Microsoft Social Responsibility and Business Ethics

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Introduction

It all started in the early 1970’s, when two computer enthusiasts Bill Gates and Paul Allen sees personal computer is the key to the future. In 1975 they established their first company, Traf-O-Data, which sold mostly rudimentary computers that recorded and analyzed traffic data. Then after a year later Gates named their partnership as Micro-soft.

In June 1980, Microsoft got their first break through, when IBM contracted Microsoft to develop languages for the PC operating system. Gates and Allen bought an existing operating system from Seattle Computer Products for $50,000, renamed it to Microsoft Disk-Operating System, and modified for IBM’s purpose. Before doing the job for IBM, they made an agreement that they can sell MS-DOS to other companies also. After a while, MS-DOS became the industry’s leading OS. After the successful of DOS, they continued to work on DOS to convert it to graphical user interface and it would work on top of DOS, making it user-friendly by working with icons rather than commands. They named their new operating system Windows, which was a huge success and it still being used around the Globe even today.

By 2010, with more than 90,000 employees and anticipated year-end revenues of up to $38 billion, Microsoft continued to hold a strong lead in the computer software industry.

Social Responsibility

a. Since 1999, Microsoft has worked closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide people in dozens of countries with access to technology tools, skills training and other essential services. Microsoft attorneys have also helped dozens of refugees make a fresh start by providing pro bono legal counsel in hearings before U.S. immigration courts.

In 2007, Microsoft launched Unlimited Potential, which brings together the company’s corporate citizenship efforts and many of its business to significantly broaden the reach of technology where the poor neighborhood could not reach. Unlimited Potential aims to deliver the benefits of relevant, accessible and affordable software to the 5 billion people who today have no access to technology or the opportunities it affords, with a goal of reaching the next 1 billion people by 2015. Microsoft and its employees regularly step up to help those who have been forced to flee their homes, whether because of a natural disaster, war or societal conflict. In addition to donating more than US$11 million in cash and software to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005, Microsoft helped the American Red Cross develop state-of-the-art technology that will standardize the exchange of vital information about people’s welfare in the aftermath of a disaster.

Microsoft also started a charitable foundation called Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Here they create vaccinations for HIV, Malaria, Neglected Infectious Diseases, Pneumonia and Tuberculosis. All of their investments advance the goal of creating solutions that can be deployed, accepted, and sustained in the developing world. To speed the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions, they seek better ways to evaluate and refine potential interventions; such as vaccine candidates; before they enter costly and time-consuming clinical trials. Recently on an interview, Bill Gates mentioned that after his death 90% of his fortune would be donated to charity.

b. Microsoft is very well known for showing global support to the functioning of the current world. Starting from education to even helping the drought victims, microsoft leaves no chances or trace of providing support to the ones in need. Their social process is in initial state now but the amount of social responsibility they have shown to the people, its uncanny to say that microsoft is not best for its products only. But, according to the defination of social responsibilty stated in philosophy, that we all of us have a responsibility to society. And...
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