Microsoft Steve Ballmer
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Microsoft tops lists as both a global brand leader and most inspiring company in America

When you ask people their thoughts on Microsoft you’ll get a variety of responses depending on the person. You and I might see a company with innovative products like the Xbox One, Windows Phone, Azure and the Surface family of devices. Someone off the street might remember the monopolistic giant from the 1990s. Others will see an uncool technology company compared to the likes of Apple and Google. Everyone has their prejudice when it comes towards the Redmond company.

But when you look at the population as a whole you get some interesting results when it comes to Microsoft’s perception as a global brand and how it stacks up as an inspiring company. As a brand which do you think is bigger, Microsoft or Disney? As a company who is more inspiring, Microsoft or Google? The results may surprise you.

Microsoft: America's most inspiring company

Performance Inspired, Inc. is a consulting and training firm that puts out the Forbes Most Inspiring Companies list. So where did Microsoft rank as an inspiring company compared to the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and others?

Number one. According to the research and market studies, Microsoft is the most inspiring company in the US. In second place was the Walt Disney Company and third was Walmart. Google came in at 7th, Amazon at 8th, and Apple was in 12th place.

What puts Microsoft on top? Microsoft is an incredibly charitable company, especially the employees. Inside Microsoft there’s the employee Giving program. Microsoft will match whatever dollar contribution an employee matches. The program has raised over $1 billion dollars for charities since its inception in 1983. Nearly 65% of Microsoft’s workforce participates in the program which has helped over 31,000 nonprofits over the years.

Kudos to Microsoft and their employees on topping the list as the most inspiring company in America.

Leading global brand

Best Global Brands

While we’re raising the Microsoft flag, we might as well highlight another recent win for the company. Interbrand is a global branding consulting group and is now one of the largest with 42 offices across 28 countries. They started out in 1974 and publishes the annual Best Global Brands list. This list looks and valuates a brand’s financial performance, role, and strength. Microsoft isn’t number one on this list, but sits fairly high up in the number 5 spot. Who’s ahead of Microsoft? Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, and IBM in order of rank. Nokia clocks in at number 57.

Interbrand praised the recent moves to streamline the portfolio under the “One Microsoft” vision to become a devices and services company. But they did warn that how Microsoft as a brand needs to be responsive to the changing mobile landscape as it pushes forward.

Again, congrats to Microsoft for staying in the top 5 for the best global brands.

Source: Forbes, Best Global Brands – Microsoft, Top 100 list, Via: GeekWire

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Reader comments

Microsoft tops lists as both a global brand leader and most inspiring company in America

104 Comments

Coca Cola tops the list for 13 years.  News media response for 13 years .... crickets chirping
Apple tops the list this year.  News media response:  FRONT PAGE NEWS EVERYWHERE!  WOO HOO APPLE!
Microsoft is America's most inspiring company:  News media .... crickets chirping
 

Yeah, they're like Robin Hood, they rob the rich and give to the poor. Did you read the article 65% of MS employees donate to charity  and MS matches their contributions raising over 1 billion dollars. This also does not include all of the philanthropy work and donations given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Apple on the other hand doesn't even come close and should honestly be viewed as Apple$ instead of Microsoft being viewed as M$ (because they give back, not biting the hand that feeds them like Apple$ does). I don't dislike Apple, I just dislike dishonest, close-minded people like you!

Ok I never wrote anything that you went potraying me as Narrow minded.
1. Apple does Donations and charities for AIDS, Cancer, sponsors LGBT Parades and many many others but they dont overhaul their donations made like a gentleman.
2. Apple is helping differently abled ppl by developing a new technology for their arms or legs.
3. Apple is also developed apps to save the endangered Languages and almost 2000+ languages died in last 100 years. Apple is doing an initiative to save them.
4. Donation is a good deed but not a competition to be won, it should always be discreet, not shouted loudly in public.

You are sounding like a person who says even a low end car has space for 5 ppl and so does a BMW, so you start to curse them... Pssh... pls Its about luxury, premium products and great services + goodwill.
Not about making advertisments to say you're Scroogled or Siri voicing out Oops I dont have that feature(as if Microsoft has Voice assitant even Symbain had a better Voice Assistant with much more commands :D )..

the key word is "inspiring."  Microsoft has been very good for charities.  It also has some of the best dividends that they give back to their shareholders.  Meanwhile, Apple sits on billions and is extremely stingy about dividends which they didn't even agree to give until Apple shareholders started revolting and suing the company.
Bill Gates has donated "unheard of" amounts of money to try and make the world a better place.  Steve Jobs barely gave any money away.  There's no point in taking your money to the grave.  Do some good with it when you can, when you have the opportunity.

Give me your bank account number I'll ask MSFT Apple Google Amazon to give you some money & lets how much of it you'd donate and to whom... 
Just have to blame and point finger at someone not doing something which even you yourself wont. Go up and read where apple donates and Donation is donation not a competition. So hold it right there, its their money and their pocket.

