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Microsoft Corporation: employee count from 2005 to 2016 (in 1,000s)

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Fiscal yearsNumber of employees in thousands
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About This Statistic

This statistic shows how many employees work at Microsoft Corporation since 2005. In 2016, Microsoft employed 114 thousand people worldwide, this was up from 61,000 in 2005. Over the last four decades Microsoft has become a vast multinational corporation. Its diverse business portfolio covers personal computers, computer software, and electronics, and more recently Microsoft has taken up a strong position in the cloud computing market. In 2016, the company ranked as the fifth most valuable brand in the world, with an estimated brand value of around 67 billion U.S. dollars, surpassed only by Apple, Google, Samsung, and Amazon.


The information technology industry has seen numerous mergers and acquisitions over the years and Microsoft is no exception. Microsoft's first acquisition was made in 1987, as it bought the company Forethought Inc., the creator of PowerPoint. Among the more recent key acquisitions of Microsoft are SwiftKey (2016), for 250 billion U.S. dollars; Mojang (2014), creators of Minecraft, for 2.5 billion U.S. dollars; Skype (2011), a popular communication tool, for 8.5 billion U.S. dollars; and Nokia (2014), the Finnish multinational, well known for making cell phones, for 7.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Before the acquisition, Nokia was already the largest smartphone producer running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. However, in comparison to iOS and Android, the global market share held by Windows Phone had been relatively low. Meanwhile, Nokia’s global market share declined from 30.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to merely 13.9 percent in the last quarter of 2013. While Microsoft hoped to improve the market share of its smartphone operating system through the acquisition of Nokia, the popularity of the Windows Phone OS has slipped from a 2.6 percent global market share in 2014 to 2.2 percent in 2015.

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