Microsoft, a name in every household, has been dominating the tech industry for more than 40 years now.
It is an American-based multinational tech corporation founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 and went public in 1986.
It comes as no surprise that Microsoft has revolutionized the OS (operating system) market with Microsoft Office suite of productivity software (including Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Edge Web Browser, & Internet Explorer) and Microsoft Windows.
Also, it became the third-ever company to have a market capitalization of $1 trillion after Amazon and Apple in April 2019. Now, Microsoft has a market capitalization of 2 trillion dollars, making it the second most valuable company across the globe.
The company manufactures, licenses, develops, and sells consumer electronics, personal computers, software, and services. With over 180,000 employees, it is the 15th largest public corporation in the world according to the Forbes’ Global 2000 list for 2021.
The tech giant generated a revenue of $ 168 billion as of 2021 and has fetched several patents for its supercomputer algorithm, software development, and innovative technologies.
Throughout its 47-year history, it has acquired over 200 corporations, of which LinkedIn was the most expensive acquisition for $26.2 billion.
Microsoft has forayed into the gaming market as well with the Xbox hardware.
However, the company competes with big names (Samsung, SAP SE, Google) in three key categories, including cloud solutions, PCs, and Business & Productivity processes.
Top 10 Microsoft Competitors and Alternatives
Albeit Microsoft has a competitive edge in the enterprise market, with so many dominant players in the market, it may have to face difficulties to retain its dominance in the long run.
Let’s find out what each of them has to offer and how they are playing a big part in revolutionizing the tech world.
- Headquarters: Mountain View, California.
Google is one of the most powerful and famous competitors to Microsoft. Both of them compete in the business solutions market.
Similar to Microsoft Office 365, Google offers a complete G suite platform including Gmail, Google Drive, and Docs – it is indeed the iconic tech company of the 21st century.
What’s more, the company is vigorously pushing Chromebook adoption that can pose a threat to Microsoft’s Windows solution in the long run.
With its powerful search engine, Google has earned a name in the virtual space and generated a whopping revenue of $181.7 billion as of 2020.
Both the platforms (Microsoft Office 365 & Google Workspace) come packed with tons of features and apps. Nonetheless, Microsoft is a little on the pricier side. Microsoft Office 365 costs around $5 to $57/user per month, while the price for Google Workspace ranges from $5 to $18/user per month.
- Headquarters: Cupertino, California.
Microsoft competes with Apple in the mobile operating system market, business solutions, and hardware. They are the only companies that have been able to fetch a whopping market valuation of $2 trillion.
Apple is one of the most recognizable brands in the tech industry that offer consumer products, including wearables, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod.What’s more, Apple dominates the enterprise market with its iOs platform.
Also, iOs mobile operating system held 17.4% of the mobile operating system market share, and Microsoft Windows had a market share of 34.2% as of December 2021.
Apple welcomed $365.8 billion in revenue in 2021 and is the 2nd most popular operating system worldwide.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Headquarters: Cupertino, California.
AWS (Amazon Web Service) and Microsoft Azure are in a constant battle as they compete in the cloud segment, both want to main their dominance in the market
AWS is a comprehensive clouding solution that offers authentic and scalable solutions and covers over 80 availability zones across 26 geographic regions around the world.
Amazon web service, one of the most famous providers in the cloud computing market, swayed almost 32% market share, whereas Microsoft had a share of 21% in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
The platform offers a suite of essential tools, such as analytical tools, storage services, and computing, to boost business agility.
Microsoft may face a challenge from AWS’ growth and development in cloud computing services because of its low costs and huge client base.
The biggest plus, Amazon Web services offers over 170 features, making it the most popular and comprehensive cloud solution.
- Headquarters: Armonk, New York
With over 364,800 employees, IBM (International Business Machines) is one of the leading business cloud providers.
The company is best known for manufacturing and selling software and computer hardware as well as data analytics and cloud solutions.
What’s more, IBM intends to provide its solutions via multiple channels, including on-premise, hybrid platforms, and cloud-based. Also, IBM generated a revenue of $17.6 billion in the third quarter of 2021.
IBM offers almost everything, from social media analytics to business intelligence products to IoT (Internet of things) to cyber security and what not – an all-rounder.
The tech behemoth offers comprehensive cloud solutions. However, IBM has less than a 2% share in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud market.
Also, almost 47 of the Fortune 50 corporations work with IBM, making it a top competitor to Microsoft.
