In a year when fellow tech giants were slammed for their role in anticompetitive behavior and spreading disinformation, Microsoft kept its head down and deftly exploited a portfolio of businesses exquisitely tailored to benefit from the global lockdown. The company stock gained nearly 50% over the past year, resulting in a market cap of over $1.7 trillion—buoyed by the company’s Azure cloud-computing business, which helped drive the pivot to working from home, and its recent introduction of Microsoft Mesh, an augmented-reality platform that incorporates holographic experiences into virtual gatherings. Microsoft also doubled down on the turbocharged gaming industry by launching two new Xbox consoles (the Series X and the Series S), and acquiring ZeniMax Media, a leading game developer, for $7.5 billion. Going forward, Microsoft is investing in its high-growth areas, announcing plans to add cloud-data centers in seven new regions in Asia, Europe and Latin America. “What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
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