Washington: In 1960s, two school boys used to make computer software for fun and profit. They would have never thought that one day they will establish a company which will become the largest computer software company and one of the boys will become the richest man in the world.
We mean the Microsoft Incorporation! Which today employ more than 93, 000 employees and have its offices in more than 100 countries, its operating system are much more popular than its competitors and are used by billions of people. Let us go back into the history, to trace how the biggest incorporation in the computer world, which started its journey from two software engineers, reached its current position.
Microsoft was established on 4th April 1975 by the two friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen. They developed the first computer high level language BASIC which they sold to Altair 8800. In June 1981, Microsoft incorporated itself. In August 1981, IBM introduced its PC with Microsoft 16-bit operating system, MS Dos 1.0. In 1983, Paul Allen resigned from his post of vice-president but he kept his shares in the company. Jon Shirley was made the president. In the same year, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Mouse and word for MS-DOS 1.00.
Work with Apple Computer Incorporation
Microsoft worked with Apple Computer Inc. during the development of Apple’s Macintosh computer, which was introduced in 1984. Revolutionary in its design, the Mac featured a graphical user interface based on icons rather than the typed commands used by the IBM PC, making its programs simple to use and easy to learn, even for computer novices. Microsoft introduced also Mac versions of BASIC, Word, and the spreadsheet program Multiplan, and quickly became the leading supplier of applications for the Mac. Revenues jumped from $50 million in 1983 to nearly $100 million in 1984.
Joint development Agreement with IBM
The next year; in 1985, Microsoft and IBM forge for a joint development agreement. The same year Microsoft began collaborating with IBM on a next-generation operating system, called OS/2.
Microsoft publicized its shares
In 1986, Microsoft publicized its shares each for $21. Next year, Microsoft introduces it first CD-ROM application, Microsoft Bookshelf is released.
In 1990, Jon Shirley retires as president and replaced with the CEO, Michael R. Hallman. The company becomes the world first Computer software company to pass $1 billion of sale in a year. In 1992, Bill Gates is awarded the national medal of Technology for his technological achievements.
32-bits Operating System
In 1993, the company introduces its first 32-bit version operating system, Windows NT and Encarta, the first multimedia encyclopedia on CD-ROM. The revenue for the company in 1994, reaches to $4 billions.
“The Road Ahead” by Bill Gates
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates published his first book in 1995, The Road Ahead. In the book, he summarized the implications of the personnel computing revolution and described a future profoundly change by the arrival of a global “information superhighway”.
Microsoft Windows 95
In the August of the same year, Microsoft introduced its Windows 95. More than 7 million copies were sold of this new system in the first five weeks. The era was of fax/modems, e‑mail, the new online world, and multimedia games and educational software. Windows 95 has built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities which made it easy to install hardware and software. The 32-bit operating system also offers enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking.
Microsoft acquires Vermeer Technologies
In 1996, the company acquires Vermeer Technologies and its web administration software application, FrontPage.
Allegations by the Justice Department
In 1997, The Justice Department charged Microsoft of violating a 1994 consent decree concerning licensing the Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice files two antitrust cases against Microsoft, alleging the company had violated the Sherman Act. Besides these cases, in which Microsoft was accused of making it monopoly over internet browsers and not letting the customers buy its competitors’’ goods, Microsoft showed no sign of slowing back and earn $14 billions from its sales in 1998.
Released on June 25, 1998, Windows 98 was the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers’ market. PCs were common at work and home, and Internet cafes where you can get online. Windows 98 was described as an operating system that “Works Better, Plays Better. With Windows 98, you can find information more easily on your PC as well as the Internet. Other improvements include the ability to open and close programs more quickly, and support for reading DVD discs and universal serial bus (USB) devices.
Launch of MS Encarta and first MS online store
The next year; in 1999, Microsoft introduced Encarta Africana, the first complete encyclopedia of black history and culture. Also Microsoft’s first online store was launched.
Visio Corporation acquired by Microsoft
In 2000, Microsoft acquires Visio Corporation for $1.5 billion.
In the same year, Microsoft releases its Windows 2000. Windows 2000 Professional was designed to replace Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops. Windows 2000 added major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility, and support for mobile computing. Among other improvements, Windows 2000 Professional simplifies hardware installation by adding support for a wide variety of new Plug and Play hardware, including advanced networking and wireless products, USB devices, IEEE 1394 devices, and infrared devices.
Microsoft revealed its Office XP, Xbox and Server 2003
The next year; in May 2001, Microsoft released its Office XP. In the October of the same year, Microsoft introduced its Windows XP. The company revealed Xbox later that year, entering in the gaming consoles dominated by Sony. In 2002, the revenue of Microsoft increased to $28.37 billions. In 2003, the Microsoft incorporation released its Windows Server 2003. According to Microsoft, the Server 2003 was more scalable and delivers better performance than its predecessor. They also claimed that the security will be tighter especially due to IIS (Internet Information Server) web server. In the same year, the company launched Microsoft Office.
