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Microsoft doesn’t always get fair treatment. When it comes down to it, they’re a pretty awesome company. They invest huge amounts in research, create innovative hardware and software, develop great applications while supporting everything that’s come before. There’s been enough Microsoft bashing, now it’s time for some love.

Here are five reasons Microsoft is awesome.

Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research is huge. More than 1,000 scientists and engineers — including winners of some of the most prestigious prizes in physics, computer science and mathematics — develop new ideas and try to solve global challenges with the use of technology. Unlike many companies, Microsoft’s research department is not just interested in ways to improve their products now; Microsoft Research works with academics all over the world on real scientific challenges.

Microsoft Research is involved in many diverse areas. They’ve worked on everything from turning first-person action camera footage into smooth hyperlapses to preventing the spread of HIV and pneumonia. They are even beating Google in the Artificial Intelligence race Microsoft vs Google - Who Leads the Artificial Intelligence Race? Microsoft vs Google - Who Leads the Artificial Intelligence Race? Artificial intelligence researchers are making tangible progress, and people are starting to talk seriously about AI again. The two titans leading the artificial intelligence race are Google and Microsoft. Read More .

If a problem can be approached with technology and computers, there’s a good chance someone in Microsoft Research is working on it. That is pretty awesome.

Innovative Products

Microsoft continues to create some of the most innovative products around. They have a long history of building things before their time, only for another company to improve on their work at a later date and succeed. If you can stick a smart in front of it, Microsoft has developed it in the past: smartphones, smart TVs, smart watches and tablets have all been preceded by Microsoft products that came too early.

Even when the time seems right, Microsoft has been burned for being too innovative. The Xbox One is a really great game console Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway The console wars are officially raging, and we've had sufficient time with both of them. That begs the question: how does the Xbox One compare? Read More . Microsoft’s original vision would have made it even better.

When Microsoft announced the Xbox One, they planned to make all the games you bought digital, whether you downloaded them or bought a physical disk. The game would be assigned to your Xbox Live account. If you bought a disk but lost or broke it, it wouldn’t matter, you could just download the game from the Xbox Live Store. The tyranny of scratched games would be over!

Xbox_One_Console_Set

Lending your friends games and sharing them between families were all going to be possible with Xbox Live features. You wouldn’t, however, be able to resell your second hand disks. The copy of the game would be permanently linked to your account PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The Xbox One PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The Xbox One This year's E3 felt almost like it was over before it began. Though the conference lasts for days, both Microsoft and Sony made their announcements before the doors opened, showing not just hardware but also... Read More . For me, and also my colleague Matt this was a fair trade off; to a horde of Internet commenters it wasn’t. Microsoft backed off.

The big issue is that physical media is going the way of the dodo anyway. No current Apple product comes with a built in disk drive. Large software vendors like Adobe are following suit killing off physical media in favour of digital downloads. Microsoft was just bringing this, along with improvements, to the gaming market.

Regardless of the levels of success they’ve obtained, almost everything Microsoft has brought to market has been innovative. The original Xbox, Xbox 360, Surface and Microsoft Azure have all changed the product categories they entered.

Innovative Design

Microsoft has pioneered some innovative software designs. Despite not reaching wide commercial success Windows Phone is a great product MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone This is going to be a tearful goodbye, buddy, but it has to happen. MakeUseOf will soon be parting ways with Windows Phone. Read More . It managed to be beautiful and modern at a time when Apple was still heavily invested in faux-leather and baize. While iOS is back on par with Windows Phone, Android still lags behind with horrendous vendor skins layered on top of an already ugly operating system.

Windows8

Windows 8 was the same. A beautiful design created to bridge the gap between tablets and PCs. With Windows 8 you’re able to have the same user experience on every computing device you own. Unfortunately, Microsoft had the same problem as they did with the Xbox One: being too innovative. Poor adoption and consumer backlash have cause Microsoft to pull back on this vision in the upcoming Windows 10 Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview The Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available to everyone. Some bugs aside, it does look promising. We'll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time. Read More .

Innovation does not necessarily imply success. With new things, Microsoft has always been innovative, but not always successful. Their continued willingness to push despite failing in the past is awesome.

Universal Software

Microsoft Office is a must have if you are serious about business, or work in a large office. While you can substitute Microsoft’s Office suite 9 of the Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives to Microsoft Office 9 of the Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives to Microsoft Office Microsoft Office has dominated the market of text documents, spreadsheets and slide shows for years, and for good reason – it’s one of the very best. However, there’s one drawback and that is the price.... Read More  for personal use, Microsoft’s business applications continue to dominate for professional purposes.

Not only is Microsoft Office universal, it’s also awesome. For example, Excel is a powerful tool 3 Crazy Excel Formulas That Do Amazing Things 3 Crazy Excel Formulas That Do Amazing Things The power of Microsoft Excel lies in its formulas. Let me show you the wonders you can do with formulas and conditional formatting in three useful examples. Read More  with which you can do a long list of amazing things; it’s even possible to make an RPG.

Backwards Compatibility

Microsoft is a massively innovative and forward thinking company, but they also think backwards. No other software company offers the level of backwards compatibility that Microsoft do. Writing on Quora, senior software engineer Nate Waddoups describes the effort Microsoft puts into ensuring that new updates don’t break compatibility with old software:

The Windows team invests a mind-boggling amount of time, hardware, and people into maintaining compatibility. There are bugs in Windows that could have been fixed years ago, but can’t be, because that would break applications that (deliberately or accidentally) depend on those bugs.

