History of Microsoft

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Microsoft (MS) as we all know is an American multinational giant tech company. It develops, manufactures and licenses computer software and electronics. MS is best known for its software products – one of its most popular products would be the Windows Operating System which is used everywhere in the world. It is the world’s largest software maker by revenue. That is what we all mostly know about MS but do we know about its history? Below are some important dates in the history of Microsoft which we will learn how Microsoft rose to its present status.

Important dates in the history of Microsoft

1975 — MS was founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates, childhood friends who had co-written a programming language for the Altair hobby-kit personal computer, and had licensed it to the makers of the Altair. This programming language is the first Microsoft product ever made.

1980 — MS was chosen by IBM to create an operating system for its first PC. Microsoft buys the software for $50,000 from another company and renames it MS-DOS. Steve Ballmer, a classmate of Gates at Harvard, joins Microsoft.

1983-1989 — MS introduces “Word”, a word-processing program, and plans to create Windows. In November 1985, Microsoft ships its first version of Windows. In Aug 1989, Microsoft introduces the earliest version of Office Business Suite.

1995-1997 — On Aug 24, 1995, MS launches Windows 95. On Nov 27, Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 2.0, challenging Netscape’s web browser. In Aug 1997, less than a month after Steve Jobs became Apple’s CEO, Microsoft and Apple agreed to share technology and set aside their long-standing feud.

1998-2000 — On May 18, 1998, the Justice Department and 20 states sue Microsoft, alleging that it illegally thwarted competition. On July 21, Ballmer becomes President of Microsoft. On Oct 19, the antitrust trial begins, which continues into summer of 1999. On Jan 13, 2000, Gates stepped aside as CEO, giving the position to Ballmer but remains as the Chairman. On Feb 17, Windows 2000 was officially launched.

Oct. 25, 2001 — Worldwide launch of Windows XP. The launch of Xbox in North America happened on Nov 15 this year.

June 23, 2003 — MS announces Windows Mobile for handheld computers and phones.

May 12, 2005 — MS shows off the new Xbox 360; console hits shelves in November.

July 1, 2005 — MS agrees to pay IBM $775 million in cash and $75 million in software to settle antitrust claims

Jan. 30, 2007— MS launches Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System to consumers worldwide

June 27, 2008— Bill Gates transitions from his day-to-day role at Microsoft to spend more time on his work at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Jan. 31, 2008 — MS makes an unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. They eventually walked away after Yahoo wouldn’t even agree to their higher offer of $47.5 billion.

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