The History of Microsoft

  • First ideas of Microsoft formed

    First ideas of Microsoft formed
    The first ideas of Microsoft are created by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
  • Licence agreement signed with MITS

    Paul Allen and Bill Gates sign a licensing agreement with MITS regarding the BASIC Interpreter. Microsoft is not yet an official partnership. In fact, the name has not even been chosen.
  • Name developed

    In a letter to Paul Allen, Bill Gates uses the name "Micro-soft" to refer to their (60/40)(3) Partnership. This is the earliest known written reference.
  • Develops first program

    Microsoft refines and enhances BASIC to sell to other customers including DTC, General Electric, NCR, and Citibank.
  • Paul Allen joins full time

    Paul Allen resigns from MITS to join Microsoft full time.
  • Microsoft gets registered

    The tradename "Microsoft" is registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico "to identify computer programs for use in automatic data processing systems; pre-programming processing systems; and data processing services including computer programming services." The application says that the name has been in continuous use since November 12, 1975.
  • First Office

    First Office
    Although still an informal partnership, Microsoft moves to its first real offices in One Park Central Tower in Albuquerque. Gates returns to Harvard for the spring term, but finds time to direct Microsoft in its efforts to license BASIC to General Electric, NCR, Citibank, and others.
  • Secong computer language

    Secong computer language
    The company ships its second language, (Microsoft's version of) FORTRAN, and begins offering BASIC on a single-copy basis.
  • More designers hired

    More designers hired
    Arbitration decides the matter in Microsoft's favor, setting the company free to market BASIC to others. Within months, Microsoft licenses BASIC for the Commodore PET and TRS-80 computers, and begins negotiating with other companies. BASIC product. BASIC has been the subject of an extended legal dispute between the two companies.
  • Third Language

    Third Language
    Microsoft announces its third language product, Microsoft COBOL-80.
  • 1 million dollar company

    December 31, Microsoft's year end sales exceed $1 million dollars
  • Entry to European market

    First entry into the European market. Vector International, based in Haasrode, Belgium, signs on to represent Microsoft.
  • First softcard

    First softcard
    April 2, 1980, Microsoft SoftCard -one of the company's first hardware products- made it possible to run programs designed for the CP/M operating system on the Apple II.
  • Softcard capablities

    Softcard capablities
    Although the company grows by only two employees sales more than triple. Microsoft introduces the Pascal language, develops XENIX (enhanced version of the UNIX operating system), and begins to explore spreadsheet applications. It also releases its first hardware product, the Microsoft SoftCard, which allows Apple II users to run CP/M-80 (operating system from Digital Research -nope, no MS-DOS yet!) applications. The biggest of the big news, however, is still a big secret: a contract with IBM to
  • IBM computer and microsoft software

    IBM computer and microsoft software
    August 12 1981, IBM introduces its Personal Computer, which uses Microsoft's 16-bit operating system, MS-DOS 1.0, plus Microsoft BASIC, COBOL, PASCAL, and other Microsoft products.
  • Macintosh

    A prototype Macintosh arrives at Microsoft to aid in development of applications for it.
  • New Logo

    New Logo
    Microsoft announces a new corporate logo, new packaging, and a comprehensive set of retail dealer support materials. The new logo for Microsoft Corporation, dubbed the "Blibbet," will be officially launched at Fall/COMDEX '82. The logo design is the name, Microsoft, with a distinctive letter "o" filled with horizontal lines.
  • Tandy

    Introduced in 1983 and costing $800, the Tandy/Radio Shack PC Model 100 redefined the concept of portability in personal computing. It included built-in text editing, spreadsheet, and communications programs. Microsoft worked closely with Tandy in the definition and development of the machine.
  • First Mouse

    First Mouse
    May 2, Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Mouse, a low-cost, hand-held pointing device for use with the IBM PC, as well as, any MS-DOS-based personal computer. The Mouse is used to quickly move or reposition a cursor on the screen. Two buttons are provided to select decision alternatives or commands from the screen.
  • Excel

    March, 1984, The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for the Macintosh not only advanced the state of the art in a way that re-enthused the dwindling customer base for the Macintosh, but also provided the essential technology basis for the Windows versions of Microsoft Excel a few years later, which reset the counter for the spreadsheet industry on the PC-compatible platform.
  • 10th aniversary

    Microsoft celebrates its 10th anniversary with sales figures for the fiscal year of 1985 of $140 million. The company has 900 employees and a diverse product line including industry standards like operating systems, languages, business software, hardware, and computer.
  • Microsoft Works

    In 1986 the company introduced Microsoft Works, which integrated word processing, spreadsheet, database, communications, and drawing functions into a single program.
  • New Campus

    New Campus
    February 26, During that same busy March, Microsoft moves to its new four-building corporate campus Buildings 1 through 4, in Redmond. surrounding "Lake Bill" in Redmond, Washington. As if that isn't enough, the company holds its first.
  • Soon to come

    Microsoft announces that The Microsoft Office will soon be available on CD-ROM. This is the first general business software for Macintosh systems to be made available on CD-ROM.
  • New versions

    April 9 1990, Microsoft introduces Russian MS-DOS 4.01. MS-DOS is the first Microsoft product localized for the Soviet market. The Russian version brings the total number of foreign-language versions to 13, including versions in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese (Kanji), and Korean (Hangeul).
  • Windows 3.0

    Windows 3.0
    May 22, Microsoft announces the immediate, worldwide availability of Microsoft Windows 3.0, at the City Center Theatre in New York. This version offers dramatic performance increases for Windows applications, advances in ease of use and aesthetic appeal, and straightforward.
  • 1990

    In 1990 Windows had made $1,183,446,000 in just that year. Also They only had 5,635 employees.
  • Windows 2000

    Microsoft launches Windows 2000
  • Even newer campus

    Microsoft files a development agreement (DA) with the City of Redmond, WA, outlining its plans to make one of the largest corporate campuses in the world even larger through a major expansion of its corporate headquarters. In the plan, Microsoft also commits up to $30 million to local transportation and infrastructure improvements.