Elite Companies and University to Visit on the Trip

MicroSoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is an American multinational corporation headquartered in
Redmond, Washington that develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of products and
services related to computing. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975.
Microsoft is the world's largest software maker measured by revenues. It is also one of the world's most
valuable companies.
Microsoft was established to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. It rose to dominate
the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the
Microsoft Windows line of operating systems. The company's 1986 initial public offering, and
subsequent rise in its share price, created an estimated three billionaires and 12,000 millionaires from
Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has increasingly diversified from the operating system market
and has made a number of corporate acquisitions. In May 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype Technologies
for $8.5 billion in its largest acquisition to date.
As of 2012, Microsoft is market dominant in both the PC operating system and office suite markets (the
latter with Microsoft Office). The company also produces a wide range of other software for desktops
and servers, and is active in areas including internet search (with Bing), the video game industry (with
the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles), the digital services market (through MSN), and mobile phones (via the
Windows Phone OS). In June 2012, Microsoft announced that it would be entering the PC vendor market
for the first time, with the launch of the Microsoft Surface tablet computer.
In the 1990s, critics began to contend that Microsoft used monopolistic business practices and anticompetitive strategies including refusal to deal and tying, put unreasonable restrictions in the use of its
software, and used misrepresentative marketing tactics; both the U.S. Department of Justice and
European Commission found the company in violation of antitrust laws.
Google, Inc.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is an American multinational corporation which provides Internet-related
products and services, including internet search, cloud computing, and software and advertising
technologies. Advertising revenues from AdWords generate almost all of the company's profits.
The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while both attended Stanford University.
Together, Brin and Page own about 16 percent of the company's stake. Google was first incorporated as
a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19,
2004. The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and
make it universally accessible and useful" and the company's unofficial slogan is "Don't be evil". In 2006,
the company moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships
beyond the company's core web search engine. The company offers online productivity software
including email, an office suite, and social networking. Google's products extend to the desktop as well,
with applications for web browsing, organizing and editing photos, and instant messaging. Google leads
the development of the Android mobile operating system, as well as the Google Chrome OS browseronly operating system, found on specialized netbooks called Chromebooks. Google has increasingly
become a hardware company with its cooperation with major electronics manufacturers on its high-end
Nexus series of devices and its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May 2012, as well as the construction
of fiber-optic infrastructure in Kansas City as part of the Google Fiber broadband Internet service
Google has been estimated to run over one million servers in data centers around the world, and
process over one billion search requests and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every
As of September 2012 Alexa listed the main U.S.-focused google.com site as the Internet's most visited
website, and numerous international Google sites as being in the top hundred, as well as several other
Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogger. Google also ranks number two in the BrandZ brand
equity database. The dominant market position of Google's services has led to criticism of the company
over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship.
Adobe Systems Inc.
Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational computer software company founded in 1982
and headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. The company has historically focused upon the
creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more-recent foray towards rich Internet
application software development.
Adobe was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, who established the
company after leaving Xerox PARC in order to develop and sell the PostScript page description language.
In 1985, Apple Computer licensed PostScript for use in its LaserWriter printers, which helped spark the
desktop publishing revolution. The company name Adobe comes from Adobe Creek in Los Altos,
California, which ran behind the houses of both of the company's founders. Adobe acquired its former
competitor, Macromedia, in December 2005, which added newer software products and platforms such
as ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Flash and Flex to its product portfolio.
As of 2010, Adobe Systems has 9,117 employees, about 40% of whom work in San Jose. Adobe also has
major development operations in Orlando; Seattle; San Francisco; Lehi, Utah; Minneapolis; Waltham,
Massachusetts; and San Luis Obispo, California in the United States; Ottawa, Canada; Hamburg,
Germany; Noida and Bangalore, India; Bucharest, Romania; Basel, Switzerland; and Beijing, China.
The Boeing Company
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation. Founded in 1916
by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington, the company has expanded over the years, and merged
with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing moved its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago,
Illinois, in 2001. Boeing is made up of multiple business units, which are Boeing Commercial Airplanes
(BCA); Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS); Engineering, Operations & Technology; Boeing Capital;
and Boeing Shared Services Group.
Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, and the third largest aerospace and defense
contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue. The company is the largest exporter by value
in the US, and its stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Valve Software
Valve Software or simply as Valve, is an American video game development and digital distribution
company based in Bellevue, Washington, United States. Founded in 1996 by former Microsoft
employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington, Valve became famous from its critically acclaimed HalfLife series, (the first game released in November 1998). It is also well known for its social-distribution
network Steam and for developing the Source engine, which has been used in every Valve game since its
introduction in 2004.
Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of
Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United
States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m). Mt. Rainier is
considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list.
Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that
would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.
Starbucks Corporation is a global coffee company and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington.
Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 19,972 stores in 60 countries, including
12,937 in the United States, 1,273 in Canada, 971 in Japan, 790 in Great Britain, 657 in China, 453 in
South Korea, 356 in Mexico and 276 in Taiwan.
Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, coffee beans,
salads, hot and cold sandwiches and panini, sweet pastries, snacks, and items such as mugs and
tumblers. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also
markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality
of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.
From Starbucks' founding in later forms in Seattle as a local coffee bean roaster and retailer, the
company has expanded rapidly. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening a new store every workday, a pace
that continued into the 2000s. The first store outside the United States or Canada opened in the mid1990s, and overseas stores now constitute almost one third of Starbucks' stores. The company planned
to open a net of 900 new stores outside of the United States in 2009, but has announced 300 store
closures in the United States since 2008.
University of Washington
University of Washington, commonly referred to as UW or Washington or informally UDub, is a public
research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, UW is one of the oldest
universities on the West Coast. The university ranked 16th among the world top 500 universities by
Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and ranked 25th in reputation among the 100 world
best universities by Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.
The university has three campuses: the largest in the University District, Seattle and two others in
Tacoma and Bothell of Seattle metropolitan area. Its operating expenses and research budget for fiscal
year 2012 totaled more than US$ 7.2 billion The UW occupies over 500 buildings, with over 20 million
gross square footage of space, including the latest University of Washington Plaza consisting of the
325 ft UW Tower and conference center.
University of Washington is a Public Ivy institution and an elected member of the American Association
of Universities. University of Washington has been ranked in the top 20 worldwide since 2003 and the
university's research budget is among the highest in the United States. In athletics, the university
competes in the NCAA Division I Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12).