The history of Microsoft began with the release of the Altair 8800 microcomputer on January 1, 1975. Two guys called Bill Gates and Paul Allen saw their chance to develop a software product for it that would allow the integration of the BASIC programming language.
Bill Gates called MITS (the company that invented the Altair 8800) to schedule a meeting to demonstrate their software product...which they had yet to develop.
Despite not owning an Altair 8800, Gates and Allen were able to create the software for it, thanks to a few details that they knew about it.
On January 3, Allen flew to Albuquerque to demonstrate a demo of their product. Even though they never tested it, it worked, and so they secured a contract with MITS.
The two moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where MITS was located, to continue work on the software product with MITS. Allen had to quit his job, and Gates had to drop out of Harvard.
They made an unofficial company called Micro-Soft on April 4, 1975, after being inspired with their success with MITS. The name comes from MICROcomputers SOFTware.
On November 26, 1976, the company was officially registered, and by the end of the year, it and made $16,005. It made most of its money off of simple software and contracts with major companies.
On November 1, 1978 ASCII Microsoft was created in Japan. This is Microsoft's first international office. Today it is called Microsoft Japan.
In 1979, Microsoft sales surpassed $1 million.
In 1981, Microsoft released MS-DOS, (Microsoft Disk Operating System), made for IBM computers. It is the first operating system Microsoft released.
In 1985, Windows 1.0 was released. It featured a simple interface that could be navigated with a mouse. Something very new at the time.
Fun fact: the classic Microsoft games were developed so that users could practice using a mouse.
In September 1985, Microsoft released Excel, called Multiplan at the time.
In 1986, Microsoft moves to Redmond, Washington State.
On March 13, 1986, Microsoft opened its stock to investors, starting at $21 per share, and making $61 million.
In April 1987, Windows 2.0 was released. It featured better graphics, as well as giving users more control for navigation.
In 1988 Microsoft became the biggest PC software company, a title it still holds today.
On May 22, 1990, Windows 3.0 and PowerPoint (back then it was called 'Presenter') wree released.
On August 24, 1995, Windows 95 was released. It was the first version of Windows to feature a start menu, an iconic design feature of modern Windows.
On December 7, 1995, the web browser Internet Explorer is released. Once loved, it is now hated by many.
In 1998, Windows 98 is released.
On January 13, 2000, Steve Ballmer became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Microsoft.
On February 17, 2000, Microsoft released Windows 2000.
On October 25, 2001 Microsoft released Windows XP, one on Microsoft's best selling products.
On November 15, 2001 Microsoft released the Xbox.
On January 30, 2007, Microsoft released Windows Vista. Despite sales not being bad, it was rather disliked.
On June 3, 2009 Microsoft launched the Bing search engine.
On October 22, 2009 Microsoft released Windows 7, an operating system that people tolerated much more.
In November 2010, Windows Phone was released.
On May 10, 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion.
In 2014, Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft.
On July 25, 2015, Microsoft released the last version of Windows: Windows 10, which will be continuously updated, meaning that Microsoft will only have to focus on the next new feature, and not prepare an operation system for years.
On June 23, 2016, Microsoft Acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.
Microsoft currently holds 10,000 patents.
Today over 85% of PCs run Windows.
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