Because the media has a stake at Apple. Why do you think CNN posts front page article about Apple once a week?

F*&$ Apple. I refuse to use their products. MSFT offer better integration, usability & affordability. Windows/WP 8 is just slick

HEY Guys (and gals), take a chillpill. We are not talking about whats yourfavorite game here. We are talking about who is the most inspiring company. I have used Apple products for a couple of years and have moved on. Thats different. But  we all know where apple was as a company in the 90's. from there, starting with a single product called iPod, and turn the whole company around and along the way be a trend setter in the entire mobile industry is nothing short of "inspiring". infact tahts an understatement.
You and I, as individuals, can change jobs, careers or even marriages. we are nimble. for multi billion dollar companies to turn their fortune around, is not simple. only people like Jobs (Apple), Mulally (Boeing/Ford) now Balmer in Microsoft can truly relate to. Whether or not i use another iProduct, but the respect for that inspirational turnaround will ALWAYS be there.
 

Steve Jobs return to Apple and turning it around was inspiring. But Apple and it's employees are not known for their charitable nature and giving back. Which is one reason why Microsoft is so highly regarded. They even offered charity to Apple when they were struggling!

I think most inpiring title takes into account how much the company gives back to the community. Not just inspiring product. Also Microsoft is the company that put computers into every home and made it affordable. I remember Apple adamant about selling only 3000+ computers. I couldn't afford then. Even today Apple has huge margins for their Macs. But I see that Apple changed a lot under Steve Jobs. But I still get pis$%$d off with Apple for not supporting siri for ipad2. They want to milk money from us in every way possible. 

Did you forget that Microsoft pulled back Apple from bankruptcy during that same turn around phase that you hail so much? It makes Microsoft twice more inspiring a company against Apple's lawsuits against everything that moves. Inspiring Apple my a$$

You may recall that Apple sued Microsoft for stealing Windows - and lost. Then Apple were sued and lost.  Who sued Apple?  Those nasty Beatles - who owned the brand "Apple".  According to a court judgement, Apple stole their own name.  How inspiring is that?

Truely Microsoft turn Apple around, if microsoft did not bail them out they would have may be sink.
However, we still have to praise them because they make good use of the money and become one of the top 5.

You and 80% of the people in every market they are in (except iPod-but that's a dead product). So Smile and be happy. The media may trumpet Apple but the truth is they have lousy and declining market share period.

You sir, have my vote. I'm going to get a Surface pro 2 and I want to see, I WANT TO SEE how many people come at me with their overpriced, bitchass Macs!

I love WP, but the reality is that we can hate on Apple, and Google, all we want, but we will remain the minority for some time to come.. We're better off focusing on our own efforts..

Amen.... Well said. And after reading Nilay's article on The Verge, I was so down...... I needed this.... ;) 

Geat! Now they should release updates to wp without needing the "approval" of carriers for certain phones :p

Yes!  Microsoft needs a "signature" phone with no carrier crapware (like they do with some PCs) that they can push updates to directly.  Being a former iOS user, that is probably the only thing that I miss.  When Apple releases an update, it is available to everyone at the same time.  Although, I really hated the feature fragmentation like no Siri for the iPhone 4.  Turns out it was a crappy feature anyway, still technically in Beta.  Can't wait for Cortana to kicks Siri's a$$!

This signature phone should be a "Surface" phone built by MS, but they're too worried about how non-supportive OEM's like Samsung & HTC, who don't support their WP devices very well. For example, The HTC 8X is a thin sleek device, but no attachable battery pack, wireless earbud, etc. This phone could have been so much more with adequate marketing and HTC backing trying to assist in bringing developers to WP, but OEM's like Samsung & HTC honestly shouldn't be allowed to produce a device they don't truly intend to support or promoted; it leaves a bad taste in consumers mouths who purchase it and then feel let down. This is why I say MS should stop worrying about these two in particular. Negociate heavily with Dell for an Alienware WP bringing all big name Xbox titles to WP, Vizio for its design, along with Sony (Let them have their PS4 Hub as long as more people buy WP). It's time to take the gloves off, starting with Surface 2 (a gorgeous device : )

Man, I'd LOVE to have SONY onboard. That would be one more manufacturer I would be throwing my money at.

That's your opinion, there are 100's of thousands who don't share your opinion and what we need is market share no matter what!

The company that invented Polar Fleece was once a very inspiring company. When their factory burned down the Owner continued paying his workers for a year while they rebuilt. Meanwhile every other clothing manufacturer in the world ripped off the Polar Fleece technology, and by the time they got the place rebuilt it couldn't compete with the Industry it spawned. It went bankrupt and everyone lost their jobs, and the small Nee England town that it had sustained was devastated.

Anyone see any parallels here?

Me either. WTF are you talking about?
Oh wait, I apologize. The Tinfoil Hat vendor is over to the left...

