Microsoft Subsidiaries

Microsoft Subsidiaries

Encompassing far more than its iconic Windows operating system and suite of productivity software, Microsoft boasts an awe-inspiring array of subsidiaries, each akin to a distinct celestial body, contributing their unique brilliance to the Microsoft galaxy.

These subsidiaries, ranging from the pioneers of virtual reality to the architects of immersive gaming universes, from the guardians of enterprise security to the weavers of social networking tapestries, merge in a harmonious cosmic dance that propels Microsoft to the forefront of the digital universe.

From 343 Industries, responsible for the iconic Halo franchise, to the security solutions of Adallom; from the virtual reality voyages of AltspaceVR to the programmatic marketing constellations of AppNexus; from the cloud-enhancing prowess of Avere Systems to the narrative-forging worlds of The Coalition — each subsidiary shines as a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to innovation and progress.

Picture, if you will, the astral landscapes sculpted by Compulsion Games, the intellectual cosmos charted by CPTN Holdings, and the multiverse of creativity painted by Double Fine Productions. These subsidiaries are but stars in a constellation, forming a tapestry of innovation and diversity under the Microsoft cosmic umbrella.

Microsoft’s subsidiaries include the following:

  1. 343 Industries
  2. Adallom
  3. AltspaceVR
  4. AppNexus
  5. Avere Systems
  6. The Coalition
  7. Compulsion Games
  8. CPTN Holdings
  9. Double Fine
  10. GitHub
  11. Havok
  12. Id Software
  13. The Initiative
  14. InXile Entertainment
  15. LinkedIn
  16. M12 (venture capital)
  17. Metaswitch
  18. Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd
  19. Microsoft Mobile
  20. Microsoft SwiftKey
  21. MileIQ
  22. Mobility in Harmony Consortium
  23. Mojang Studios
  24. Ninja Theory
  25. Nuance Communications
  26. Obsidian Entertainment
  27. Playground Games
  28. Rare
  29. Revolution Analytics
  30. RiskIQ
  31. Skype Technologies
  32. Sysinternals
  33. Turn 10 Studios
  34. Undead Labs
  35. VoloMetrix
  36. World’s Edge
  37. Wunderlist
  38. Xamarin
  39. Xandr
  40. Yammer
  41. ZeniMax Media

Some Well-known Microsoft subsidiaries


GitHub was established in April 2008 by Chris Wanstrath, Tom Preston-Werner, and PJ Hyett. Initially conceived as a platform to simplify and streamline code sharing and collaboration, GitHub rapidly gained traction within the open-source community. Its user-friendly interface, coupled with features like version control through Git, facilitated collaborative software development and made it an invaluable resource for individual developers, teams, and enterprises alike.

GitHub’s Significance

  1. Centralized Version Control: At the core of GitHub’s significance lies its implementation of Git, a distributed version control system created by Linus Torvalds. Git enables developers to track changes to their codebase, work collaboratively on projects, and seamlessly manage different software versions. GitHub’s platform takes this further by providing an intuitive user interface to manage repositories, issues, and pull requests;
  2. Collaboration and Community Building: GitHub’s influence on collaboration cannot be overstated. It has democratized software development by allowing developers from diverse backgrounds and locations to effortlessly collaborate on projects. This open approach has created countless open-source projects, from small utilities to large-scale frameworks. The platform encourages community engagement, enabling users to contribute to projects they are passionate about;
  3. Showcasing and Portfolio Building: For individual developers, GitHub serves as an online portfolio that showcases their skills, contributions, and projects. Potential employers often review candidates’ GitHub profiles to assess their coding prowess and commitment to the field. This has incentivized developers to contribute to existing projects, as well as to create their own, fostering innovation and skill development;
  4. Workflow Enhancement: GitHub integrates seamlessly into modern software development workflows. Its features like branching, pull requests, and code reviews facilitate systematic development processes. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) pipelines can be easily set up using GitHub Actions, reducing the friction of delivering high-quality software.

Microsoft’s Acquisition of GitHub

In June 2018, Microsoft announced its acquisition of GitHub for a staggering $7.5 billion. This move initially raised concerns within the open-source community about the future of the platform’s neutrality and accessibility. However, Microsoft pledged to maintain GitHub’s independence, keeping it an open platform that supports a wide range of programming languages, tools, and operating systems.

