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When was Microsoft Founded? – A Timeline of Microsoft’s History

Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. With the release of Microsoft BASIC in November 1976 and the start of When was Microsoft founded is a question that many people don’t know the answer to? If you are one of these people then you should know that Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. With the release of Microsoft BASIC in November 1976 and the start of the personal computer revolution, Microsoft revolutionized the way people accessed computers. In 1980, Microsoft released its first version of Windows. The success of Windows helped to fuel the spread of PCs into households all over America and Europe.

Today, we take for granted that anyone who can buy a laptop or desktop at all can easily use them to access the internet, work on projects and create new apps with relative ease. But back then, this was not always the case. Thankfully there are plenty of places online where you can learn more about some of Microsoft’s history before you decide whether they’re worth your time and money. So, check out these interesting timelines with everything you need to know about Microsoft’s early years.

The company’s founding and rise to success

April 4, 1975 – Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft Corporation.

1976 – Microsoft BASIC is released.

1980 – Windows 1.01 is released.

1983 – The Microsoft Mouse is released.

1985 – Microsoft releases the first version of Windows and becomes the dominant operating system in the market.

1988 – Lotus Software announced that it had signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft to use Windows 3.0 on its line of products and services for the next ten years, giving it a major boost in market share against IBM’s mainframe computers and Apple’s Macintosh computer, which was still relatively new at this point.

Microsoft’s contributions to the world

Microsoft’s contributions to the world have been amazing. The Microsoft company history is full of numerous milestones that have shaped today’s future. Microsoft has helped to develop some of the most important technology like Windows, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These tools are all essential parts of computing today. They have also made great contributions to internet technologies with Xbox and Kinect. If you want to learn more about Microsoft history and the impact they’ve had on the world, check out this timeline.

1975 April 4: Bill Gates and Paul Allen from Microsoft.

1976 November 1: Microsoft releases its first version of BASIC for personal computers.

1980 December 1: Microsoft releases its first version of Windows for personal computers.

1985 October 26: Microsoft launches Windows 3.1 for personal computers.

1986-1997 Microsoft introduces many new versions of Windows that received great reviews from consumers, critics, and journalists alike (Windows 3).

1990 February 28: Bill Gates announces that Microsoft has purchased aQuantive software from Macromedia in a deal worth USD 300 million (Microsoft).

1998-2002: Bill Gates resigns as CEO of Microsoft to focus his attention on philanthropic endeavours (Bill Gates).

2002-2011 January 20: Bill Gates announces that he is stepping down as CEO in favour of Steve Ballmer during an email sent to employees (Bill Gates).

2011-2014 February 4: Steve Ballmer resigns as CEO but stays on as chairman until 2014 when Satya Nadella becomes CEO (Steve Ballmer).

Microsoft’s rise over the years

Microsoft’s first products were on the BASIC computer language and the personal computer. The first Microsoft product was MS-DOS, which was released in 1981 and sold to IBM. In 1984, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, which was a desktop application for the new IBM PCs.

The next big milestone in Microsoft’s history happened in 1985 when they released Multiplan spreadsheet software, which was originally written to help businesspeople make use of electronic spreadsheets. Then in 1987, Microsoft released Word 1.0 which is still the most popular word processor and created their font technology called the Direct Write font.

In 1988 and 1989, Microsoft became incorporated as a public company with their initial public offering (IPO) on December 12th, 1988, at $28 per share for 100 million shares.

In 1990 and 1991, Microsoft released Excel 2.0 and PowerPoint 2.0 respectively on Macintosh computers as well as Windows 3.0. In 1992, Bill Gates resigned from his role as CEO of Microsoft while remaining Chairman of the Board of Directors until 2000 but remained active in day-to-day operations until 1997 when he turned it over to Steve Ballmer who has been CEO since then.


Early 1980s-1990s 

1980: Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft.

1982: Microsoft released Microsoft BASIC, the first computer programming language for microcomputers. A spreadsheet was later developed with the same name.

1985: Microsoft released a version of Windows 1.0 that included the ability to run on Intel 80386-based PCs.

1986: Microsoft released their first version of Office, which allowed users to edit and create documents quickly on personal computers.

1987: Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM, which allowed them to sell DOS-compatible PCs under the IBM PC brand name, effectively giving Microsoft an exclusive OEM agreement for PC compatibility.

1989: Development began on Windows 3.0, and it became available in 1990.

1990-1991: The IBM PC compatible line was produced and sold exclusively by IBM and other PC manufacturers who licensed DOS from Microsoft for use in new machines.

2000-2010 Microsoft Windows

Windows 1.0, released in 1985, was the first version of Microsoft Windows. It provided a graphical user interface and support for multitasking. It was available on MS-DOS 2.03, an operating system that could also run-on computers with 8086 or 80286 processors and provide support for up to 16 megabytes of RAM.

Windows 2.0 came out in 1987 and was the first version to include an improved user interface, a taskbar, and the ability to run programs in windows instead of one program at once. Windows 3.0 came out in 1990 and added further improvements such as networking capabilities and support for multiple monitor setups.

2010-Present Timeline

On April 4, 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft. Microsoft released its first version of Windows in November 1980. The name “Windows” was chosen because it is the only word that can be typed using only the top row of the keyboard. This version of Windows came with a copy of BASIC, which would later be renamed to MS-DOS. In 1985, Microsoft created QuickBasic for Amiga computers so they could compete with Apple’s Macintosh computer.

In 1993, Gates stepped down as CEO and Steve Ballmer took over his position. In 1994, Microsoft released Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.1 which helped to open the world wide web and make it accessible on PCs for the first time. From 1995-1999, Microsoft released three more versions of Windows: 95/98/ME. In 2000, Bill Gates left the company he co-founded, and Steve Ballmer became CEO until he stepped down in February 2014 after serving 16 years in this role. The following year in 2001, Eric Rudder became CEO until Satya Nadella was named as his replacement in 2014 when he took over as CEO from Steve Ballmer on Feb 4th of that same year.


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