The fact you can run some of your old PC games on a Windows 8 laptop with no issues, let alone your important legacy business software, is pretty damn awesome.

Bonus: They Listen

Not many tech companies solicit feedback from their customers. Apple, for example, is famously infuriating to communicate with. On the other hand, Microsoft is actively seeking customer feedback Want New Windows Features? Share Your Ideas With Microsoft & Vote Want New Windows Features? Share Your Ideas With Microsoft & Vote Microsoft wants to know what you would like Windows to look like! Propose and review Windows features to shape the next version of Windows. Read More . They’ve learnt from high-profile missteps and they want your help to make better products. A tech company letting you have your say? That’s awesome.

What do you think; have I missed a reason Microsoft is awesome or am I totally wrong? Let me know in the comments.

Image Credits: Evan Amos via Wikipedia, Microsoft.

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  1. Anonimis4araisin
    October 16, 2017 at 4:22 am

    I beg your pardon, but as for the last sentence in this nauseating article about Microsoft, that it's supposedly, "A tech company letting you have your say..."

    I must staunchly disagree, especially given the fact that Microsoft resorted to outright malicious tactics in order to force users to accept an upgrade to Windows 10 upon its release, and to this day, Microsoft trolls continue to scour it's forums to filter out anyone whom might disagree with their fanciful visions of Windows 10 and it's capabilities for the sake of sticking with Windows 7.

    Microsoft has engaged in all manner of corporate-thuggery over the years and it's sordid history is one that cannot be erased, especially when they are still so defiantly shafting any Windows user that isn't on Windows 10!

    As a corporation and a producer of consumer products, Microsoft should be fully ashamed of it's actions and it's blatant choices to steam-roll the customers they feign concern for, when the fact is, such mantra couldn't be further from the truth.

    Microsoft manipulated hundreds of thousands of customer's into upgrading their machines, and then when caught red-handed, denied any wrong-doing, and only after someone finally filed a lawsuit against them for these egregious acts, did they even concede to a judgement in behalf of the plaintiff in the case.

    To this day, Microsoft is still up to it's old bag of tricks behind the scenes. And make no mistake about it, Microsoft wants you to accept their latest privacy-violating nightmare of an OS, because it pats their ad-business partners on the back and gives this intrusive industry even greater control over access to our personally identifiable information.

    Microsoft, like every other Tom, Dick and Harry of the advertising industry, could care less about respecting citizen's personal boundaries. We are nothing more than products being sold to advertisers.

    Whom we are, where we go, and what we do is increasingly becoming the main-stay for all these so-called SaaS (Software as a Service) models, in which, we are extorted of our rights to protect our personally identifiable information by being forcibly subjected to EULA'a and ToS agreements which are designed to legally protect a companies exploitation of you.

    All this ho-ranging over-reach has gone way too far for way too long. It's about time we start holding their feet to the fire and reigning in these corporate fascist dictators for whom they really are.

    Microsoft is no angel when it comes to this mass-exploitation and they certainly deserve a lot more flack for the malicious Windows 10 campaign they promulgated for the purpose of forcing the users hand to accept something we didn't want.

    Microsoft deserves no commendation from where I'm standing and they will never get it from me period!

    Talk about hitting a sore spot-------This article is just as audacious as Microsoft's blatant disregard for the customers it calls its own.

    Please, don't even get me started on Microsoft's nonsense. I, like many millions of users around the world are so sick and tired of corporate thugs like Microsoft, pushing us around and telling us what to do and manipulating us at any chance they can get.

    Windows 7 is a perfectly good working operating system that can handle just about anything Windows 10 can do, with very few exceptions. The biggest difference of course being that if you stay with Windows 7, you will be able to put a lid on all your information and keep out Microsoft's prying eyes.

    I don't care if some virtual assistant named Cortana has the ability to read my Calendar and look at my personal document to try to make my life simpler-------this is just another Rich-man's trick designed to profit off of our laziness-------a laziness of which, by the way, Microsoft and all the other ad-hideous marketing companies contribute to every single day with their unending and unrelenting mantra of products and services that they feel they need to keep harassing us about as much as possible until we give in and finally spend the money we don't have in the first place.

    They are playing a very deceptive game with us and they're using our lives to do it. When is enough going to be enough of all this nonsense?!--------Really!

  2. Mike
    July 25, 2017 at 3:30 am

    I worked for the "evil empire" (just to see if all the rumors were true decades ago) and the worst things you can say about them are a pale comparison to actually seeing the company in action. They suck so bad on so many levels, I have moved to Linux and will not work for Microsoft again or buy, own, or take from anyone any device that has any Microsoft product= junk-spy-bloat ware on it unless it has been "nuked and paved" and re-installed with just about anything else. I also will use any forum to bash the company and its founder who is a real backstabbing putz. He is one of those people who can give away to charity while mistreating everyone and sundry within his reach. Believe me, I have seen him in action yelling at people for little or no cause. Now he has some high powered PR people "protecting" his image, but before they showed up, in the early days he was a flaming hole and probably still is.