Integration and Enhancements

Under Microsoft’s stewardship, GitHub has seen several enhancements and integrations:

  1. Azure DevOps Integration: Microsoft synergized GitHub with its Azure DevOps services to provide end-to-end development solutions. This integration enables developers to seamlessly connect repositories, pipelines, and deployment processes, fostering a more streamlined and comprehensive development environment;
  2. Visual Studio Code Integration: Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s popular code editor, saw tighter integration with GitHub. Developers can now review, manage, and merge pull requests without leaving the code editor, enhancing their workflow efficiency;
  3. GitHub Actions: Microsoft introduced GitHub Actions, an automation platform within GitHub. This feature allows developers to define workflows, automate tasks, and build, test, and deploy code directly from GitHub repositories. It empowers teams to embrace CI/CD practices with ease;
  4. GitHub Copilot: GitHub Copilot serves as an exemplar of AI-augmented coding, introducing a paradigm shift in how developers approach code creation and composition. Developed collaboratively by GitHub, OpenAI, and Microsoft, it redefines the boundaries of code generation. At its core, GitHub Copilot functions as an AI pair programmer, fundamentally altering the speed and efficacy of code writing. By leveraging the collective intelligence of its generative AI model, Copilot transforms the development experience. It digests contextual cues from both code fragments and accompanying comments, enabling it to suggest not only isolated lines, but entire functions.


Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant, LinkedIn was established with the noble aspiration of fostering connections within the professional sphere and transforming the way people network and interact in the digital age. This commitment to revolutionizing professional relationships eventually captured the attention of Microsoft, leading to its acquisition by the tech giant in 2016 for a staggering $26.2 billion.

At its core, LinkedIn serves as an unparalleled platform that bridges the gap between individuals, companies, and opportunities. It offers a virtual space for professionals to showcase their skills, experiences, and achievements through comprehensive profiles, effectively digitalizing the modern-day resume.

What sets LinkedIn apart is its focus on fostering genuine connections rather than just facilitating friend requests. Users can establish connections with colleagues, mentors, industry peers, and even potential employers, cultivating a network beyond geographical boundaries.

The acquisition by Microsoft injected a new dimension into LinkedIn’s potential. With the backing of a tech conglomerate of Microsoft’s stature, LinkedIn was poised for even greater advancements. One of the immediate areas of integration was the synergistic approach to data analytics.

By leveraging Microsoft’s data analysis and AI expertise, LinkedIn could better understand its user base, providing more accurate insights into career trends, job market fluctuations, and skill demands. This enhances the user experience and empowers businesses and professionals to make informed decisions.

Furthermore, the amalgamation of Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools with LinkedIn’s platform brought about a new level of convenience and efficiency. For instance, the integration of LinkedIn with Microsoft Outlook allows users to seamlessly incorporate their professional contacts into their email communication, streamlining the process of reaching out and collaborating. Microsoft’s cloud services have fortified LinkedIn’s infrastructure, enhancing its reliability and scalability to accommodate its ever-growing user base.

LinkedIn has also broadened its horizons beyond individual profiles. The platform has evolved into a hub for thought leadership, where professionals share insightful articles, industry analyses, and valuable perspectives. This fosters knowledge-sharing and cements LinkedIn’s reputation as a repository of professional wisdom. Moreover, the introduction of LinkedIn Learning, an online education platform, further solidifies the company’s commitment to continuous learning and skill development.

Minecraft (Mojang Studios)

Minecraft, developed by Mojang Studios, stands as a testament to the potential of digital creativity and boundless exploration within the world of gaming. Mojang Studios, a subsidiary of Microsoft since its acquisition in 2014, has taken this sandbox-style game to unimaginable heights, captivating millions of players across the globe and revolutionizing the gaming industry in the process.

Minecraft is more than just a game; it’s a platform for expression, invention, and collaboration. The game’s unique pixelated graphics may have been the initial draw for players, but the freedom it offers keeps them engaged.

Minecraft sets players adrift in a procedurally generated world where they have the power to shape the landscape, build structures, and craft intricate mechanisms. This freedom to build and explore has led to countless impressive creations, from towering skyscrapers to intricate fantasy realms, all crafted with nothing but virtual blocks.

Minecraft’s success isn’t limited to its gameplay mechanics; it’s also about the vibrant community that has sprung up around it. The online multiplayer mode allows players to collaborate on massive projects, share their creations, and even engage in friendly competitions. Countless YouTube channels, Twitch streams, and social media accounts are dedicated to showcasing Minecraft creations, tutorials, and gameplay, turning the game into a cultural phenomenon.

