Web sites and portals that offer content of all types and e-mail, instant messaging, calendaring, chat, and search and shopping services, among other things. In addition, the ease of entry into Internet services has allowed numerous Web-based service companies to build significant businesses in areas such as e-mail, electronic commerce, Web search engines, directories, and information of numerous types. Competitors include AOL Time Warner, Yahoo!, Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, AltaVista, and many others. The Company’s MSNBC joint ventures face considerable competition from other 24-hour cable and Internet news organizations such as CNN, CNN Headline News, and Fox News Network. MSNBC also competes with traditional news media such as newspapers, magazines, and broadcast TV.
The Company’s Consumer Group continues to see consolidation across the various entertainment and productivity segments in which Microsoft competes. Competitors include Vivendi (Havas), Intuit, Electronic Arts, The Learning Company, Infogrammes, and Logitech. Still other competitors own branded content, such as Disney and LucasArts.
Additionally, PC-based games and the Company’s future Xbox compete and will compete head-to-head against games created for proprietary systems such as the Nintendo GameCube and the Sony PlayStation. Game developers like Electronic Arts, Namco, Midway, Activision, Konami, THQ, to name a few, are both partners and competitors in the games software development segment.
Microsoft faces many competitors in the Mobile Devices space, including Palm, Symbian, Nokia, and Openwave. The embedded operating system market is highly fragmented with many competitive offerings. Key competitors include Wind River and versions of embeddable Linux from commercial Linux vendors such as Red Hat, Lineo, and Monta Vista. The largest competitor remains in-house operating systems developed by device manufacturers. However, this is changing as more device builders opt for commercial offerings as connectivity and richer features are required in devices.
Consumer Commerce Investments
In the United States, Expedia, Inc. competes with traditional travel distribution channels and online travel services such as Travelocity.com, Hotel Reservations Network, Priceline.com, CheapTickets.com, Biztravel.com, Worldres.com, and Trip.com. Expedia also competes with supplier-owned sites such as United.com, Delta.com, and Marriott.com. In addition, two new competitors owned by various airlines, Orbitz and Hotwire, emerged in fiscal year 2001. Internationally, Expedia competes with a different set of participants in each market. Microsoft faces many competitors in the online real estate service space, including AOL’s House and Home channel and Homestore. The Company also faces many competitors in the online automotive service space, including Autobytel, CarsDirect, AOL autos, and Yahoo! autos.
PC input devices face substantial competition from computer manufacturers, since computers are typically sold with a keyboard and mouse, and other manufacturers of these devices. Microsoft Press competes in the retail book and eLearning markets with publishers that also create content on Microsoft technologies. A few of the retail competitors are Pearson, WROX, Sybex, and Wiley. The major eLearning competitors are Smartforce and NetG.
As of June 30, 2001, the Company employed approximately 47,600 people on a full-time basis, 33,000 in the United States and 14,600 internationally. Of the total, 19,400 were in product research and development, 22,500 in sales, marketing, and support, 1,900 in manufacturing and distribution, and 3,800 in finance and administration. Microsoft’s success is highly dependent on its ability to attract and retain qualified employees. Competition for employees is intense in the software industry. To date, the Company believes it has been successful in its efforts to recruit qualified employees, but there is no assurance that it will continue to be as successful in the future. None of the Company’s employees is subject to collective bargaining agreements. The Company believes relations with its employees are excellent.