Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are targets of government investigations and public outrage, facing accusations that they abuse their power in various ways, from exploiting personal information to stifling rivals.

Conspicuously absent from most of that criticism? Microsoft, a tech company worth more than them all.

The software giant, valued at more than US$1 trillion by investors, is no stranger to government scrutiny and public criticism. It endured years of antitrust investigations, and faced a long public trial that almost split up the company. In the end, Microsoft paid billions in fines and settlements, and absorbed humbling lessons.

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