The acquisition of Mojang Studios by Microsoft in 2014 raised questions about the future direction of Minecraft. However, Microsoft’s stewardship has largely been one of empowerment and support. Rather than stifling the creative spirit of the game, Microsoft has sought to enhance it. This is evident through various updates and additions, including the introduction of cross-platform play, which allows players on different devices to connect and play together seamlessly.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s resources have allowed Mojang Studios to explore new horizons within the Minecraft universe. This can be seen with the introduction of Minecraft: Education Edition, a version of the game specifically designed for classroom use, promoting creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving among students. The game’s block-based environment serves as an unconventional yet effective tool for teaching subjects ranging from history to geometry.

Skype Technologies

Founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Skype quickly gained recognition for its innovative Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology that enabled users to make voice and video calls, send instant messages, and engage in conferencing over the internet. This technology not only transformed the telecommunications industry, but also paved the way for Microsoft’s strategic acquisition of Skype in 2011.

Skype’s initial success lies in its user-friendly interface and cost-effective communication solutions. The ability to connect with friends and family globally without incurring hefty long-distance charges attracted millions of users. Furthermore, Skype’s functionalities extended to video conferencing, allowing businesses to conduct virtual meetings, collaborate remotely, and streamline operations.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype for a staggering $8.5 billion was a pivotal move that demonstrated the company’s commitment to enhancing its communication services. Under Microsoft’s wing, Skype was integrated into various Microsoft platforms and products, including Windows, Xbox, and Office, amplifying its reach and influence. This integration was not just about expanding Skype’s user base, but also about enhancing the overall Microsoft ecosystem.

One significant outcome of this integration was the birth of Skype for Business, a platform tailored for corporate communications. Skype for Business amalgamated Skype’s user-friendly interface with Microsoft’s enterprise-level features, catering to businesses’ communication and collaboration needs. This reimagining of Skype showcased Microsoft’s dedication to adapting and optimizing technology for various contexts, from personal to professional.

Skype’s mobile application further extended its usability, enabling users to stay connected on the go. Whether on smartphones or tablets, individuals could engage in high-quality video calls, instant messaging, and file sharing, bolstering the platform’s role in both personal and professional settings.

Security and privacy have been critical concerns in the digital age, and Skype addressed these by implementing end-to-end encryption for its messages and calls. This commitment to safeguarding user data was aligned with Microsoft’s broader security initiatives, reassuring users that their communications were private and protected.

Over the years, Skype has undergone several transformations, including transitioning from its peer-to-peer architecture to a cloud-based infrastructure. This change improved scalability, reliability, and the ability to introduce new features rapidly. Microsoft’s continuous investment in the platform’s development has led to innovations such as real-time language translation during calls, further breaking down language barriers and fostering global connections.

Recently, Microsoft Teams, another communication and collaboration platform by Microsoft, has garnered significant attention. While some speculated that Teams might replace Skype, Microsoft clarified that Skype would continue to coexist, with Teams catering to the needs of organizations, and Skype remaining a versatile solution for personal and smaller-scale communication.

Nuance Communications

Nuance Communications, a pioneer in conversational AI and speech recognition technology, stands as one of Microsoft’s notable subsidiaries, showcasing the tech giant’s commitment to enhancing its capabilities in the artificial intelligence and healthcare sectors. The acquisition of Nuance by Microsoft in March 2022 for $20 billion, marked a significant milestone, reflecting Microsoft’s strategic vision to integrate advanced AI-driven solutions into its diverse portfolio.

At its core, Nuance Communications specializes in developing technologies that bridge the gap between human communication and machines. Its expertise lies in speech recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning, which are crucial components of modern AI systems. The company’s innovations have found applications across various industries, from healthcare to customer service, where its solutions have demonstrated the ability to transform how humans interact with technology.

In the realm of healthcare, Nuance’s impact has been particularly profound. Its AI-powered speech recognition and NLP technologies have revolutionized clinical documentation processes, streamlining the often cumbersome task of transcribing medical notes and records.

Through its Dragon Medical platform, Nuance has enabled healthcare professionals to efficiently capture patient narratives, reducing administrative burdens and allowing doctors to focus more on patient care. This synergy aligns perfectly with Microsoft’s ambitions in healthcare, which aim to empower professionals with innovative tools that enhance patient outcomes and workflow efficiency.

