The Microsoft Corp. is a publicly traded company known for producing and selling the Windows operating system, as well as software programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Explorer. In 2010, Fortune 500 ranked the company as 36th on its annual rankings of America's companies.


Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft Corp. in 1975. The first product the company sold was Microsoft BASIC, a computer programming language system for creating software. The company released its first version of Windows on Nov. 20, 1985.


The Microsoft Corp. has its headquarters in Redmond, Wash. The company operates office locations in more than 60 countries worldwide. Its major operations centers are in Dublin, Ireland; Humacao, Puerto Rico; Reno, Nev.; and Singapore.


As of June 30, 2010, the Microsoft Corp. had 88,596 employees worldwide and owned more than 14 million square footage of commercial real estate around the world. The company's net revenue was $62.48 billion at that time.


The Microsoft Corp. trades publicly on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The symbol "MSFT" represents the company on the exchange.