It wasn’t that long ago that Apple was leading the world in technology. They released hip computers, iPads, and iPhones that have become the envy of tech gurus and designers. But … what has Apple done lately? Their stock price for 2018 is down.
Google (and parent company Alphabet) are pushing the innovation boundaries, yet they’re treating employees unfairly. This inequality is why employees walked off their jobs around the world.
But it’s not just Google; Silicon Valley in general has acted without integrity. Almost weekly, there’s a new scandal at Facebook because they put profit ahead of users interests. In retaliation, Facebook’s stock has plunged and campaigns have started begging people to #DeleteFacebook. (If you need to switch from Workplace by Facebook for that reason, we know an intranet that may come in handy!)
In fact, when you look around technology companies these days, you see security breaches, privacy issues, inequality, and failed stock.
Yet this year, Microsoft stood out as a leader. And we’re not just talking about the Surface or its evolution of LinkedIn. Microsoft CEO’s Satya Nadella has tripled the stock price since he took over.
Microsoft cares about accessibility
Recently, Satya Nadella opened up about having a disabled child. He discussed how empathy is now a core value at Microsoft. That empathy and his personal passion — wanting technology to help people with disabilities — turned it into leadership. Bigger monitors with larger print, options for those with hearing impairments, neurodiversity options, even assisting in mental health — Microsoft is making technology accessible to people of all ages and almost all abilities. They want to empower every user.
Microsoft is exploring open source
One of the biggest barriers for many IT employees is that Microsoft used to have a closed ecosystem. It’s been a source of frustration for open source aficionados and Linux gurus. Since then, though, they’ve opened up their patents and their technology. In 2018, Microsoft “double downed” on open source technology and is asking its users to help with UX, UI, and more. These ideas make their community more of a … community. Opening up their technology and patents helped build trust. It also makes their technology more accessible.
Although IBM denies they purchased Red Hat, an open source software company, for that reason … many in the industry see Microsoft as making open source waves that’s causing other companies to react.
Microsoft has cloud dominance
Many Americans know Amazon for its products. But IT personnel know Amazon for its cloud services and storage. In fact, there are two big cloud service providers — Amazon Web Services (AWS) … and Microsoft’s Azure. Most companies use AWS, Azure, or both.
So, who’s on top — AWS or Azure? That’s a matter of some debate. But what’s clear is that Azure is gaining speed quickly and is a real contender in the Cloud Space.
Microsoft has integrity
Microsoft detected and helped block attempts to interfere with the 2018 election. In the words of an executive, Microsoft turned down deals if it impacted user rights and privacy. Microsoft has emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition. But unlike their counterparts, they’re seeking Congressional oversight because they know the technology could be used in nefarious ways.
This kind of integrity isn’t what you see in Silicon Valley. As NPR indicated, Microsoft has taken on a new role — departing wisdom to younger technology companies.
Microsoft gives back
The company has a strong philanthropic presence — employees believe in giving back. But it’s more than that. Microsoft has something else its competitors don’t have — Bill Gates as its founder. Known worldwide for his philanthropy, Bill Gates’ brand adds to the empathy that Microsoft has embraced and cultivated.
Just last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $4.8 billion away. It’s why they’re known as the most generous Americans. (By the way, the total money they’ve given away is $36 billion.)
That kind of goodwill gives the Microsoft Brand a boost, especially since none of the other technology founders can compare.
That’s why Microsoft is #1
Integrity, accessibility, philanthropy, a culture of caring, and technology chops have all made Microsoft the #1 technology company for 2018. It’s well deserved. Other companies would do well to embrace this style of leadership. It may even help their bottom line … as this brand has helped Microsoft.Our company was founded by Microsoft alumni. We’re proud to be associated with Microsoft, delivering great SharePoint intranets.