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Microsoft

Computers - Advanced




T he computer software company known as Microsoft was started by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4th, 1975. Paul quit his job and Bill dropped out of Harvard University to start the company. They made $16,000 in sales in their first year of business. In 1978, just three years later, sales were around $1 million. Although the company was started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bill and Paul both grew up near Seattle, Washington and they decided to move the company closer to home just a few years after its creation. The name Microsoft is a combination of the words microprocessor and software, two important terms in the world of computers.

In 1981 Microsoft created an operating system for IBM’s first personal computer. It was called Microsoft Disk Operation System or MS-DOS for short. Users typed commands onto the screen in order to run programs on the computer. Four years later Windows 1.0 was released. This operating system featuring images for users to click on and open. It was a revolutionary idea. Unfortunately, Paul Allen would leave the company before the release of Windows 1.0 due to serious health problems. His health would eventually improve and he would have a successful business career with other companies outside of Microsoft.

In 1986, just one year after the release of Windows 1.0, Microsoft became a public company available on the stock exchange. Stock prices were $21 a share and the Microsoft instantly became the world’s most valuable company, worth $61 million. The same year they moved their headquarters from Bellevue to Redmond, Washington and would soon be known as having the highest sales of any computer company in the world.

Microsoft’s success continued and in 1995 they released Windows 95 which featured the now famous “Start” button. 7 million copies were sold in 5 weeks. Internet Explorer was also released at this time as the age of the internet was just beginning. Stock prices rose to $58.72 a share in 1999 and the company was valued at $620 billion. It was the first software company in history to achieve such a value.

In recent years, Microsoft has entered markets outside of personal computers, including video gaming, mobile devices, and tablet PCs. The X-Box, a video gaming console, was released in 2001 while the second version, the X-Box 360, was released in 2005. Both consoles competed against the PlayStation 2 and 3 and were very successful in the United States. Windows has also tried to compete with Android and Apple for a share of the mobile phone market. Microsoft even bought Skype in 2011 as a response to the success of Apple FaceTime. In addition, the “Microsoft Surface” tablet PC which was first released in 2012 and has received great success as it continues to be updated and improved.


Source: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/microsoft-founded

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