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Microsoft Competitors and Alternatives: Who Stacks Up Against this Software Giant?

Brent Davis - June 07, 2021

Microsoft Competitors

Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the world and its founder Bill Gates is one of the world’s richest men.

The company began in Redmond, Washington in 1975 and there are over 140,000 people working for Microsoft. 

Microsoft is most well known for its Windows operating system and suite of office applications such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel.

As well as software, the company produces hardware such as phones, PCs, the Xbox gaming console, and other smart devices.

Microsoft Competitors

The company became only the third ever to have a trillion-dollar market cap, alongside its rivals Amazon and Apple.

Microsoft is a publicly traded company listed on Nasdaq under its ticker symbol MSFT. 

In 2020 the company reported revenue of $143 billion and an operating income of $53 billion.

One of the companies more recent services is Microsoft Azure, which provides cloud computing and enterprise solution.

Lets take a look at some of the biggest Microsoft competitors!

Microsoft Biggest Competitors

Personal computing is the main source of income for Microsoft with $45.7 billion in revenue for 2019.

This branch of the business covers things like products and services for consumers and other businesses. 

Microsoft’s operating system, Windows, is the most popular in the world by a very significant margin.

They hold an 88% share of the market with Apple in second place with around 9% for their macOS systems.

Also accounted in the revenues for this division is hardware like the Xbox and Surface devices as well as revenue from the Bing search engine.

Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest-growing parts of Microsoft’s core business that competes with other enterprise solutions.

It competes against companies like Oracle and Amazon Web Services and is currently the 3rd largest operator in this space. 

The Intelligence Cloud business brings in $39 billion in revenue for the company. Its productivity suite of software makes up around $41.1 billion in revenue.

This includes its Office software which it sells to schools, businesses, and individuals. 

Now let’s take a look at some of Microsoft’s competitors and alternatives:

  • Apple – A technology company the specializes in hardware like computers and phones.
  • Amazon – An eCommerce store with its cloud computing division AWS.
  • Google – An American tech company that competes with Microsoft in multiple industries.

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Microsoft Competitors: Apple


Apple is a technology company that was founded by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak in 1977.

They introduced the Mac computer to the market which was known to be superior, but more expensive, than Windows PCs.

The brand has innovated and introduced new products to the market including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and much more.

Apple has become one of the most successful companies in the world and was the first company to have a trillion-dollar market cap.

There are almost 150,000 people working for Apple around the world with its headquarters being in Cupertino, California.

The company reported total revenues of $274.515 billion in 2020 with an operating income of $66.288 billion. 

Apple has released its own suite of office tools to compete with Microsoft Office.

The company has impressive brand loyalty and has introduced lots of new products intended to keep customers within Apple’s ecosystem.

Microsoft Competitors: Amazon


Amazon began as a book retailer in 1994 when it was founded by Jeff Bezos. It has quickly managed to become the most successful eCommerce store in the world.

The company has expanded into multiple different markets and has many business interests that overlap with Microsoft. 

Perhaps the most significant of them all is the cloud computing industry. Amazon’s AWS is the industry leader with a market share of 32% but is followed by Microsoft Azure at 19%.

The company is listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AMZN. It is part of the stock market index the Nasdaq-100 Component.

In 2020 Amazon had reported revenues of $386.064 billion with $22.9 billion in operating income for that year.

Its Amazon Web Services business was responsible for $46 billion for that period. 

Microsoft Competitors: Google

Microsoft Competitors

Google is a technology company that was founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The pair were students at Stanford University and Google started as a search engine called BackRub.

It was rebranded as Google a year later and has gone on to be the number one most visited website in the world. 

Google’s search engine has enabled the company to become a prominent figure in the online space.

Its search engine has a market share of 92.5% eclipsing Microsoft search engine Bing which has a 2.44% share.

Google also has its own cloud computing business that competes with Azure and AWS but is significantly smaller in size.

The company has its own suite of completely free software like Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail.

Google is owned by its parent company Alphabet Inc. which is listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbols GOOGL (Class A) and GOOG (Class C). 

Microsoft’s Advantage

Microsoft’s advantage is the range of products that it offers that can all be integrated with each other.

This creates a Microsoft ecosystem that keeps users invested in Microsoft and its products. 

Windows is the most common operating system by a large margin, which means most people in the world use Microsoft technology.

Microsoft’s hardware tends to be high-quality and competitively priced. Particularly when compared with Apple, which is more costly. 

Microsoft is a highly innovative company that spends a lot of money on research and development.

This means that they can introduce new products to the market and keep capturing new business.

Microsoft’s Biggest Competitors: Final Thoughts

Microsoft and its rivals have a diverse range of interests. Although there are many areas where this overlaps they all have separate interests too.

The most hotly contested industry for these companies is cloud computing and enterprise solutions.

Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are investing heavily in these divisions.

As more businesses go digital, this industry will continue to grow and Microsoft have the name recognition and reputation for quality to keep acquiring new customers.


Brent Davis has been writing about the financial markets for 10 years and worked in research for the last five years at a Fortune 500 company. Brent's investing strategy is to buy high-quality companies and then let compounding do its thing.