Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft is one of the world’s leading IT companies, with over $ 21 billion in revenues. His name is world-famous in the IT sector. Those of its founders, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, are equally so. The IT world would probably have evolved differently if Microsoft hadn’t been born. The company’s contribution is related to Windows, the most popular operating system in the world, and goes far beyond. Just think of the many software developed by the Redmond company that we use daily on the computer: Office, Paint and Microsoft Edge, to name a few. The Office suite, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other programs, has completely revolutionized how companies work.
It made it possible to replace paper with digital files and to speed up communications from one part of the world to another. The history of Microsoft dates back to 1975 when Bill Gates and Paul Allen formed Microsoft Corporation, which would become one of the largest companies in the world. The merit of the two boys is to have developed a new computer language (BASIC) that fits perfectly with Altair 8800, the first real personal computer in history. Bill Gates and Paul Allen began traveling the length and breadth of the United States to sell their programs to companies. And success is almost immediate. Here is the story of Microsoft.
The Origins And Evolution Of Microsoft
Operating systems, programs, consoles and other hardware peripherals. Making a complete list of Microsoft products is difficult because, over the years, the company has broadened its sphere of action and established itself as a leading player in the IT sector. However, it is enough to mention a few names to understand the origins of the company’s fortune. Above all, Paul Allen, Bill Gates and BASIC. The first two, passionate about computer science, meet and develop the BASIC programming language, which, according to them, is highly adaptable to Altair 8800, the first personal computer generated.
In 1975, Microsoft Corporation, better known as Microsoft, was born in Albuquerque (New Mexico), which engaged Allen and Gates full-time, who began the search for new buyers for their software products. In the meantime, BASIC evolved, and from its subsequent developments came the DOS operating system, which in 1980 was sold to IBM, a company that made machines compatible with DOS. The deal is excellent, as it allows Microsoft to grow without giving up the operating system rights that remain with the company. In 1981 the company headquarters moved to the state of Washington, in Redmond, which is still the main one.
Windows And Office Arrive
As mentioned above, the name of Microsoft is inextricably linked to that of Windows. The operating system’s first version (which did not have much luck) was launched on November 20, 1985. In parallel with developing an independent operating system, Microsoft collaborates with IBM to create programs. During the same period, OS / 2, the IBM PS / 2 PC operating system, was launched. On March 13, 1986, Microsoft took the plunge and went public. The initial price is 21 dollars per share, but by the end of the year, the stock will reach almost 28 dollars.
Towards the end of the year, the Redmond company makes a necessary purchase: it buys the Forethought company that develops a program that few knew at that time: PowerPoint. Software that in the following years and still is used daily by millions of people. To see the first version of Office, it is necessary to wait until August 8, 1989, when Microsoft Office was launched. It is a suite dedicated to work that includes several programs, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. At the same time, Microsoft SQL Server is also created, a program to manage the databases of large companies’ databases, allowing the company to continue to grow even more.
On May 22, 1990, Windows 3.0 was launched on the market. And it was an instant success. It sold more than 100,000 copies in just over two weeks and forced the company to rethink its strategies. Efforts are made, and many employees working on OS / 2 development are moved to Windows 3.0. The following year Bill Gates announced the end of the collaboration with IBM and the transition from MS-DOS to Windows. For Microsoft, this is the completion of a job begun in 1985 and which, after six years, finally sees the conclusion.
The company’s success does not stop only with the operating system but also continues with Microsoft Office and with all the programs developed during the 1980s. In March 1992, Windows 3.1 arrived, the first operating system that Microsoft also sponsored on television. And the results are excellent: three million copies are sold in two months. The following year, on March 22, 1993, Microsoft Encarta, the first computer encyclopedia, was released. The project got good feedback in the early years, but the explosion of the Web and the arrival of Wikipedia forced Microsoft to kill the project in the 2000s.
The Challenge Of The Web
A company that focuses entirely on computer programs cannot fail to take an interest in the Web. Even if it lags behind its rivals, in 1995, Microsoft took a big step towards the Web, launching the first version of Internet Explorer, which gives access to the Internet. Initially, the browser was to be present in Windows 95, the new operating system version released on August 24, 1995. But the browser comes with a bit of a delay. Within Windows 95, there is also MSN, one of the programs that will make history on the Net and will be one of the first platforms for instant messaging.
The Redmond company is also beginning to diversify the market and works together with NBC to create a 24-hour news channel: MSNBC. Microsoft throws itself into the publishing world by launching Slate, one of the first online magazines dealing with news, politics and culture. Between 1998 and 2001, Microsoft launched three different Windows versions: the goal was to improve stability problems and perfect Internet Explorer, which became an increasingly central program for the Redmond company. In 2001, Office XP also made its debut together with Microsoft XP.
Here Comes The Xbox
Not just computers and programs. In 2001 Microsoft also threw itself into the video game sector with the Xbox, a new console ready to challenge Sony (PlayStation 2) and Nintendo (Gamecube). The sales results were not great, and in 2005 Microsoft tried again by launching the Xbox 360. This time the Redmond company hits the mark and rivals on equal terms with the PlayStation 3. To face the success of the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft also launches the Kinect, a revolutionary joypad that follows the movement of people.
New Updates For Windows
In 2007 Windows returned to update Windows by releasing the Vista version, also accompanied by Office 2007. The Redmond company, however, is increasingly focused on the Web and, in 2008, tried to buy Yahoo. But the offer presented is refused because it is considered too low. In 2009, for the first time, the event organized by Microsoft at CES in Las Vegas was held by Steve Ballmer, who also announced the opening of the beta version of Windows 7. On October 22, 2009, Windows 7 was officially launched. In 2010 Microsoft closed one of the most important acquisitions in its history: it bought the company that develops Skype.
Microsoft Invests In The Future
2012 Microsoft launches Windows 8, a new operating system version that introduces essential innovations, especially regarding the user interface. However, news that not all users liked and that forced the company to run for cover first with Windows 8.1 and then with the new Windows 10 launched on July 29 2015. Windows 10 is considered by many to be one of the best-operating systems made by the Redmond company. The Redmond company launches the new Xbox One simultaneously with the PlayStation 4.
Microsoft is not only a company that develops software but also becomes a company that produces hardware. The first Surface is launched, a rugged tablet that ideally replaces a laptop. The purchase of the mobile division of Nokia by Microsoft was made official for 5.4 billion euros. The Redmond company aims to equip Nokia smartphones with the Windows Mobile operating system. The operation, however, turns into a real hole in the water, and after a couple of years, Microsoft decides to block the production of smartphones.
Between Mixed Reality And Videogames
Hololens is launched, a viewer for a mixed reality that allows Microsoft to take an essential step towards virtual and mixed reality. The Xbox One X, the most powerful console on the market, has been launched.