Post-IPO, Microsoft continued to dominate the software industry. On the heels of the release of Windows 2.0 in 1987, it became the largest software company in the world by sales.
Over the next few decades, Microsoft continued to innovate and expand its scope. One of its most successful releases came in the in the mid-90s with the introduction of Windows 95. Microsoft sold an astounding 40 million copies in its first year. In 2001, the company introduced the Xbox, which was also an immediate hit and sold 1.5 million units in less than two months. The console grounded Microsoft in the video game space, and that became one of its most profitable divisions.
Microsoft has also faced plenty of setbacks over the years. In the late 90s, the company faced antitrust charges from the U.S. Department of Justice and, in the early 2000s, it released a string of unpopular products, including the Zune music player, Windows Vista operating system and Surface tablet.
When Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, he began a major turnaround at the software company. From the beginning, Nadella embraced cloud computing and helped Microsoft emerge as a top competitor in the space, challenging Amazon Web Services and others.
Microsoft also expanded its reach through the acquisitions of professional networking site LinkedIn in 2016 and code-sharing service GitHub in 2018. The deals helped boost the company's user network and emphasize the new direction Microsoft has taken in recent years. The acquisition of GitHub, especially, showed the company's willingness to embrace new technology, even if it doesn't directly control it.
Since Nadella took over, Microsoft's share price has nearly tripled. It stands as one of the most powerful companies in the tech industry, with a market cap that rivals those of Amazon and Google.
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