Tools To Grow Your Income, Wealth,
& Financial Confidence

A millionaire at 31:: The story of how Microsoft changed the world

History Of How Microsoft Changed The World

So many thinks that the founder of microsoft is William H. Gate. This article reviews the real founders of microsoft and how Microsoft changed the world through the ages when technology was just evolving the world and the opportunities and risk taken in the process.

Founders of Microsoft : William H. Gates III and Paul Allen Distinction: Created the systems that drive all the world’s PC Primary Products: Computer Software and Internet Services Major Competitors: America Online, Oracle, Sun Microsystems.

President and CEO: Steven A. Ballmer

Headquarters: Redmon Wash

Year Founded: 1975

Website: www.microsoft.com

You may love them or hate them, but there’s no denying them. Microsoft is currently the world’s most powerful company. Founded 25 years ago by two boyhood friends, the corporation grew up with the personal computer. Microsoft is neither the largest on earth nor the most valuable. It doesn’t set the pace for technical innovations or employee relations. It isn’t sexy like a dotcom, seductive like a sports franchise, or alluring like an entertainment concern. What it is, though, is the purveyor of the software that runs 90% of all PCs and that gives it a dominance that no other company, inside it industry or out, can match.

Bill Gate and Paul Allen Programming Language Translation

how Microsoft changed the world

Starting in 1975, when Bill Gates and Paul Allen translated an existing mainframe computer programming language into one that could be used with the very first PC, the company they christened with a combination of the words “microcomputer” and “Software” has been uncannily successful. It soared from $16,000 in revenues in its first year to $7.5 million in its fifth. It went global, forged critical partnerships with all of the leading computer makers, vastly expanded its product line, and was earning nearly $150 million annually by its 10th anniversary. Then, it went public-making Gates the youngest billionaire in US history and eventually the richest person in the world-while consistently tallying an astounding 25 cents in profit on every dollar earned.

But with those accompaniments, Microsoft also has been unceasingly controversial. It has been faulted for taking innovations developed by others and turning them to its own commercial advantage. For leveraging its enormous power to stifle competition and force consumers into costly upgrades. For missing the onset of the internet boom and then trying to bludgeon its way into the fray. For all these things and for making much more money and lasting far longer than anyone in its field, the company had been in the critical crosshairs since its beginning.

And then, in mid-1998, the U.S Department of Justice and a coalition of 20 state attorneys general officially accused it of violating antitrust laws-a charge that ultimately led to an order that the company be split in two. With the case in lengthy legal limbo, however, Microsoft adamantly dug in its heels to retain the tremendous power it had amassed.

How Paul Allen Saved The Future Of Microsoft

how Microsoft changed the world
how Microsoft changed the world

Paul Allen saw the future in 1975 when he picked up a copy of popular mechanics with the MITS Altair on its cover. Allen, when working at Honeywell, instantly understood that this primitive device would completely change the way computers were used. He showed the magazine to long-time friend Bill Gates, a fellow Seattle native and Harvard sophomore. Gates wrote his first computer program and started his first computer based related business when barely in his teens. Gates grew equally excited with the possibilities, and the two immediately began working round the clock to adapt the popular BASIC programming language used on large computers for this new personal-sized machine.

Allen flew to MITS headquarters in Albuquerque to demonstrate their effort as soon as it was completed, and it so impressed the company they offered him a job. He also began actively promoting the new Altair BASIC, which attracted the attention of hobbyists who had longed for such an innovation. Gates got caught up in the enthusiasm as well, and dropped out of Harvard to follow his friend to New Mexico. There, the two struck up an informal partnership they called Micro-soft with a hyphen to emphasize the corporate origins and began refining their creation. That first year, it took in $16,005.

The two opened offices in Albuquerque and licensed their program to several large firms, including General Electric and NCR. Both were attracted by the Altair buzz. They hired employees to meet ensuing demand, and in 1977 formalised the company’s existence. Gates also began speaking out against hobbyists who were pirating their products, incurring the wrath of those who believed that such program should be freely traded. It would not, of course, be the last time Gates and his company were accused of imposing their will on the computer world.

More licenses for BASIC were quickly negotiated, including those for the recently unveiled commodore PET and TRS-80 computers (along with an upstart from northern California called Apple).By the end of 1977 Microsoft also began shipping a second computer language, FORTRAN, and selling  BASIC on a single copy basis. When revenues neared $400,000, Gates and Allen decided to move their headquarters to Bellevue, Wash.

Striking Deal With A Japanese Firm

After striking a deal with a Japanese firm to begin marketing BASIC overseas, Microsoft’s business began to accelerate. And then, just before its fifth anniversary, the company signed a seminal contract with IBM to produce the Operating System (OS) for its own soon-to-be-unveiled personal computer. Microsoft-now with 40 employees, including a young executive named Steve Ballmer who had recently arrived from Procter & Gamble-had nothing of the kind under development. So Gates bought a program called QDOS (which stood for Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products for $50,000. His firm then adapted it to meet IBM’s needs, renamed it MS-DOS (for Microsoft’s Disk Operating System), and wound up in exactly the right place with the right product when sales of the IBM-PC exploded upon its 1981 release. Revenues hit $16million and the employee base was tripled to meet demand.

In the 16 months after it was first offered, the company licensed its MS-DOS to 50 more hardware manufacturers, and Microsoft really took off. It opened offices in Europe, while using its increasing income to produce an electronic spreadsheet and move into the growing market for business software. Co-founder Allen left the company in 1983 due to illness, and the development he pioneered continued. They culminated in Microsoft’s 10th year, when it shipped the first version of a graphical Operating System, named Windows. Sales were initially slow-due in part to the lack of available software-but criticism was strong. Skeptics pointed out that Apple’s Macintosh already did everything Windows could do, but better. However, Microsoft continued working to improve it, and business picked up in other areas. Annual revenues soon reached $150 million and the payroll approached 1000.

How Microsoft Moved To Redmond Campus

The company responded in 1986 by going public and moving into a new four building campus in Redmond, Wash. Gates, its largest individual shareholder, became a billionaire at age 31. But as his wealth grew and the company’s power increased, so did the complaints against it. Rivals regularly accused Microsoft of being underhanded schemers out to profit from every computer sale in the world. Supporters also were growing in number as Microsoft enlarged its reach, however, and they vigorously applauded the improved products that made their computers more effective and efficient.

The late 1980’s saw rapidly continuing advances from Microsoft. They introduced a “bundled” suite of applications called Office, CD-ROM products such as the Bookshelf reference collection. And as international operations trailed more than half of all the sales Microsoft became the industry’s top software vender. Apple sued for copyright infringement. The folk in Redmond seemed unconcerned and expanded their headquarters to accommodate even more employees.

Windows 3.0 Released and the Impact to Technology

The biggest breakthrough of all came in 1990 when the most refined update yet of all the graphical operating system, dubbed Windows 3.0 was released. Observers predicted the decision of whether Microsoft would be dismantled was thus years away. And Gates, the world’s richest person and head of its most powerful company, hunkered down to make his firm even more earth shaking as the 21st century.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Articles

Bill Gates

microsoft

William Henry Gates the co-founder fo Microsot is now 66yrs old.  Born on October 28, 1955.

Bill Gates

My Personal Favorites
Sponsor
Explore