Microsoft, a name synonymous with technology and innovation, has had its fair share of ups and downs. However, the company’s biggest turnaround is arguably one of the most remarkable stories in the tech industry. This article will delve into the details of when and how Microsoft made its biggest turnaround, the strategies it employed, and the lessons that other businesses can learn from this tech giant’s journey.

The Early Days of Microsoft

Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft started as a small software vendor. The company’s first big break came in 1980 when IBM chose Microsoft to develop the operating system for its first personal computer. This led to the creation of MS-DOS, which became incredibly popular and set the stage for Microsoft’s dominance in the software industry.

The Rise of Internet and Microsoft’s Struggles

With the rise of the internet in the mid-1990s, Microsoft faced significant challenges. The company was slow to recognize the potential of the internet, and its Internet Explorer browser was losing ground to Netscape Navigator. Additionally, Microsoft was embroiled in a series of antitrust lawsuits, which tarnished its reputation and distracted its leadership.

The Turnaround: Arrival of Satya Nadella

The biggest turnaround in Microsoft’s history began in 2014 with the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO. Nadella, a Microsoft veteran, recognized the need for a cultural shift within the company. He emphasized the importance of a “growth mindset,” encouraging employees to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and continuously seek improvement.

Embracing Cloud Computing

One of Nadella’s key strategies was to pivot Microsoft towards cloud computing. He saw the potential of this technology and invested heavily in developing Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure. This move paid off handsomely, with Azure now being one of the leading cloud platforms globally, competing head-to-head with Amazon’s AWS.

Acquisitions and Partnerships

Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft also pursued strategic acquisitions and partnerships. The company acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016 and GitHub for $7.5 billion in 2018. These acquisitions not only added to Microsoft’s product portfolio but also brought in millions of users. Furthermore, Microsoft formed partnerships with companies like Adobe and SAP, enhancing its enterprise offerings.


Microsoft’s biggest turnaround began in 2014 with the arrival of Satya Nadella as CEO. His leadership, coupled with strategic decisions like embracing cloud computing and pursuing strategic acquisitions and partnerships, helped Microsoft regain its position as a leading tech company. This turnaround story serves as a valuable lesson for businesses, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and strategic decision-making in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.


Alex likes to write about anything related to technology, marketing and gadgets. He sometimes reviews the latest tech and also writes on other blogs.