Why Microsoft Again Became the World’s Most Valuable Company

Microsoft, on October 29, once again surpassed Apple to take the top spot as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.

At its annual Ignite conference last week, the company provided an overview of all things Microsoft, highlighting why it deserves that first place. It’s because, unlike other companies, like Facebook, for example, Microsoft aggressively focuses on customers, not revenue, as its number one priority.

It wasn’t always this way, but today, the excessive focus on revenue and profit is the reason other companies aren’t doing as well and facing regulatory backlash, while Microsoft is dominant.

Let’s talk about why Microsoft is so well balanced and deserves top honors. Then we will close with my product of the week, one of the best values ​​on the market, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card.

Diversity and inclusion

It may seem strange to discuss diversity and inclusion first, but we’ve found that companies that don’t aggressively promote diversity and inclusion (D&I) underperform their peers. This result is because minorities are not fully utilized, know they are underpaid, and underperform.

When discussing D&I efforts, most companies mention one executive, their head of HR, who talks about the programs they have to address the problem. However, the true measure of a D&I program is how employees feel. At Ignite, Microsoft featured a panel of minority employees who spoke in glowing terms about Microsoft’s D&I efforts.

Those employees spoke about how well they were treated, asked for their opinion, and responded to in real time. The panel spoke about how they were treated fairly with respect to income and benefits and how they felt equally part of the Microsoft family of employees.

It is a challenge to convince a group of employees who have historically received insufficient compensation that they are being treated fairly because there is a lot of general mistrust between the base and the management. So hearing minority employees talk about their employer, not as an opponent in their fair deal effort, but as a partner, says a lot.

This achievement highlights that, unlike other Big Tech firms (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, all have had serious problems with employee riots), Microsoft employees, particularly minorities, appreciate that the effort is effective. .

Focus on customers

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are heavily focused on revenue and profit. Until the early 2000s, Microsoft did too. For most of Steve Ballmer’s time as CEO, the company focused on revenue and profit. He did well financially, but he made several crippling mistakes that highlighted a lack of focus on what was important.

Microsoft was harmed by ill-considered acquisitions and acquisition attempts, such as Yahoo and Nokia. But in the last decade, the company took a hard turn to strategically focus on customer needs, satisfaction, and loyalty, merging its strategy around the customer.

What happens when a company stops focusing primarily on revenue and profits and shifts its focus to the people who buy and use its products? Consistent and substantial improvement in financial performance.

Microsoft is fortunate that the people who buy and use its products are the same. This user / customer connection is in stark contrast to Facebook and Google, whose revenue comes from advertisers. The people who use those platforms become the product, not the customers.


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With Tim Cook, Apple is more like Microsoft when Steve Ballmer ran the show, though without so many critical bugs, ergo Apple seems to have trouble attracting new customers and is losing market share.

Amazon really should be more of a company because Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon purchases are so different that a top executive may not have the breadth of skills necessary to optimize both major businesses. Additionally, Amazon purchases compete with companies like Walmart, which might otherwise be AWS customers, limiting the latter’s market.

Paralleling the theme of diversity and inclusion, at Ignite, Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay (the closest Microsoft has to Steve Jobs), spoke about how one of the key designers for Windows and Surface is disabled and provides critical usability information. in product development, making Microsoft products more inclusive.

Integration and advance

Microsoft and Bill Gates are famous for their pivot and driving the Internet .NET throughout the company. Most companies are highly insulated, making standard components and frameworks impossible to implement across the company. Microsoft doesn’t seem to suffer from that problem, and this was on show at Ignite when the company introduced its collaboration and communication products.

Microsoft uses its products internally, so it benefits both its customers and its employees when the company develops something with a competitive advantage.

When companies provide services, they often conflict with automation efforts being blocked because they risk revenue. Microsoft’s structure substantially limits these conflicts. During Ignite, the company introduced market-leading levels of automation that work towards a time when a business manager, without any coding help from IT or a third party, could write their code using natural language processing (NLP) and the Microsoft’s increasingly capable artificial intelligence.

Microsoft appears to be more able and willing to integrate common frameworks and capabilities into all of its efforts and drive the advancements customers want, even if those advancements reduce service revenue opportunities.

Ending

Historically, the tech industry has been defined by companies that were overly focused on profits and revenue, which set the tone for the tech sector. That resulted in a growing divide between what customers want and what technology companies offer.

Microsoft has uniquely shifted focus to emphasize customer needs, even if that change reduces service revenue. Ironically, this has resulted in stronger financial performance. We need Microsoft at the top as an example for more companies to move from mining customers for money to finding new ways to solve customer problems.

Rather than lock customers into an ecosystem that locks in new customers as well, as Apple does, Microsoft creates interoperability and migration bridges that allow customers to move more easily and trust that these customers will move to a provider that he cares about them, and they will turn away from them. providers that don’t.

The ability or desire to focus on what customers want over revenue, profits, and competitive responses has proven elusive for most companies. Microsoft has shown that this approach is not only possible, but has significant financial benefits. Figure?

Rob Enderle Tech Product of the Week

AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card

AMD sent me their Radeon RX 6600 graphics card to test, and replaced your old high-end 5700 XT card with it. The result was uninspiring until I realized that the 6600’s performance was roughly 10% better than the old 5700 XT card, but it cost roughly half.

There’s still a shortage of new graphics cards, so running one of these that you can get for any price close to the suggested retail price is problematic. Currently, I find them at a 50% to 100% premium even if they are in stock.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card

AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card


The Radeon RX 6600 graphics card is huge value at the suggested retail price, but finding it at a suggested retail is an equally gigantic problem. I should add that not only did it outperform the old 5700 XT card, but it did so using around 25% less power, making it a much greener alternative to the old top-of-the-line Radeon card.

I would not replace a 5700 XT card at this point with 6600 cards because a 10% performance increase is not worth it. But if you have an older card, the 6600 card offers a lot of performance for little money, and since all current graphics cards are hard to come by right now, the prices are relative. This supply chain shortage problem is becoming more and more annoying.

Saving money while getting a performance boost is a deal for me, and assuming I can find this card near the suggested retail price, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card is my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

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