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MICROSOFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Overview- All You Need to Know About Microsoft Corp


MICROSOFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Overview- All You Need to Know About Microsoft Corp

MICROSOFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Overview- All You Need to Know About Microsoft Corp

Vantage Updated Updated Fri, 2024 January 26 11:19

About Microsoft Corp

History of the company

As one of the world’s leading technology companies, Microsoft Corp’s history is marked by several significant milestones and innovations in the software and hardware industry.

The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on 4 April, 1975, initially focusing on developing and selling a version of the BASIC programming language interpreter for the Altair 8800, an early personal computer [1].

In 1980, Microsoft was approached by computer maker IBM to create an operating system for IBM’s Personal Computer (PC). Gates created MS-DOS (based on 86-DOS, created by Tim Paterson) and licensed it to IBM and other computer companies. This shrewd move saw MS-DOS become widely popular and laid the foundation for Microsoft’s eventual domination of the operating system market [2].

Following the success of MS-DOS, Microsoft went on to release Windows in 1985, providing a graphical user interface for computer users. This was a milestone in the evolution of modern operating systems; Windows paved the way for an affordable desktop computing system that helped usher in the era of PC use in homes [3]

Four years later, in March 1986, Microsoft went public, raising USD$61 million in an IPO [4]. By the late 1980s, Microsoft had become the largest personal software company in the world [5]

Business segments 

Microsoft has added several segments to its core business of personal computing software.

The company added its productivity software segment in 1990 with the launch of Microsoft Office, a productivity suite that at the time consisted of just three software: Word, Excel and PowerPoint [6]. Office would go on to be a dominant product line in the productivity suites sector, rivalled only by Google’s G Suite [7].

Other notable business segments include video gaming (Xbox, launched 2001), communications (Skype, acquired 2011), computing hardware (Surface, launched 2012) and professional networking (LinkedIn, acquired 2016) [8]

Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, United States, and employs a total workforce of around 221,000. As of March 2023, the company has a total market cap of USD$2.11 trillion, cementing its status as one of the most successful companies of our times [9].

About the stock MSFT

MSFT trading information

  • Primary exchange: NASDAQ
  • Ticker: MSFT
  • Country: US
  • Currency: USD
  • Trading hours:
    • Main: 9.30am to 4pm ET, Mon to Fri
    • Pre-market: 4am to 9.30am
    • After-market: 4pm to 8pm 

When was MSFT listed? 

MSFT was first listed on the NASDAQ on 13 March 1986. Its share price at Initial Public Offering (IPO) was USD$21 [10]. After accounting for stock splits, the stock price would be USD$0.073 at IPO. 

At the time of writing, the price of one MSFT share is USD$284, representing a return of 3,890x. The stock’s highest price was seen on 27 October 2021, when it closed the day at USD$373.11 [11]

Stock splits

MSFT has undergone nine stock splits since it started trading [12]. The total number of MSFT stocks outstanding is estimated to be 7.451 billion [13]

DateStock split
February 20032 for 1
March 19992 for 1
February 19982 for 1
December 19962 for 1
May 19942 for 1
June 19923 for 2
June 19913 for 2
April 1990 2 for 1
September 19872 for 1


MSFT is a dividend-paying stock. The company pays out dividends to shareholders once every quarter. As per a press release dated 14 March 2023, the company announced a quarterly dividend of USD$0.96 per share [14].

MSFT stock

Latest developments investors should note 

Q2 2023 earnings beat expectations, but cloud business continued to slow [15]

Microsoft’s earnings report for Q2 2023 saw earnings beat analysts’ expectations. While revenue grew, the metric barely missed expectations.

The company reported revenue of USD$52.7 billion, an increase of 2% year-on-year. This was a hair away from the USD$52.9 billion put forth by analysts. Earnings per share came in at USD$2.32 adjusted, slightly higher than the USD$2.20 analysts expected.

However, net operating income was USD$16.4 billion GAAP, representing a decline of 12% when compared to the same period last year. 

The tech giant’s cloud business continued to slow in the quarter ended 31 December 2022, with its Intelligent Cloud segment growing 18% in the quarter, and its Azure services, 31%. Both these metrics are down from Q2 last year, during which Intelligent Cloud and Azure saw growth of 26% and 46%, respectively.

Overall, Microsoft Cloud revenue grew 22% year-on-year to reach USD$27.1 billion for the quarter. 

According to CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is leaning on advanced AI to drive its cloud business. “The next major wave of computing is being born, as the Microsoft Cloud turns the world’s most advanced AI models into a new computing platform,” he said. “We are committed to helping our customers use our platforms and tools to do more with less today and innovate for the future in the new era of AI.”

Germany launches antitrust probe against Microsoft [16]

Microsoft has attracted the attention of German antitrust body Bundeskartellamt, which in March 2023 announced it would examine whether Microsoft should be designated of “paramount significance for competition across markets”. 

The initiative is taking place under Section 19a of the German Competition Act, by which Europe seeks to restrict the power of Big Tech, with the law providing Germany’s antitrust authorities powers to go after so-called gatekeepers such as Meta, Google and Amazon, including the ability to impose sanctions like forced divestments against companies and even break them up.

Bundeskartellamt states that the probe is the first of a two stage process and does not entail an assessment of Microsoft’s business practices at present. Should there be any potential anti-competitive practices found, “a separate decision will have to be issued in this matter — also in consultation with the European Commission and possibly other competition authorities”.

In response, Microsoft said it was “mindful of our heightened responsibility to support a healthy competitive environment”, adding that it “will engage constructively with the Bundeskartellamt as they seek to understand our role in digital markets”.

Trade MSFT with Vantage 

Vantage offers convenient and secure trading of MSFT and other leading stocks. With share Contracts for Difference (CFDs), traders can access opportunities offered by natural market volatility, with potential trading opportunities from stock price movements in all directions. 
Trade MSFT with zero commission using Vantage share CFDs. Sign up and start trading today!


  1. “Microsoft is born – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  2. “A Quick Look At The 30-Year History Of MS DOS – Business Insider”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  3. “First version of Windows announced – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  4. “Microsoft goes public – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  5. “Microsoft is born – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  6. “Looking back at 10 years of Microsoft 365 making history – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  7. “Number of Office 365 users worldwide as of February 2023, by leading country – Statista”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  8. “Facts About Microsoft – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  9. “Microsoft Corp – Google Finance”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  10. “ Frequently Asked Questions – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  11. “Microsoft Corp – Google Finance”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  12. “Stock split history for Microsoft (MSFT) – Companies Market Cap”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  13. “Number of shares outstanding for Microsoft (MSFT) – Companies Market Cap”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  14. “Microsoft announces new lead independent director and quarterly dividend – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  15. “Earnings Release FY23 Q2 – Microsoft”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  16. “German antitrust watchdog probes Microsoft’s market power – Financial Times”. Accessed 5 April 2023.
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