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THE ARTICLE

Microsoft is one of the best-known companies in the world. Almost everyone uses a Microsoft product. These include the Windows operating systems, Hotmail and MSN, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the Bing search engine. The Financial Times ranks it as the third largest company on the planet. It has created four billionaires and around 12,000 millionaires among its 93,000 employees. The company was founded by Bill Gates in 1975 and slowly became the number one name in computing. It generates over $50 billion a year in revenues. The company website outlines its values as follows: “As a company, and as individuals, we value integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect.”


 

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WARM UPS



 

1. BRAINSTORM CHAT: Write all the words you can think of about Microsoft on the board or on a piece of paper. Talk about these words with your partner(s).

2. MICROSOFT MORNING: Each student pretends to be an employee of Microsoft. They walk around the class and talk about the company and their job.

3. RUMOURS: Each student writes down a pretend rumour about Microsoft. They then walk around the class and talk to other students about their rumour.

4. GOOD AND BAD: Brainstorm good and bad things about Microsoft and write them on the board. Students talk about these in pairs.

5. TRUE OR FALSE: Students find out several facts about Microsoft. They write these down and add the same number of things about the company that are false. Students test each other on which of their points are true or false.

6. FACTS: In groups, students write down as many facts as they can about Microsoft. The winner is the group with the most facts. Teacher may wish to have groups share their facts to make sure they are real.

*  LISTENING / READING GAP FILL

Microsoft is one of the best-known companies in the world. _______________________ Microsoft product. These include the Windows operating systems, Hotmail and MSN, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the Bing search engine. The Financial Times _______________________ largest company on the planet. It has created four _______________________ 12,000 millionaires among its 93,000 employees. The _______________________ Bill Gates in 1975 and slowly became the number _______________________. It generates over $50 billion a year in revenues. The company website _______________________ follows: “As a company, and as individuals, _______________________, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-_______________________ respect.”

*  CORRECT THE SPELLING

Microsoft is one of the best-known companies in the world. Almost everyone uses a Microsoft doctupr. These include the Windows operating ssymset, Hotmail and MSN, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the Bing search engine. The Financial Times ranks it as the third largest company on the elptan. It has created four billionaires and around 12,000 millionaires among its 93,000 speeomley. The company was founded by Bill Gates in 1975 and slowly became the number one name in tgimncpuo. It eestagenr over $50 billion a year in revenues. The company website oelnsuit its values as follows: “As a company, and as individuals, we value integrity, steyonh, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-citcimsri, continual self-improvement, and mutual epsertc.”

*  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

Microsoft known of companies the in best is - one the world. everyone Almost product Microsoft a uses. These systems Windows include operating the, Hotmail and MSN, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the Bing search engine. third the as it ranks Times Financial The largest company on the planet. It has created four billionaires 000 among around , its 12 and millionaires 93,000 employees. The company was founded by Bill Gates became slowly and 1975 in one number the name in computing. It generates over $50 billion a year in revenues. values The website its as company outlines follows: “As a company, and as individuals, we value integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, continual constructive - , self self criticism-improvement, and mutual respect.”

*  INSERT THE VOWELS

M_cr_s_ft _s _n_ _f th_ b_st-kn_wn c_mp_n__s _n th_ w_rld. _lm_st _v_ry_n_ _s_s _ M_cr_s_ft pr_d_ct. Th_s_ _ncl_d_ th_ W_nd_ws _p_r_t_ng syst_ms, H_tm__l _nd MSN, MS W_rd, _xc_l _nd P_w_rP__nt, _nd th_ B_ng s__rch _ng_n_. Th_ F_n_nc__l T_m_s r_nks _t _s th_ th_rd l_rg_st c_mp_ny _n th_ pl_n_t. _t h_s cr__t_d f__r b_ll__n__r_s _nd _r__nd 12,000 m_ll__n__r_s _m_ng _ts 93,000 _mpl_y__s. Th_ c_mp_ny w_s f__nd_d by B_ll G_t_s _n 1975 _nd sl_wly b_c_m_ th_ n_mb_r _n_ n_m_ _n c_mp_t_ng. _t g_n_r_t_s _v_r $50 b_ll__n _ y__r _n r_v_n__s. Th_ c_mp_ny w_bs_t_ __tl_n_s _ts v_l__s _s f_ll_ws: “_s _ c_mp_ny, _nd _s _nd_v_d__ls, w_ v_l__ _nt_gr_ty, h_n_sty, _p_nn_ss, p_rs_n_l _xc_ll_nc_, c_nstr_ct_v_ s_lf-cr_t_c_sm, c_nt_n__l s_lf-_mpr_v_m_nt, _nd m_t__l r_sp_ct.”

*  PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

microsoft is one of the best-known companies in the world almost everyone uses a microsoft product these include the windows operating systems hotmail and msn ms word excel and powerpoint and the bing search engine the financial times ranks it as the third largest company on the planet it has created four billionaires and around 12000 millionaires among its 93000 employees the company was founded by bill gates in 1975 and slowly became the number one name in computing it generates over $50 billion a year in revenues the company website outlines its values as follows “as a company and as individuals we value integrity honesty openness personal excellence constructive self-criticism continual self-improvement and mutual respect”

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT TENSE

Microsoft .......... (be) one of the best-known companies in the world. Almost everyone .......... (use) a Microsoft product. These .......... (include) the Windows operating systems, Hotmail and MSN, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the Bing search engine. The Financial Times .......... (rank) it as the third largest company on the planet. It has .......... (create) four billionaires and around 12,000 millionaires among its 93,000 employees. The company was .......... (found) by Bill Gates in 1975 and slowly .......... (become) the number one name in computing. It .......... (generate) over $50 billion a year in revenues. The company website .......... (outline) its values as follows: “As a company, and as individuals, we .......... (value) integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect.”

