The Birth Of Microsoft

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975. Formerly based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Microsoft moved to Washington State in 1979 and ultimately grew into a major multinational tech corporation. In 1987, which is the year after Microsoft went public, 31-year-old Bill Gates became the world’s youngest billionaire.

Where Did The Name ‘Microsoft’ Come From?

Back in 1975, Gates and Allen had been musing about a few possible names for their new venture. They had talked about a lot of different names and had also mentioned names such as Incorporated Inc. and Unlimited Ltd. They also talked a lot about whether they should call it Allen & Gates. But the name “Micro-Soft” stuck. It was created by Allen as a hybrid of “microcomputer” and “software.”

Request From IBM

In the early 80s, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) requested Microsoft to manufacture the essential software, or operating system, for its very first personal computer, which was called the IBM PC. Microsoft bought an operating system from another company, modified it, and called it MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System).

In 1981, long before you could enjoy FIFA world cup betting online, MS-DOS was released with the IBM PC. After this, most manufacturers of personal computers licensed MS-DOS as their OS, so generating vast revenues for Microsoft. By the early 1990s it had sold far more than 100 million copies of the computer program and beat competitor OSs such as CP/M, which it overtook in the early 1980s and then later IBM OS/2. Microsoft further entrenched its position in operating systems with Windows, which is a graphical user interface whose third version, which was released in 1990, earned a broad following.

Massive Sales

By 1993, Windows 3.0 and its following versions were selling at a rapid rate of one million copies per month, and nearly 90% of the world’s PCs were running ran on a Microsoft operating system. In 1995 the organisation released Windows 95 which – for the first time – fully integrated MS-DOS with Windows and effectively matched Apple Computer’s Mac OS in ease of use.

In addition, Microsoft became the market leader in productivity software for example word-processing and spreadsheet programs, outstripping long-time rivals Lotus and WordPerfect in the process.

Where Are Gates And Allen Now?

Today Gates is the world’s richest man, worth around $50bn. He gave up the day-to-day running of the business by 2008 to focus on his family’s charitable foundation, which combats diseases including polio, malaria and Aids. He remains Microsoft’s non-executive chairman.

Allen ranked sixth in 2005, with almost $23bn. He left his day job at Microsoft in 1983 to fight Hodgkins Disease however remained on the board until 2000. As a canny investor, Allen built his wealth through investment vehicle Vulcan Ventures. He was chairman of cable TV company Charter Communications and owned the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team as well as the Seattle Seahawks American football franchise.

Allen passed away in 2018 and was 65. The cause of death was complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family said in a statement. The disease recurred after having been in remission for years.