Both The Microsoft Corporation and Apple Computers, Inc. have become names with which the public is familiar. Both companies have many divisions, and both must manage extensive assets and liabilities. Since both companies report large amounts of income, the matter of accounting checks and balances becomes more complicated than many smaller companies, but equally as important. Financial reports and the audits of these reports are public information and serve to provide a process to decrease errors and omissions and questionable accounting practices. History of Microsoft and Apple
Microsoft. The idea of Microsoft was born in the minds of Bill Gates and Paul Allen while Bill Gates was still in college at Harvard in 1975. By the end of 1975, a company was created with three employees, including Gates and Allen. On November 26, 1976, Microsoft was officially born (although the application stated it had been in continuous use since November of 1975). Gates and Allen shared the top title until 1977, when Gates became President and Allen became Vice President of Microsoft. By this time, Microsoft has nine employees with revenues of over $381,000 for the year. In 1979, they moved their headquarters from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Bellevue, Washington and later to Redmond, Washington. It was also during this time that Microsoft moved into the European markets and signed Vector International from Belgium to represent Microsoft.
In 1986, Microsoft’s first initial public stock offering was in March of 1986. The stock closed at $27.75 per share. This has made four top executives billionaires and over 12,000 of Microsoft’s employee’s millionaires. Microsoft’s stock symbol is NasdaqGS: MSFT. Microsoft develops, manufactures and licenses computer software and computer hardware along with publishing, video games and research and development. Microsoft’s sales at the end of its fiscal year 2008 were over $40 billion. During Microsoft’s rise to the top, they had a competitor, which is still their top competitor even today. That competitor is Mac’s Apple.
Apple. Apple, Inc., is Microsoft’s biggest competitor in designing and developing computer software. Apple was started in April of 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. In January of 1977, Apple was incorporated but without Wayne. On September 7, 1984, Apple had its first initial public stock offering. It was also during this year that the Macintosh computer was introduced. 1985 brought some turmoil with the new CEO John Sculley and Steve Jobs, and Jobs was removed from his position with Apple. After many tumultuous years and mismanagement, Apple brought back Jobs as a consultant in 1996. In July 1997, after the CEO was let go, Jobs resumed his position as CEO.
In May 2001, Apple opened its first retail store and later that year introduced the IPOD, which became a huge success for Apple, along with the release of the iMac computer. By 2006, Apple was using Intel chips solely for its computers. On January 9, 2007, Apple released the iPhone and Apple TV, which made Apple’s stock soar to over $100 per share. The company headquarters are in Cupertino, California, and Apple’s stock symbol is NASDAQ: AAPL. Apple is an international company with worldwide sales of over $32 billion at the end of Apple’s fiscal year 2008. The CEO/Chairman’s Report
Microsoft. The CEO of Microsoft is currently Steve Ballmer. He addressed the stockholders at the Consumer’s Electronic Show (CES) discussing the economy. He said that “there’s an expectation of scaling back instead of pushing forward, but he believes the innovations in technology should and will continue unabated” (TechRepulic, 2009). Ballmer sees the future looking good despite the rocky economy. The phone, TV, and computer will soon be one with the new Windows 7 leading the way. Microsoft has signed a deal with Dell to pre-install Windows Live...