How Old Is This Microsoft ?

1975-1984: Founding

Following the launch of the Altair 8800, William Henry Gates III, (known as Bill Gates) called the creators of the new micro computer , Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), offering to demonstrate an implementation of the BASIC programming language for the system. After the demonstration, MITS agreed to distribute Altair BASIC.Gates left Harvard University, moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where MITS was located, and founded Microsoft there. The company's first international office was founded on November 1, 1978, in Japan, titled "ASCII Microsoft" (now called "Microsoft Japan")On January 1, 1979, the company moved from Albuquerque to a new home in Bellevue, Washington.Steve Ballmer joined the company on June 11, 1980, and later succeeded Bill Gates as CEO.

Among pre-IBM-PC products were the software package TASC (The AppleSoft Compiler), which compiled a BASIC program into Apple machine language, and the hardware Microsoft Softcard, an add-on Z80 processor card for the Apple II and compatible computer s which allowed the use of the CP/M operating system instead of Applesoft and Apple DOS. In 1980, Microsoft entered the operating system business with its own version of Unix, called Xenix, which it licensed to various computer vendors.

DOS (Disk Operating System) was the operating system that brought the company its first real success. On August 12, 1981, after negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft to provide a version of the CP/M operating system, which was set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (PC). For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, which IBM renamed to PC-DOS. Later, the market saw a flood of IBM PC clones after Columbia Data Products successfully cloned the IBM BIOS, and by aggressively marketing MS-DOS to manufacturers of IBM-PC clones, Microsoft rose from a small player to one of the major software vendors in the home computer industry.The company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as a publishing division named Microsoft Press.

1985-1994: IPO, OS/2 and Windows

In August 1985, Microsoft and IBM partnered in the development of a different operating system called OS/2.On November 20, 1985, Microsoft released its first retail version of Microsoft Windows, originally a graphical extension for its MS-DOS operating system.On March 13, 1986 the company went public with an initial public offering (IPO), with a starting initial offering price of $21.00 and ending at the first day of trading as at US $28.00. The ensuing rise of the stock price has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.In 1987, Microsoft eventually released their first version of OS/2 to OEMs.


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