A Brief History of Microsoft


Microsoft is the world’s best-known and most profitable software publishing company. It is the market leader in IBM PC compatible operating systems (including Windows), and it also produces the market-leading office suite, which includes Word, Excel, Outlook, and more. In addition, it is a major player in Internet search with Bing, online gaming with Xbox, mixed reality with the HoloLens headset, cloud computing with Azure, and software development with Visual Studio.

The company was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. It grew out of their work together on a BASIC interpreter for the Altair 8800, a microcomputer kit that was widely popular at the time. Initially, Microsoft made its money by selling licensing fees to hardware manufacturers for the use of its BASIC interpreter and the operating system for their computers. Later, the company began to develop its own hardware as well.

By the early 1990s, Microsoft had established itself as the leading supplier of operating systems for personal computers. Its first OS was MS-DOS, and it soon followed this with Windows, a more consumer-friendly GUI version of its operating system. Windows was so successful that it eventually became the dominant operating system for personal computer users worldwide, with more than 90% of the worldwide market.

Following the success of Windows, Microsoft entered several new markets. In 2001 it released the first in its series of Xbox video gaming consoles, which quickly captured a major share of the market. It then moved into mobile phone technology, developing its Windows Mobile OS which was adopted by a number of different manufacturers and sellers.

In 2008, Microsoft introduced a significant expansion of its product offerings with its Azure cloud computing platform. This allowed the company to offer application software and data storage as services that are remotely hosted and accessed by computers over the Internet. This greatly increased the company’s revenue potential and further entrenched it as a leader in the rapidly growing cloud computing industry.

The latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system is Windows 11. It was announced in 2017 and is scheduled to be available on new computers starting in 2018. Windows 10 is still supported, with paid support continuing until 2024.

Despite their success, Microsoft has long been the subject of controversy over its business practices and products. Its software has been criticized for problems with ease of use, robustness and security. It has been accused of monopolistic behavior and of abusing its monopoly power. It has been criticized for hiring “permatemp” employees (temporary workers without benefits) and for forcing people who use its products to buy them as a condition of using them, a process known as vendor lock-in.

In recent years, the company has sought to increase diversity and inclusion within its workforce. In addition, the company has pushed back against efforts to limit the use of its products in schools because it believes that those limits hurt educational productivity. Microsoft has also become the focus of criticism over its approach to sexual harassment, including accusations that it failed to respond adequately to complaints filed by employees.

You Might Also Like