*  REWRITE WITH SPACES

Microsoftisoneofthebest-knowncompaniesintheworld.AlmosteveryoneusesaMicrosoftproduct.Theseincludethe
Windowsoperatingsystems,HotmailandMSN,MSWord,ExcelandPowerPoint,andtheBing
searchengine.TheFinancialTimesranksitasthethirdlargestcompanyontheplanet.Ithascreated
fourbillionairesandaround12,000millionairesamongits93,000employees.Thecompanywas
foundedbyBillGatesin1975andslowlybecamethenumberonenameincomputing.Itgenerates
over$50billionayearinrevenues.Thecompanywebsiteoutlinesitsvaluesasfollows:“Asa
company,andasindividuals,wevalueintegrity,honesty,openness,personalexcellence,
constructiveself-criticism,continualself-improvement,andmutualrespect.”

______________________________________________________________________________

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*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Microsoft is one of the best-known companies in the world. Almost everyone uses a Microsoft product. These ____________ the Windows operating systems, Hotmail and MSN, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the Bing search ____________. The Financial Times ranks it as the third largest company on the ____________. It has created four billionaires and around 12,000 millionaires ____________ its 93,000 employees. The company was founded by Bill Gates in 1975 and slowly became the number one name in ____________. It generates over $50 billion a year in revenues. The company website ____________ its values as follows: “As a company, and as ____________, we ____________ ____________, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and ____________ respect.”

 

 

planet
outlines
value
mutual
engine
computing
integrity
include
among
individuals

*  PROJECT MICROSOFT

Part 1. Your mission is to increase the profits and sales of Microsoft. Complete this  table with your project partner(s):

Main products

 

 

 

How to improve them

 

 

 

A brand new ‘killer’ product

 

How Microsoft is better than the competition

 

How to beat the competition

 

Part 2. Change partners and look at their project. Suggest improvements. Ask for advice on your project:

Part 3. Make a presentation on your project. Give it to the class. Vote the best projects.

*  MICROSOFT – ROLE PLAY 1

Role  A – Microsoft CEO

You believe your company is the best in the world. It pays its workers very well and working conditions are great. Your company is very green – it cares about the environment. You think your levels of customer service are great. Disagree with person B, C and D.

Role  B – Microsoft worker

You think it’s a bad company to work for. You’re very unhappy with pay, raises and bonuses. You are very unhappy with the working environment. You don’t like the company’s policy on the environment. You keep hearing profits are more important than customers. Disagree with A and C. Tell D the truth.

Role  C – Microsoft customer

You are a customer of Microsoft. You used to think it was great, but not now. Its workers are always very rude. No one ever answers the phone. You are shocked about its policy on the environment. You think all staff should get less pay. You disagree with person A and B. Tell D the truth.

Role  D – A journalist

You keep hearing bad things about Microsoft. You want to tell the world in your newspaper. You heard the CEO gets a huge bonus every year. You found a company memo saying profits are more important than the environment. You want to know why so many staff are ill. Find the truth.

*  MICROSOFT – ROLE PLAY 2

Role  A – Microsoft New Products Director

You have created a new product for Microsoft. You believe the new product will be the company’s best ever. It will be a bestseller. There are people who do not agree with you. You need B, C and D on your side. Tell them why this is a product that will bring great things to Microsoft.

Role  B – Microsoft Marketing Director

You think the company’s new product is a really bad idea. It will give your company a really bad name. You think the New Products Director is trying to destroy the company. Try to get him/her to understand there’s no way the new product will sell. Try to get person C and D on your side.

Role  C – Microsoft Market Researcher

You have interviewed thousands of people about the new product. They don’t like it or hate it. You think it will be successful if they make many changes. Tell the New Products Director he/she needs to change the product. You neither like nor trust person B. Disagree will him/her.

Role  D – Microsoft Shareholder

You know a lot about Microsoft’s new product. You are worried it will not sell and share prices will go down. You think A is crazy and must find a new job. You agree with everything B says. You don’t agree with C. The new product should not go on the market.

*  JOB INTERVIEW ROLE PLAY

INTERVIEWER  (Write the questions you want to ask the candidate.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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INTERVIEWEE  (Write questions you want to ask the interviewer.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

*  DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

*  MICROSOFT SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Microsoft in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

*  WRITING 1 – SPEED WRITING

Write anything about Microsoft for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 2 – LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Write a letter to Microsoft. Complain about one of its products. Ask for a refund. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 3 – LETTER OF APOLOGY

Write a letter of apology to the customer. Explain why you cannot give a refund. Show your partner your letter. Correct each other’s work.

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*  HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET INFO: Search the Internet and find more information about Microsoft. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Microsoft. What have they done recently? What are their plans? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. MICROSOFT POSTER Make a poster about Microsoft. Make sure you sell the company to the public.  Show it to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your posters.

5. MY MICROSOFT LESSON: Make your own English lesson on Microsoft. Make sure there is a good mix of things to do. Find some good online activities. Teach the class / another group when you have finished.

6. ONLINE SHARING: Use your blog, wiki, Facebook page, MySpace page, Twitter stream, Del-icio-us / StumbleUpon account, or any other social media tool to get opinions on Microsoft. Share your findings with the class.

ANSWERS

You can check your answers to these activities by looking at the article at the top of this page.

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