Microsoft

Best known for its Windows operating system and application software, Microsoft continues to ramp up efforts in the online search business.

Microsoft continues to ramp up efforts in the online search business to battle archrival Google's dominance.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company shocked the world when it announced a US$44.6 billion hostile bid to acquire company Yahoo in February. After several failed attempts to buy out the online search and advertising company, the software stalwart says it is "done" with the acquisition idea and has moved on.

In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was close to becoming Verizon Wireless' default search provider, a deal rumored to have been hijacked from Google.

Microsoft also recently revealed that it has hired Yahoo's search executive Sean Suchter as general manager of its Silicon Valley Search Technology Center.

Ranked 136th on the 2008 Fortune Global 500 list, the software giant was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates--a name that is synonymous with Microsoft--and Paul Allen.