As I’m in Redmond this week, I’m allowing myself get a little nostalgic (I’ve only been with the company less than 3 years, but hey)…here are some links relating to Microsoft’s 30 years.
The PC Timeline at PC Museum:
“April 1975 Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Micro-Soft. The hyphen is later dropped to Microsoft.”
This is the most detailed interview I’ve seen with Bill Gates, giving his personal perspective on the creation and early years of Microsoft. Larry Osterman, looks back at
This is the most detailed interview I’ve seen with Bill Gates, giving his personal perspective on the creation and early years of Microsoft.
Larry Osterman, looks back at20 years with Microsoft:
“I’ve watched Microsoft grow from 650ish people to well over 50,000”
The History of Computing Project has a very detailed history of Microsoft from 1975 to 1998.
“Hobbyists became entrepreneurs – some more successfully than others. Personal computers proliferated, with no standards and no preconceived notions of what these new machines could be or could do. It was an adventure shared by a virtual handful of enthusiasts…”
Official History from Microsoft:
Key Events in Microsoft History (more at Microsoft.com Corp FAQs)
1/1/1975 The MITS Altair 8800 appears on the cover of Popular Electronics, inspiring Paul Allen and Bill Gates to develop a BASIC language for the Altair.
2/1/1975 Bill Gates and Paul Allen sell BASIC, the first computer language program for a personal computer, to Microsoft’s first customer, MITS of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
3/1/1975 Paul Allen joins MITS as director of software.
4/7/1975 “Altair BASIC – Up and Running,” declares the headline of the first edition of MITS Computer Notes.
7/1/1975 BASIC officially ships as version 2.0 in both 4K and 8K editions.
2/3/1976 Bill Gates is one of the first programmers to raise the issue of software piracy. In “An Open Letter to Hobbyists,” first published in MITS Computer Notes, Gates accuses hobbyists of stealing software and thus preventing “…good software from being written.” He prophetically concludes with the line, “…Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.”
3/27/1976 Bill Gates gives the opening address at the First Annual World Altair Computer Convention, held in Albuquerque.
11/1/1976 Paul Allen resigns from MITS to join Microsoft full time.
11/26/1976 The trade name “Microsoft” is registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.
2/3/1977 Paul Allen and Bill Gates execute an official partnership agreement.
7/1/1977 FORTRAN-80, Microsoft’s second language product, is available.
11/1/1978 Microsoft establishes its first international sales office in Japan, ASCII Microsoft.
12/31/1978 Microsoft’s year-end sales exceed $1 million.
1/1/1979 Microsoft moves its offices to Bellevue, Washington, from Albuquerque.
6/11/1980 Steve Ballmer joins Microsoft.
6/25/1981 Microsoft reorganizes into a privately held corporation with Bill Gates as President and chairman of the board and Paul Allen as executive vice president. Microsoft becomes Microsoft, Inc., an incorporated business in the state of Washington.
8/12/1981 IBM introduces its Personal Computer, which uses Microsoft’s 16-bit operating system, Microsoft® MS-DOS® version 1.0, plus Microsoft BASIC, Microsoft COBOL, Microsoft Pascal, and other Microsoft products.
3/24/1982 Microsoft U.K. Ltd. (United Kingdom) is incorporated.