By 2004, more than 56,000 employees were working in Microsoft and the revenue had increased to $38 billions. In the Same year, Microsoft announces plans to return up to $75 billions to shareholders in dividends and stock buy holders.
Xbox 360- a gift for gamers
In 2005, Microsoft released it updated version of Xbox, named as Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 competes with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. As of April 19, 2012, 67.2 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide The next year; in 2006, Microsoft announces a new $20 billion tender offer and authorizes an additional share-repurchase program of up to $ 20 billions over five years.
In January 2007, Microsoft released its new operating system; Windows Vista. This was an OS with a new GUI, redesigned search engine and multimedia vulnerabilities. Till the release of Windows7, 400 million copies of Windows Vista were sold. This new OS was claimed to be more secure than Windows XP as it was having more security tools.
Ms Office 2007
In the same year, Microsoft office was released worldwide. The new office was much better than its predecessor. In May, 2007, Microsoft announced that it would acquire the aQuantive for $6 billion; the software became part of Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group.
Struggling in the Smartphone industry
As the Smartphone industry began to boom in 2007, Microsoft struggled to keep up with its rivals Apple and Google in providing a modern Smartphone operating system. As a result, in 2010, Microsoft revamped their aging flagship mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, replacing it with the new Windows Phone OS; along with a new strategy in the Smartphone industry. The Microsoft started working closely with Smartphone manufactures, such as Nokia, and to provide a consistent user experience across all smart phones using Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS.
Launch of Windows server 2008, SQL server 2008 and Visual Studios 2008
In 2008, Microsoft launched Windows server 2008, SQL server 2008 and Visual Studios 2008. In 2008, Bill Gates changed from his day-to-day role at Microsoft to spend more time on his work at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The revenues had increased by 18% to $ 60.42 billions
In 2009, Microsoft updated its online search engine MSN, and introduced Bing as its new search engine while MSN also was being used.
The same year; in October, Microsoft introduced its new Windows named, Windows 7. Unlike Windows Vista, which introduced a large number of new features, Windows 7 was intended to be a more focused, upgrade to the Windows line, with the goal of being compatible with applications and hardware with which Windows Vista was already compatible. Some standard applications that have been included with prior releases of Microsoft Windows, including Windows Calendar, Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Photo Gallery, are not included in Windows 7; most are instead offered separately at no charge as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite. Windows Chief Marketing Officer Tami Reller announced that more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to July of this year.
Ms Office 2010
In June 2010, Microsoft launched its MS Office 2010. As start of 2012, more than 200 million licenses of the product were sold. The new features include Ribbon Interface, background removal tool, letter styling, SmartArt templates, screen capturing and clipping tools, new animations and transitions in PowerPoint 2010. e.t.c.
Kinect-A gift for Xbox 360 users
In the same year, Microsoft introduced Kinect for Xbox 360. Kinect is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. Windows 7 for phones were introduced after 6 days of release of Kinect.
Release of Office 365
Microsoft released its latest Office 365 in June 2011. This new Office includes the Microsoft Suite and hosted versions of Microsoft Server’s products. As far the security was concern, Microsoft launched Trust Center and announced that Office 365 now complies with EU privacy regulations in December 2011.
Acquisition of Skype
In October 2011 Microsoft closes its acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion. Microsoft bought the whole company, technology and teams of engineers. Skype allows users to communicate with peers by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including file transfer, and videoconferencing.
In May 2012, Microsoft opened its social networking site So.cl to the general public. On 31 May 2012, Microsoft introduced the release preview version of its next generation Windows 8 software. It is designed to power devices ranging from tablets to desktop computers. The new windows will be releasing on October 28th 2012. Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller said that Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.
Microsoft buys Yammer
On 25 June 2012, Microsoft announced that it is paying $1.2 billion to buy the social network Yammer. On 30th June 2012, the revenues of the company had increased to $74.30 billion. The numbers of people working in the organization were more than 94,000 at that time.
For the first time in 26 years history, Microsoft gets a quarterly blow
MICROSOFT posted its first quarterly loss in its 26 years as a public company as it declared a struggling online ad business a bust and prepared for one of the biggest product updates in its history. The software company had warned two weeks ago that it would take a $6.2 billion charge in the April-June quarter because its 2007 purchase of online ad service aQuantive failed to help it compete with Google. The amount reflected the bulk of the $6.3 billion acquisition cost.
Microsoft’s fortunes are now tied to the October 26 release of Windows 8, the most extreme redesign of the company’s flagship operating system since 1995.
The Microsoft is an Incorporation which started its journey only 26 years ago. But due to determined and visionary administration, they today have become the world’s largest software company. The position, on which the Microsoft stands, is because of the unique ideas and editions in their products. Because these products Microsoft is able to compete large multinationals and tough competitors like Apple, Google and Yahoo.
But will it be able to continue to ramp up its global software empire in upcoming years? Let’s see and wait how Microsoft would be dealing with its competitors in future!