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The History of Microsoft - 1998

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For Microsoft, 1998 means a changing of the guard as Bill Gates appoints Steve Ballmer president of Microsoft.  Microsoft Corporation's Board of Directors approves a 2-for-1 split of its common shares and The U.S. Justice Department and 20 state attorneys general file an antitrust suit against Microsoft, charging the company with abusing its market power to thwart competition.

Previous Episodes:

1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

1998

The 1998 fiscal year-end sales total $14,480,000,000.

The 1998 fiscal Year employee headcount totals 27,055 people.

Official Subsidiaries Launched: Microsoft India (R&D) Private Limited, Microsoft El Salvador S.A. de C.V., Microsoft Arabia

January 26, 1998 
Microsoft will add two new Actimates learning system characters to its product lineup. Marc Brown's Arthur, and Arthur's little sister, D.W., will be introduced at Toy Fair in New York on Feb. 9. They join preschool Barney™, who debuted last year as the first ActiMates plush character.

January 26, 1998

Microsoft Corporation's Board of Directors approves a 2-for-1 split of its common shares. Shareholders will receive one additional common share held on the record date of February 6, 1998. As of December 31, 1997, Microsoft had approximately 1.2 billion common shares outstanding.

February 5, 1998

Microsoft realigns its product groups to respond to changing consumer and market needs. The reorganization focuses the product groups on investing in Windows with the goal of delivering simplicity and scalability, allowing businesses to maximize their competitive advantage through their digital nervous system, and promoting the Web lifestyle.

March 4, 1998 
Microsoft makes a minority investment in General Magic. Agreements between the two companies include an equity investment as well as the licensing of certain General Magic technologies. Terms of the Agreement include a payment to General Magic of six million dollars.

May 8, 1998 
Microsoft announces plans to support the Euro Currency Symbol in the Windows operating systems family, including Windows 98, Windows NT 5.0 and Windows CE 2.1. A product update will be made available for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. Michel Lacombe, president of MS Europe, Middle East and Africa (Microsoft EMEA) states, "Microsoft is serious about providing its customers with the tools they need for their systems to function smoothly with the new single currency."

May 18, 1998

The U.S. Justice Department and 20 state attorneys general file an antitrust suit against Microsoft, charging the company with abusing its market power to thwart competition.

June 23, 1998 
Microsoft TerraServer, the world's largest database on the Web, is available now. The site contains more than a trillion bytes of compressed aerial and satellite Earth Photos that constitute the world's largest and most detailed atlas. Co-creators of the site were Compaq Computer Corp., The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Aerial Images, Inc. provider of SPIN-2 high-resolution satellite and digital imagery.

June 25, 1998

Windows 98 is available in more than 40 countries worldwide and from more than 12,000 retail outlets in North America.

July 7, 1998 
Microsoft releases to manufacturing Windows Media Player, Windows NT® Server NetShow Services and NetShow Theater Server. The Windows Media Player is now available for download and customers with Windows NT Server 4.0 can now download the NetShow Services as well. Also today, Microsoft announces unprecedented support for these technologies from Internet content providers, corporate and education customers, industry vendors and service providers.

July 21, 1998

Bill Gates appoints Steve Ballmer president of Microsoft.

July 29, 1998 
Microsoft and a group of leading African-American scholars will bring black history alive with Microsoft Encarta Africana, a comprehensive multimedia reference resource on the history, geography and culture of Africa and people of African descent. "For the first time, the story of Africa and its people will be told in a way never before possible-- through images, video, music and text brought together in a unique experience," Gates said.

August 6, 1998 
Microsoft President Steve Ballmer announces the establishment of a new Microsoft campus in Mountain View, California, to better meet the needs of Silicon Valley developers and customers and to centralize the location of nearly 800 employees who currently work at various sites throughout the Valley.

October 6, 1998 
Microsoft Corp. today introduced its first telephone, the Microsoft® Cordless Phone System, which uses the power of the PC to deliver unprecedented flexibility and ease for customizing call management and message services. Microsoft Call Manager software performs a variety of call-management functions. Microsoft Cordless Phone System is scheduled to be available in November 1998 at an estimated retail price of $199.95.

October 16, 1998

The antitrust trial against Microsoft begins in Washington, D.C., with opening statements by the Justice Department's lead attorney, David Boies, and Stephen Houch, lead counsel for the 20 states who also sued Microsoft in May of 1998.

October 27, 1998

Microsoft announces the next major release of the Windows NT line of products, Windows 2000. The name change signals the evolution of Windows NT technology into mainstream use.

November 16, 1998 
Microsoft SQL Server version 7.0 is launched at COMDEX and receives PC Week's "Best of Show" and "Best Productivity Software" awards.

