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Microsoft tops list of most ethical companies in poll of Americans

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft took the number one spot in a poll of Americans to rank how companies perform on issues that matter to them.
  • Microsoft topped a list of 922 total companies, and beat out 51 other companies in the software industry.
  • Companies were ranked on issues related to workers, customers, communities, the environment, and shareholders.

Americans see Microsoft as the most ethical company on issues that matter to them, according to the results of a poll released by non-profit group Just Capital today (via CNN). Overall, Microsoft topped a list of 922 total companies and beat out 51 other companies in the software industry.

Just Capital polled 4,000 Americans on how they rated companies based on a number of factors, including how they treat their workers and customers, support their communities, reduce their environmental impact, and deliver value to their shareholders. Each category is broken up into several questions, with each weighted differently to influence the total ranking.

Overall, Microsoft scored highly in all categories when compared to the total pool of companies. The company was viewed as doing particularly well in terms of its environmental impact, its support for communities, and its treatment of workers. That's largely due to programs like AI for Earth, donations of billions to nonprofits, and efforts to improve diversity among its workers and offer childcare services.

As for the rest of the list, Microsoft competitors like Apple, Amazon, and Google, took 3rd, 75th, and 6th, respectively, among the total list of companies. Apple and Alphabet took the number one spots in their industries of technology and internet companies. Amazon ranked second among all retail companies.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • Did 4000 respondents really wade through 900+ companies, seriously consider all their corporate responsibility initiatives, and rank them? I'd take this one with a huge grain of salt. It's just a promotional effort for Just Capital.
  • Google 6th, clearly you're right
  • No.
    Do some research.
    I found this on Just Capital “ Just Capital pulls from public reports, company surveys and crowd-sourced repositories. This year, the number of data points collected jumped from 110,000 to 368,000 in 2019 ” If you work with Microsoft at a business level (as opposed to raging keyword consumer warriors) they do come across as very ethical. Licensing is painful, they are pushing (forcing) a subscription mode and out of the box support is terrible [Premier now overpriced required]l - but apart from that, their direction, products, supply chain are all very well managed.
  • It certainly wasn't scroogle.
  • Wait... what? How did I end up on The Onion site? I thought this was Windows Central.
  • I'd hate to think who the runner-up was.
  • c'mon.... i realize over here at Windows Central you are obligated to sling hash for Microsoft on occasion, but good grief.... I'm reading this and I'm reminded of Boar Hunts by Nicolae Ceaușescu (Romanian Dictator).... ergo crazy propaganda. I'm with everyone else who doubts that 4000 respondents, selected to serve as a representative cross section of 330 million Americans (read... not much into reading... not much of an attention span), analyzed 922 companies via multiple criteria to make this determination. Good grief Dan, how can you even regurgitate this fluff?
  • Microsoft will regret this attention. There’s a huge scandal brewing. Big Tech media collusion and manipulation will be the story of 2020.
  • Uh I think for the majority of consumers this is just a contest of who has the most recognizable name. MS has a very well known name and a vastly better reputation than say, Amazon.