The History of Microsoft
The microsoft corporation is an American multinational technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, mobile phones, and computer and video game hardware. Its best-known software products are the Windows line of operating systems, the Office suite of productivity applications, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its hardware products include the Xbox video game consoles and the Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers.
The company was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. It was originally called Micro-Soft, an acronym for microprocessors and software. The two college friends had been developing a programming language to be used with the Altair 8800, an early home computer kit. The success of their product enabled them to leave their jobs at a Boston computer firm and start their own business.
By the end of the 1980s, Microsoft had established itself as the world’s dominant producer of PC operating systems. Microsoft also dominated the market for productivity software such as word processing and spreadsheet programs, outdistancing longtime rivals Lotus and WordPerfect. The company’s success in the PC software market inspired a number of original equipment manufacturers to offer a version of its operating system as an option on their computers.
While many of these OSs were similar in many ways, the fact that they were all built on a common platform led to a certain amount of redundancy and created technical vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. To avoid this, Microsoft and other developers started introducing feature sets to their software that would differentiate their products from the rest of the industry.
This was a good thing in some respects, but it also introduced complexity that made it difficult for programmers to understand the underlying code. It also made it more difficult for security researchers to detect and fix vulnerabilities in the code.
In the mid-1990s, the company released a major new version of its operating system, Windows 95. This included an upgraded user interface that is familiar to hundreds of millions of people around the world—a desktop with icons and a taskbar that lets them see running programs. Windows 95 helped bring about the dot com boom and was instrumental in connecting many people to the world wide web for the first time.
The company has made a series of acquisitions in recent years. These have expanded its offerings beyond the PC operating system and into cloud computing services, video games, smartphone and tablet devices, and search and other online services. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the company has offices in more than 60 countries worldwide.
One of the ways that microsoft has tried to stay relevant in recent years is by shifting its culture. Under Nadella, the focus has been on customers. Rather than going by sales, which is a lagging indicator in fast-moving markets, employees are encouraged to follow metrics such as usage data and customer feedback.