Microsoft celebrates its birthday today, as of April 4, 1975, the day Microsoft was created. On the occasion of the anniversary, we have published some facts about the company and the products of the group that are now known all over the world. Happy Birthday, Microsoft! On our behalf: This article is a report for Microsoft’s anniversary, going through the company’s past 47 years in no particular order. If you don’t feel like reading all this, jump to the end of the post where we’ve included videos about the company’s history.
On April 4, 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who died in 2018, founded their Microsoft joint venture in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Together they laid the foundation for Microsoft – a company that developed from a mini start-up to a global technology giant in a very short time.
Since then, the now Redmond-based company has gone through many ups and downs until Microsoft started the revolution that eventually shaped the home computing market as it is known today. With the launch of MS DOS in 1981, the success story really accelerated. Today, Microsoft is a company with more than 160,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than 140 billion US dollars in 2020.
A small revolution, a lot of evolution – and some standstill
Looking back, the 1980s were the most revolutionary. In 1983, Bill Gates introduced the word processor Word, followed two years later, in 1985, by the graphical user interface for the Windows operating system. The graphical user interface made Windows a hit and introduced the masses to the PC.
Innovations flops and restarts
However, the past 40 years have not always been a bed of roses. How well the group learns from mistakes was only recently demonstrated with Microsoft’s first mass-produced tablet computer – the Surface. After the first two revisions received a lot of media attention, they failed on the market. The Surface family has since conquered an important market share and is available in many different versions (tablets, laptops) and recently even as a foldable smartphone. The group attaches great importance to research into new technologies and invests – this also means that Microsoft regularly buys interesting start-ups and companies in order to be able to add new, innovative functions to their products such as Office 365 or Windows 10. But MS is also growing and bringing new customers onboard through acquisitions like Minecraft, game developer Bethesda and Github.
Five videos on the history of Microsoft
You can see and hear how this has happened over the years in this video series that Sempervideo has put together: Part 1:
IBM and Microsoft drop out. The collaboration is broken and Windows is protecting more and more users. This is followed by the first third-party programs made especially for Windows – this is an important milestone.
Apple lost market share, signed an agreement with IBM and the competition (Microsoft) was happy.
Microsoft is “discovering the Internet” – but initially chose the wrong interface and didn’t really know what the user actually wanted or needed on the Web.
There are problems with the cartel office. In 1998, charges were filed against Microsoft. The breakup of Microsoft is on the agenda.
Microsoft buys companies to shut them down and get rid of competitors.
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