Microsoft Corporation 2012 Annual Report


We have operations centers that support all operations in their regions, including customer contract and order processing, credit and collections, information processing, and vendor management and logistics. The regional center in Ireland supports the European, Middle Eastern, and African region; the center in Singapore supports the Japan, India, Greater China, and Asia-Pacific region; and the centers in Fargo, North Dakota, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Puerto Rico, Redmond, Washington, and Reno, Nevada support Latin America and North America. In addition to the operations centers, we also operate data centers throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia regions.

To serve the needs of customers around the world and to improve the quality and usability of products in international markets, we localize many of our products to reflect local languages and conventions. Localizing a product may require modifying the user interface, altering dialog boxes, and translating text.

We contract most of our manufacturing activities for Xbox 360 and related games, Kinect for Xbox 360, various retail software packaged products, Surface devices, and Microsoft PC hardware to third parties. Our products may include some components that are available from only one or limited sources. Our Xbox 360 console and Kinect for Xbox 360 include key components that are supplied by a single source. The integrated central processing unit/graphics processing unit is purchased from IBM, and the supporting embedded dynamic random access memory chips are purchased from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Sole source suppliers also will produce key components of our Surface devices. We generally have the ability to use other manufacturers if the current vendor becomes unavailable or unable to meet our requirements. We generally have multiple sources for raw materials, supplies, and components, and are often able to acquire component parts and materials on a volume discount basis.