Remaking Microsoft

Why America's most successful company needed an overhaul

In Corporate America, does it get much better than this? Imagine a 24-year-old company still hotfooting along like some young whippersnapper. Revenues and profits are rising at a 30% clip. Income per employee is an enviable $257,000, vs. an average $17,000 for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. And the company has gone on a spending spree, investing in or gobbling up 92 companies in the past five years. Still, it has $22 billion in cash--more than any corporation in the U.S. Oh yeah--it also boasts the highest market cap of the lot, $414 billion.

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