The acquisition of Nuance also aligns with Microsoft’s broader strategy to strengthen its position in the AI market. The company has been actively investing in AI research and development, as evident through its Azure AI platform and cognitive services. By integrating Nuance’s advanced speech recognition capabilities, Microsoft is better poised to create AI-driven solutions that offer enhanced user experiences, whether virtual assistants, transcription services, or other interactive AI applications.

Furthermore, Nuance’s extensive industry expertise and partnerships add value to Microsoft’s ecosystem. For instance, its collaborations with healthcare institutions have validated its technologies and cultivated a network of stakeholders invested in the evolution of AI in healthcare. This network, combined with Microsoft’s global presence and resources, creates a synergy that accelerates the deployment and adoption of advanced AI solutions across various sectors.

Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian Entertainment, a renowned name in the realm of video game development, stands as a notable gem within Microsoft’s constellation of subsidiaries. Founded in 2003 by gaming industry veterans, including Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone, and Chris Parker, Obsidian quickly established itself as a studio capable of creating deep and immersive role-playing experiences that resonate with gamers worldwide. 

The acquisition of Obsidian by Microsoft in 2018 marked a significant milestone, both for the studio and for Microsoft’s growing influence in the gaming landscape.

One of Obsidian’s standout achievements comes from its proficiency in crafting intricate and story-driven RPGs (role-playing games). The studio’s commitment to narrative excellence is evident in titles like “Fallout: New Vegas” and “Pillars of Eternity.” “Fallout: New Vegas,” released in 2010, exemplified Obsidian’s knack for taking established franchises and infusing them with their own creative twists.

The game was widely praised for its branching storylines, morally complex choices, and memorable characters, cementing Obsidian’s reputation as a master of player-driven storytelling.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Obsidian was a testament to the studio’s artistic vision and the potential for growth within the Microsoft gaming ecosystem. This move allowed Obsidian to operate under the umbrella of Xbox Game Studios while retaining its creative autonomy. This collaboration provided Obsidian access to Microsoft’s resources, technology, and distribution channels, enabling the studio to focus more on game development and less on logistical concerns.

Under Microsoft’s guidance, Obsidian continued to flourish. The highly anticipated “The Outer Worlds,” released in 2019, demonstrated the synergy between the two entities. The game retained Obsidian’s signature storytelling prowess while benefiting from Microsoft’s backing. “The Outer Worlds” was lauded for its satirical take on corporate culture, expansive world design, and player-choice mechanics.

Furthermore, the acquisition enabled Obsidian to explore new horizons, such as the evolving landscape of cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass integration. This synergy bolstered Obsidian’s creative endeavors and contributed to Microsoft’s overarching strategy of expanding its gaming services and content offerings.

Avere Systems

Acquired by Microsoft in March 2018, Avere Systems brought with it a unique approach to addressing the challenges posed by ever-growing data volumes and the complex requirements of modern computing environments. This strategic acquisition further solidified Microsoft’s commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions for enterprises grappling with the demands of data-intensive workloads.

Avere Systems was founded in 2008 with the vision of redefining how data storage and management could be approached in a hybrid cloud environment. The company’s expertise lies in developing high-performance file systems and data management solutions that seamlessly integrate on-premises infrastructure with cloud resources.

Avere’s founders envisioned a future where organizations could leverage the scalability and flexibility of the cloud while maintaining the performance and control of on-premises solutions. This aligns closely with Microsoft’s own cloud-first strategy, making the acquisition a natural fit.

One of Avere’s key innovations was introducing the FXT Edge Filer series. These purpose-built appliances acted as a bridge between on-premises data centers and the cloud, optimizing data storage and access.

By employing a combination of solid-state drives (SSDs) and traditional hard drives, Avere’s FXT Edge Filers dynamically cache active data while intelligently directing less-frequently accessed data to the cloud. This accelerated data access and minimized storage costs by judiciously utilizing cloud resources.

Upon integration into the Microsoft family, Avere’s technology was assimilated into Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. This move expanded Azure’s capabilities by integrating Avere’s file system expertise, which became particularly beneficial for customers seeking to optimize storage for high-performance computing and data analytics workloads. The Avere technology stack allowed Azure users to address latency and data access challenges more efficiently, enhancing the overall cloud experience.

Avere’s contributions extended beyond immediate integration with Azure. The company’s approach to hybrid cloud architecture continued to be instrumental in Microsoft’s broader strategy. The hybrid cloud model resonates with many enterprises that aim to balance the benefits of cloud scalability with the need to retain sensitive data on-premises. Avere’s technology facilitates this balance by providing a seamless way to manage data across these environments.

