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Microsoft is, Microsoft are?

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  • User profile image
    davidofmorr​is

    Is Microsoft a Person or a Culture? Legally, a corporation is a person, so Microsoft is a (legal) person.  But Microsoft are not uniformly tied to the corporate entity.  Microsoft are employees, contractors, technicians, developers and evangelists, both inside and outside of the company proper.

    And yet, saying "Microsoft want developers to..." or "Microsoft are hoping for..." feels like an affectation.  Why wouldn't it be "The microsoft want...", like it would be "The french want..."?

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Microsoft is a juridical person. Which is no real person, but makes it easier for the law to target it... That's the only reason why...

    Although that Microsoft is a lot people working for the same goals, or at least trying to hit in the same direction.

  • User profile image
    messerschmi​tt

    Like all corporations, Microsoft is the sum of all its people.

  • User profile image
    davidofmorr​is

    Right, Microsoft is the sum...  But there are people who use the word "microsoft" as a plural noun.  Is that right?

  • User profile image
    AdityaG

    Err... isn't this the case with any company? No one says "The Ford released a new mustang" or "The Apple has a new macbook model now".

  • User profile image
    Ian2006

    davidofmorris wrote:
    

    Is Microsoft a Person or a Culture? Legally, a corporation is a person, so Microsoft is a (legal) person.  But Microsoft are not uniformly tied to the corporate entity.  Microsoft are employees, contractors, technicians, developers and evangelists, both inside and outside of the company proper.

    And yet, saying "Microsoft want developers to..." or "Microsoft are hoping for..." feels like an affectation.  Why wouldn't it be "The microsoft want...", like it would be "The french want..."?



    Microsoft's shareholders own the company partially. If you put (if you can) 50% in shares, then you own 50% in shares after tax etc. but not the name as such or you don't own the CEOs rights entirely. If there are changes planned in a company, then all shareholders get (or -  should get) informed about changes, resulting in a shareholders meeting. So, the shareholders are investors for a company that offers shares. Shareholders can own shares accross as many companies as they see fit, so there is no restriction on how many company shares you hold.

    But to come back to your question. Speaking of "Microsoft has released...", or "Microsoft is doing..." is an expression like; "N.A.S.A.'s plans for 2007are very good...". In both cases the institution and in/corporation are as a whole addressed by someone in person or as entity or corporation etc.

  • User profile image
    davidofmorr​is

    Yes exactly!  Folks usually say "NASA is..." and "Ford is...".  But with Microsoft, I have come across the fashion, in person and in print, of saying things like "Microsoft are working on a new installation framework."  I can't explain it, but that is the usage I've encountered.

  • User profile image
    CyberGeek

    Saying things like "Microsoft are doing this" used to bug me a great deal until I read a certain English textbook of mine. It described that tendency as a difference between American English and British English. According to it, americans say things like "Microsoft is" while most of the rest of the english-speaking world says "Microsoft are." I dunno if it's true, I've found flaws in the book before (it mistook Java for Javascript). There's a lot of UK people on Channel 9, so I'm sure someone will quickly say if I'm wrong.

  • User profile image
    davidofmorr​is

    Yeah no yeah I kinda like it...  So maybe it's not so much a thing about ms as brits? :O

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Microsoft is.
    People at Microsoft are.

    Sometimes the latter is abbreviated as "Microsoft are:"
    People at Microsoft are working on a new feature
    Microsoft is facing a lawsuit

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    From what I was taught, the usage is "Microsoft is ..." - I've always thought the "Microsoft are ..." usage to be grammatically incorrect.  "Microsoft" is a singular entity, not plural.

    Perhaps it's a non-American usage.  But I don't recall ever seeing the "Microsoft are" usage in professional media, only in blog comments and board posts.   So I still think of it as grammatically incorrect, right up there with people who spell "a lot" as one word - commonly used but incorrect.

  • User profile image
    davidofmorr​is

    So can I say "Disney Land choose to enter a state of hypnosis" with the expectation that people will know I'm referring to the people at Disney Land? Expressionless

  • User profile image
    ihova0

    Microsoft is, Microsoft does

  • User profile image
    MikeGalos

    This is one of the differences between British English and US English

    US English treats a corporation or company or group as the singular entity itself so in the US we'd say:

    Microsoft is releasing ...

    UK English treats a corporation or company or group as a plural collection so in the UK they'd say:

    Microsoft are releasing ...

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    MikeGalos wrote:
    This is one of the differences between British English and US English

    US English treats a corporation or company or group as the singular entity itself so in the US we'd say:

    Microsoft is releasing ...

    UK English treats a corporation or company or group as a plural collection so in the UK they'd say:

    Microsoft are releasing ...



    But, because we like y'all, most Brits won't bat an eyelid at either usage. We're just funky like that.
    Smiley

  • User profile image
    ihova0

    Microsoft is not the answer, Microsoft is the question. The answer is no.

  • User profile image
    messerschmi​tt

    davidofmorris wrote:
    

    Right, Microsoft is the sum...  But there are people who use the word "microsoft" as a plural noun.  Is that right?



    Sorry, well i have learned to say/write like they do in UK english, ie "Microsoft are..."  since UK english is the standard for learning english in the non-english world, why do they say/write like that? i dont know. Wink

    Altough i did write is in my previous post, hehe...must be all them us-english forums im posting in.... Cool

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