December 1, 1998

MSN Hotmail, World's Largest E-Mail Provider, Surpasses 30 Million Member Milestone. Already Twice the Size of AOL, Hotmail Increases Capacity To Accommodate at Least 30 Million More Users

December 7, 1998

Microsoft Project surpasses 3 millionth-customer mark , customers help make Microsoft Project a category leader.

Other Products Released in 1998: Internet Explorer 4.0 and Outlook Express for the Macintosh, Auto PC, Palm PC, Windows CE Embedded Toolkit for Visual C++ 5.00, Outlook 98, Internet Explorer 4.0 for Sun Solaris 2.5, Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite, Revenge of Arcade, Publisher 98, Visual InterDev™ 6.0, Site Server 3.0, Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition, Commercial Internet System 2.0, Encarta Online, Microsoft® Golf 1998, IntelliMouse Pro, Liquid Motion 1.0, Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition, Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, Baseball 3D, MS Plus! 98, DirectX 6.0 Software Development Kit, Money 99 Financial Suite, Microsoft internet Explorer 4.01 for HP-UX, Encarta Reference Suite 99, PhotoDraw 2000, Graphics Studio Greetings 99, Graphics Studio Home Publishing 99, Graphics Studio Home Publishing Suite 99, Encarta World English Dictionary, Visual J++ development system for Java version 6.0, Windows CE Handheld PC Professional Edition, Encarta Online Deluxe, Microsoft Agent 2., MoneyCentral, Works Suite 99, Smart Card for Windows, Windows CE Platform Builder, Combat Flight Simulator, Age of Empires® Expansion: The Rise of Rome, Microsoft Golf 1999 Edition, Pinball Arcade, Motocross Madness, SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel, SideWinder Freestyle Pro, Microsoft Digital Sound System 80, Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition, Visual C++® 6.0 Professional Edition

In the World:

·     For the first time ever, Exchange Server outsold Lotus Notes in the first quarter of calendar year 1998. In its two years on the market, sales of Exchange Server totaled more than 13 million seats, easily making it the fastest-growing server product in PC history.

·     The FBI announced the creation of a major unit to fight cybercrimes—from hackers stealing money to terrorists seeking to shut down urban power grids.

·     At the CeBIT trade fair, Intel demonstrated a PC with a Pentium II chip running at 700 megahertz, more than twice the rate of today's speed king, a 333-megahertz model. Intel said such leaps in processing power would help spark a rise in the world's PC population to more than 1 billion in the next few years, from 200 million now.

·     After nine hilarious seasons "Seinfeld" took its much-publicized final bow.

·     Walt Disney Co. unveils its largest—and most daring—reconstruction since the Anaheim park opened in 1955.

·     Ice Storm: A massive ice storm strikes the New England area, southern Ontario and Quebec, resulting in widespread power failures, severe damage to forests, and numerous deaths.

·     Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt finally wins the Daytona 500 stock car race after 20 years of trying. After his victory, members of other race teams line up to congratulate him with handshakes and high-fives.

·     Shuttle Commander: NASA announces the first woman commander of a space shuttle mission. United States Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins is chosen to command a future Space Shuttle Columbia mission to launch an X-ray telescope.

·     Mount Everest: At 23 years of age, Bear Grylls becomes the youngest British climber to scale the top of Mount Everest.

·     Charlton Heston: Actor Charlton Heston becomes president of the National Rifle Association.

·     PLANET-B: Japan launches PLANET-B, the nation’s first Mars probe, from the Kagoshima Space Center on the island of Kyushu.

·     Nicholas II: Eighty years after they were killed by Bolsheviks, Nicholas II of Russia and his family are buried in St. Catherine Chapel in Saint Petersburg.

·     Jesse Ventura: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is elected Governor of Minnesota.

·     Exxon-Mobil: Exxon announces a $73.7 billion deal to buy Mobil, creating Exxon-Mobil, the second-largest company on the planet by revenue.

·     Augusto Pinochet: Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is arrested in a London hospital while recovering from surgery.

·     Titanic: “Titanic” becomes the highest-grossing film of all time, earning more than $580 million domestically.

·     Frank Sinatra: Legendary singer Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack at age 82.

·     Harry Potter: J.W. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” is published in the United States. It was issued in the UK the previous year under the title “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”

·     John Glenn: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off with John Glenn, 77, on board, making him the second oldest person to visit space. Previously, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962.

·     Gerhard Schroeder: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder takes office.

·     Electronic Ticketing: American Airlines becomes the first airline to offer electronic ticketing in all 44 countries it serves.

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