- Headquarters: Mountain View, California
It is a tech company that creates open-source software, such as bug tracking systems, web browsers, and other internet-related applications.
Today, Mozilla has two organizations, Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Foundation. The latter is a non-profit organization that works with open-source developers.
The company has over 1000 employees and generates a revenue of $450 million each year.
Firefox – Mozilla’s web browser is one of the top competitors to Microsoft Edge with almost 6% market share in the USA market, whereas Microsoft had a share of 11.7%
- Headquarters: San Francisco, California.
Salesforce is one of the strongest competitors to Microsoft in the cloud segment with its CRM offerings. The company offers a suite of tools across different industries like cloud platforms, sales, services, and marketing.
What’s more, the company was the largest software-as-a-service provider globally, with a market share of almost 9.3% as of 2020.
With over 65,500 employees, more than 85% of the Fortune 500 companies use Salesforce solutions/products.
The company also partnered with other tech behemoths, such as Amazon Web Services, to strengthen its dominance in the market by adding more features to its already existing solution for an improved customer experience.
Also, the company brought revenue of $21.25 billion as of 2020.
- Headquarters: San Jose, California
It is a technology company that manufactures and sells networking software and hardware and telecommunication tools.
Cisco offers IT solutions and services that cater to the need of all businesses and help them streamline their workflows to boost productivity.
Also, the company has a market capitalization of around $244.96 billion as of 20th January 2022. Security, automation, and analytic solutions are some of the products offered by Cisco’s software.
Moreover, during the 1st half of 2021, software subscriptions contributed to almost 81% of the company’s total software income.
Also, with an annual run rate exceeding $14 billion, Cisco has become one of the large software providers in the market.
- Headquarters: Hangzhou, China
It is the cloud computing subsidiary of Alibaba – a Chinese eCommerce giant. Online businesses operating on its eCommerce marketplace use its clouding solutions to streamline their business transactions and other processes.
Alibaba cloud had a market share of 2.8% in the cloud computing industry globally as of 2019. Also, it offers products and features at affordable prices.
This Chinese-based cloud juggernaut lags behind Microsoft and Amazon in the infrastructure-as-a-service market with a share of 9%
Alibaba cloud surpassed Microsoft and Amazon concerning revenue growth because its cloud computing solution brought revenue of $2.24 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
Also, the platform contributed to about 38% of the Chinese iaaS market in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
With that, Alibaba’s cloud solution has been giving Microsoft Azure a hard time in the Asian market. That’s because the solution employs CEN (Cloud Enterprise Network), enabling customers to adjust bandwidth and speed across multiple regions.
This feature puts Alibaba cloud ahead of Azure and makes it a popular choice for global corporations.
- Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
Samsung is one of the top producers, especially when it comes to producing consumer electronics and wearables. The tech industry giant aims to shape the world with innovative ideas and technologies, giving people the ability to discover new and improved experiences.
Samsung has more expertise in electronics than Microsoft and generated a revenue of 279 trillion won in 2021.
Also, the company is planning to launch Galaxy Book S and may possibly grab the attention of Surface Dup’s users – hitting Microsoft where it hurts the most.
- Headquarters: Walldorf, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.
It is a German-based tech company known for its cloud-based software products and business suite tools.
The company provides enterprise resource planning software to businesses that help them manage customer retention and business operations.
Also, SAP SE is among the top three German brands with a brand value of $57.8 billion.
The company’s enterprise resource planning software competes with Microsoft Office 365 in the business services industry. SAP SE isn’t just affordable but allows businesses to create tailored systems with advanced features.
What’s more, its solution offers a faster launch time and easily integrates with third-party apps.
Also, S/4HANA, launched by the SAP SE in 2015, offers support for cloud deployment and advanced data analytic tools.
Apart from these, Sony, VMware, Oracle Cloud, Logitech International, and Red Hat are some of the competitors to Microsoft.
Microsoft put emphasis on advanced technologies, including the Internet of Things, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, etc. helping it build a strong foothold worldwide.
It is revolutionizing the tech world, from cloud-based services to gaming to coding to windows to android and whatnot!
In a nutshell, Microsoft is a go-to choice in terms of almost everything(software services, data analytics, etc.) for businesses and consumers.
However, several tech giants such as Salesforce, Google, AWS, and Apple are now investing in research and development to strengthen their position in the marketplace.
Although there are numerous areas where they overlap with each other, they have their own strengths too.