Another significant area where Avere Systems left its mark was in the realm of cloud-based rendering for graphics-intensive applications. By leveraging Avere’s technology, Microsoft Azure was able to offer powerful rendering capabilities in the cloud, enabling industries such as media and entertainment to conduct complex rendering tasks without the need for expensive dedicated hardware.

While the standalone Avere Systems brand eventually faded into the Microsoft Azure portfolio, its legacy lives on through the integration of its technologies and expertise. The acquisition of Avere Systems underscores Microsoft’s strategic commitment to innovation in the realm of hybrid cloud solutions, data storage optimization, and high-performance computing.

The Avere team’s insights continue to shape Microsoft’s approach to tackling the intricate challenges posed by data management in an era defined by the proliferation of digital information.

Double Fine Productions

Established by industry veteran Tim Schafer in 2000, this San Francisco-based game development company has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity, narrative depth, and artistic expression within the gaming medium. Acquired by Microsoft in 2019, Double Fine Productions has become one of the standout subsidiaries under the tech giant’s gaming division, Xbox Game Studios.

The journey of Double Fine Productions is intrinsically tied to the vision of its founder, Tim Schafer. Schafer’s background with LucasArts, known for its innovative point-and-click adventure games, provided him with a unique perspective on storytelling and game design.

This experience laid the foundation for Double Fine’s commitment to crafting captivating narratives and gameplay experiences that defy conventions. Titles like “Grim Fandango,” “Psychonauts,” and “Brütal Legend” showcased Schafer’s penchant for marrying compelling stories with distinctive visual aesthetics.

The acquisition of Double Fine Productions by Microsoft was a strategic move that not only bolstered Xbox Game Studios’ portfolio but also highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to supporting diverse and unconventional gaming experiences.

While Double Fine operates with a degree of autonomy, its alignment with Microsoft has provided the studio with enhanced resources, technical support, and access to a wider audience through Xbox Game Pass. This partnership has enabled Double Fine to focus on its creative endeavors while leveraging Microsoft’s technological prowess.

One of the studio’s most remarkable contributions following its acquisition was the release of “Psychonauts 2.” This game exemplifies Double Fine’s dedication to weaving intricate narratives and inventive gameplay mechanics.

Players are invited into a world where psychic abilities blend seamlessly with a coming-of-age story, resulting in a game that resonates with both critics and players alike. Moreover, the backing of Microsoft allowed Double Fine to invest in higher production values, leading to a visually stunning and polished experience.

The collaborative spirit between Double Fine Productions and Xbox Game Studios extends beyond game development. The studio has been actively involved in events like Xbox’s E3 showcases, where Tim Schafer’s charismatic presence and insightful commentary add a personal touch to the company’s interactions with the gaming community.

This engagement underscores the emphasis that Microsoft places on fostering meaningful relationships with its subsidiaries and promoting a sense of unity within the broader Xbox ecosystem.


From GitHub’s empowering embrace of collaborative coding to Minecraft’s transformation of pixels into entire universes, each subsidiary has transcended its functional role to become a beacon of creativity, connectivity, and community. These entities do not merely exist within Microsoft’s orbit; they influence and resonate across the broader technological ecosystem.

As we reflect on the subsidiaries highlighted — GitHub’s code repositories connecting programmers across continents, Nuance Communications’ speech recognition heralding a new era of human-computer interaction, and LinkedIn’s virtual network of professionals shaping careers — we see a mosaic of ingenuity woven into the fabric of our digital lives.

The culmination of these subsidiaries’ endeavors reflects Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to fostering a landscape of progress. From software development to virtual reality, enterprise security to gaming, these entities stand as a testament to the power of visionary thinking, strategic acquisitions, and the pursuit of excellence.

Yet, this narrative is far from static. As time progresses, new subsidiaries will inevitably join this constellation, and existing ones will evolve in response to dynamic technological landscapes. The galaxy of innovation that Microsoft has cultivated will continue to expand, with each subsidiary carving its trajectory through uncharted realms of possibility.

In essence, Microsoft’s subsidiaries are more than subsidiaries; they are the stars that illuminate our digital voyage. They remind us that pursuing knowledge, collaboration, and breakthroughs is a collective endeavor, transcending corporate boundaries to touch lives, industries, and societies.



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