In the 2021 “Best & Worst Companies” selection, two “Meta Universe” companies topped the list

Every December, Yahoo Finance selects the "Best Company of the Year" based on the market performance and achievements of that year. This year it also added the "Worst Company of the Year" based on public opinion surveys.

The best of the year was won by Microsoft, and the worst of the year went to Meta.

Let me talk about Meta's "Reason for Award" first.

Yahoo Finance's open-ended survey on the "Worst Company of the Year" was published on the official website from December 4 to 5. There were dozens of nominations and 1541 respondents voted.

Meta leads with 8% of the votes, and it is not liked for many reasons.

The first is the poor performance of various Meta products. The social platform Facebook spreads major misinformation, false information and hate speech; the photo-sharing application Instagram affects the physical and mental health of children and young people.

It is worth mentioning that in recent months, Facebook whistleblower and former Facebook engineer Frances Haugen has made a series of allegations against Meta, claiming that the company ignored security issues for growth, such as user data leakage and algorithmic incentives based on participation. Split content and so on.

▲ Frances Haugen. Picture from: Getty Images

Secondly, Meta faces an antitrust investigation . The Federal Trade Commission said that Meta’s acquisition of competitors such as Instagram and WhatsApp disrupted competition and is suspected of monopolizing the social media market. The commission is now seeking to break up the social media giant.

The results of the selection may support one of the major reasons Facebook changed its name to Meta—cutting past scandals and reshaping its brand image. About 30% of participants thought it could save itself. One interviewee stated that Meta needs to apologize for what it did, and donate a “significant amount” of its profits to the foundation.

For investors among the participants, one way for Meta to save itself is obviously to increase the stock price. The stock has risen 22% so far this year, but is down about 13% from its September high.

Meta did not respond to Yahoo Finance's request for comment.

Let us look at the best Microsoft of the year, which is mainly judged from the perspective of market performance and sustainability.

In the past 52 weeks, Microsoft’s stock price has soared 45%; in the past 12 months, Microsoft reported revenues of US$176 billion, a year-on-year increase of nearly 20%; as of December 6, Microsoft’s market value reached 2.4 trillion Dollar.

46-year-old Microsoft, with the world's leading Windows desktop operating system, cloud market share second only to Amazon, the world's largest professional social network LinkedIn, and Slack's competitor Microsoft Teams, it is still expanding new business and thriving.

Analysts believe that Microsoft's cloud platform is the key to its $2.5 trillion market value. In 2010, Microsoft launched Azure, which is now one of the largest cloud providers in the world, providing cloud-based Office, IT infrastructure, web hosting services, and more. Currently, only 30% of Microsoft's enterprise installation base is transferred to the cloud, so the future potential is huge.

Satya Nadella, who has served as the third CEO of Microsoft since 2014, was the head of the cloud business. When he took over the Microsoft that missed opportunities in search and mobile, he bet on the cloud business.

▲ Satya Nadella. Picture from: wiki

At the same time, Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based cross-platform office software that provides multiple services based on the cloud platform. Office 2021 provides a buy-out purchase plan, but the two are different in function. The subscription system also brings Microsoft Here comes revenue growth.

▲ Part is different.

In addition to cloud services, Microsoft has diversified business units.

LinkedIn , which Microsoft acquired in 2016, has approximately 800 million members. This is a niche social network than Facebook. It is business-centric. When Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were slammed by legislators and privacy advocates, LinkedIn The same torture was largely avoided.

▲ Picture from: Getty Images

This is not to say that LinkedIn has no problems. Earlier this year, the public data of about 700 million LinkedIn users was captured by some commercial companies.

But it looks better under the background of peers. Snapchat, Twitter, and Meta all rely heavily on advertising and try their best to predict consumer demand. And LinkedIn is not just an advertising platform, it also provides targeted paid services, which account for about 6% of Microsoft's total revenue in fiscal 2021.

In April of this year, Microsoft acquired AI pioneer Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion. Nuance is a cloud computing and AI software leader with decades of experience in healthcare and enterprise AI.

Microsoft has also set foot in Metaverse, providing Mesh for Teams solutions for online office. It combines the mixed reality function, allowing people to log in virtual identities through any device such as smart phones, laptops, mixed reality headsets, and share the holographic office experience, making remote and hybrid meetings more collaborative and immersive.

▲ Mesh for Teams.

In addition, Microsoft is digging deeper into its gaming business through Xbox Game Pass, which is supported by Microsoft's own cloud server.

▲ Xbox.

It is also worth noting that Yahoo Finance believes that because of its more open nature-we can find Microsoft products on most operating systems-Microsoft has won a lot of praise in the entire technology industry. Hovenkamp, ​​an antitrust scholar, pointed out that "The Windows operating system is absolutely open, which is like a bazaar."

Microsoft was caught in an antitrust lawsuit by the Department of Justice in 1998. The case mainly focused on Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, which was bundled with Windows, leading to the exit of competitors such as Netscape.

In 2002, Microsoft agreed to make it easier for consumers to use competitor software. But this long case is a long-term cloud for Microsoft, which partly caused Microsoft to adopt a conservative strategy for a long time, and even missed the wave of the mobile market.

At least for now, the successful transformation of Microsoft is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Wedbush analysts believe that "Microsoft has begun to be re-evaluated as a cloud company, and is no longer your grandfather's Microsoft."

Finally, it needs to be emphasized that Yahoo Finance did not directly compare the two companies, and their selection criteria are also different. One is based on market performance and the other is based on public opinion surveys.

▲ Reference materials:

Grapes are not the only fruit.

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