Perhaps he sees you and is hoping you'll become a repeat Customer.

Seriously, and with respect, a couple of comments below indicate that some folks understood my point. I guess I was being a little too subtle.

I can see exactly how this pertains to this story, and you used a great example.. Open minds people❕
... Microsoft has contributed so much to the technology that the world use's today, and a large amount of people, who learned from, and built their knowledge of computers from MS, have turned their backs on the company,, not remembering where they came from... Not saying that MS invented the computer, but a lot of our daily comforts are here because of MS, and that deserves some recognition.. MS might not have put the most popular, and low quality might I add, OS in the hands of the majority of smartphone users, but MS definitely deserves more praise, overall, than let's say Google...

No, Microsoft is diversified.....They don't solely depend on windows & office, they're in medical, auto, Azure, and into collection royalties for every Android sale : ) 

I came here because at TheVerge there were to many Apple and Android fanboys criticizing Microsoft. Great to be home again.

Microsoft actually deserves the recognition given all of their philanthropy, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I don't think Apple has anything equivalent.

Yes they do. Jobs ordered himself a $100m yacht that he never got to use and then his family tried to welch on $3m of the designer's bill.
 
Oh wait, that's just selfish outrageous conspicuous consumption. How exactly does this all tie in with Buddhism anyway? I thought Buddhists were supposed to be pretty cool, not money gouging capitalists.

Us Buddhists are cool but we still need to live as well and in case you don't know, you still need money to live.

I am under the impression that the BMGF is funded by B&M's personal fortune rather than from Microsoft, Inc. Is this incorrect?

You might be right, but all of his wealth comes from MS and he represent the company; use your head next time you have something to say!

I did and I'm sure others did too, but not all. Grew to love the OS though.
 
But just for your perspective; this is leading global brand and not specifically related to Windows Phones or Smartphones.
 
57th in a global ranking seems to correlate with Nokia's actual share of the smartphone/phone/wireless infrastructure/navigation markets. It doesn't provide evidence that Nokia as a brand did not help push Windows Phone as you seem to be covertly implying.

That's mostly true, but I for one bought the HTC 8X and I love it. Also, they meant Microsoft as a whole, which means not just WP, but Windows, Xbox, Office, Skype, Bing, AND Windows Phone.

Uuuh guys, I know this is a bit off topic but my Nokia Music won't pin to the start screen. It unpinned itself and now it won't go back. Is this happening to anyone else? Any suggestions as to how I can solve this?

I uninstalled Nokia Music a week ago because I never use it, so I can't say if it's a universal problem.
Try uninstalling and reinstalling, that will probably fix it, you could also try shutting your phone off & on.

I uninstalled mine, and now it wont let me install it back, all of a sudden it's unsupported by my device :(

It's fixed! Apparently the live tile was just black (no idea why) and I just had to unpin and re pin

As a Microsoft employee, this is one area that I'm very proud. MS employees have given so much money to charity over the years. We give back like no other company. Employees even get to choose their charity so they can help out the causes they care most about. For me, it's Big Brothers & Sisters of America. For others, it's the United Way and other charities. Its great to see some good press about this, especially since we just launched this year's Giving Campaign. Here's hoping that this report will inspire even more employees to give back!

Oh...oh my god, a Microsoft employee?!?! Is this how a fan girl feels when she meets Justin bieber!?! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK YOU GENIUS MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just heard a story on the news about how Apple is the number one company in America, but of course, no mention of Microsoft! I'm a WP8 fan(Lumia 822), had the HTC trophy before that. I don't understand the constant bashing of Microsoft. I've used android before and I have a MacBook, but I don't see the attraction to the iPhone. Maybe I'm too old(42)! Most major companies in downtown L.A. use windows computers. Most every architecture firm uses Windows, probably 90% of businesses I know use windows. I don't think they're going away anytime soon, so let's recognize!

Yep when Macintosh was five steps away from bankrupt city, who stepped in to bail them out with 150 million dollars? Yep you guest it Microsoft... Don't believe it? Bing it or better yet a neutral search engine google it lol

Apple is one rotten company which hypnotizes people with their same old phones every year and loots them and their CEO calling 80% of people as junk because they are into other OS's....., A for arrogance.

Google should definitely have won this. It's hard to argue against them when you consider... Oh. INspiring. Nevermind then, I thought it said CONspiring.

Interesting stuff. Especially where Nokia stands. Looks like the loss of the Nokia brand may not be that big a hit as we thought...

Hey, wether I hate Apple, Google or Microsoft.  I'm just happy they are all american companies.  It just goes to show were technology truly comes from.

Bill Gates has contributed a LOT in eradicating POLIO in my country INDIA.
Apple did not
Google did not

I agree that that is indeed something you should count,
Microsoft does a lot for charity and people in general, this is why I pay for
Microsoft products and avoid paying for any other software.