A look back at Microsoft History

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Okay, I'm a total sucker for looking back into anything.  I love VHI's "I love the eighties".  I could spend hours in the Microsoft Visitors Center checking out old photos and Key Events from the 70's.  It just goes to show you how much and how quickly the world changes.  I found these key events from the seventies and if anybody finds this stuff as interesting as I do let me know and I'll bring you the following decade.  Smiley

1975

January 1. The MITS Altair 8800 appears on the cover of Popular Electronics, inspiring Paul Allen and Bill Gates to develop a BASIC language for the Altair.

February 1. Bill Gates and Paul Allen sell BASIC, the first computer language program for a personal computer, to Microsoft's first customer, MITS of Albuquerque, NM.

March 1. Paul Allen joins MITS as director of software.

April 7. "Altair BASIC‑Up and Running," declares the headline of the first edition of MITS Computer Notes.

July 1. BASIC officially ships as version 2.0 in both 4K and 8K editions.

1976

February 3. Bill Gates is one of the first programmers to raise the issue of software piracy. In "An Open Letter to Hobbyists," first published in MITS Computer Notes, Gates accuses hobbyists of stealing software and thus preventing "...good software from being written." He prophetically concludes with the line, "...Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software."

March 27. Bill Gates gives the opening address at the First Annual World Altair Computer Convention, held in Albuquerque.

November 1. Paul Allen resigns from MITS to join Microsoft full time.

November 26. The trade name Microsoft is registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.

1977

February 3. Paul Allen and Bill Gates execute an official partnership agreement.

July 1. FORTRAN-80, Microsoft's second language product, is available.

1978

November 1. Microsoft establishes its first international sales office in Japan, ASCII Microsoft.

December 31. Microsoft's year-end sales exceed $1 million.

1979

January 1. Microsoft moves its offices to Bellevue, WA, from Albuquerque.


The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Erik Porter

    1979 was a good year...for me to be born!

    This was an interesting list.  I knew most of it being a Microsoft geek (since way before joining), but there were a couple things in there I wasn't aware of.  Nice!

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    1979 was a good year...for me to be born!

    This was an interesting list.  I knew most of it being a Microsoft geek (since way before joining), but there were a couple things in there I wasn't aware of.  Nice!

  • User profile image
    Ted Bracewell

    The next entry should be "April 1979... TeddyB is born." Who would've thought that the folks in that photo would build something like Microsoft. I wish my parents had put in a few bucks... It's like when you hear about how if you'd invested 4 dollars in Coca Cola at the beginning it would be worth millions today. Amazing.

  • User profile image
    Ted Bracewell

    The next entry should be "April 1979... TeddyB is born." Who would've thought that the folks in that photo would build something like Microsoft. I wish my parents had put in a few bucks... It's like when you hear about how if you'd invested 4 dollars in Coca Cola at the beginning it would be worth millions today. Amazing.

  • User profile image
    Erik Porter

    Freaky...what day is your birthday?  I'm 4-9-79.  Expressionless

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler
    Freaky...what day is your birthday?  I'm 4-9-79.  Expressionless
  • User profile image
    Ted Bracewell

    4-22-79... 2 days ago :o

  • User profile image
    Ted Bracewell

    4-22-79... 2 days ago :o

  • User profile image
    Erik Porter

    Happy 28th birthday to you!  Smiley

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler
    Happy 28th birthday to you!  Smiley
  • User profile image
    Ted Bracewell

    And to you, good sir, although a tad bit belated.

  • User profile image
    Ted Bracewell

    And to you, good sir, although a tad bit belated.

  • User profile image
    Matthew Mushall

    Happy belated birthdays Teddy and Erik.

  • User profile image
    Matthew Mushall

    Happy belated birthdays Teddy and Erik.

  • User profile image
    scratchex

    Yeah Happy Belated B-days folks!

    Maybe one day we'll be part of on10 history.  :=)

  • User profile image
    scratchex

    Yeah Happy Belated B-days folks!

    Maybe one day we'll be part of on10 history.  :=)

  • User profile image
    39cents

    wow.. in a few short years you go from a startup with two ppl to making over a mill in a single year!!

    im very interested to see how the 80's played out for ms.

    ps... not sure when my birthday is.. ive chosen one for myself outta the 4 dates it might be but im pretty sure it was in 1979.

  • User profile image
    39cents

    wow.. in a few short years you go from a startup with two ppl to making over a mill in a single year!!

    im very interested to see how the 80's played out for ms.

    ps... not sure when my birthday is.. ive chosen one for myself outta the 4 dates it might be but im pretty sure it was in 1979.

  • User profile image
    Flashbak

    So, I have to ask, is the Microsoft Museum/Visitor Centre open to civilians?

  • User profile image
    Flashbak

    So, I have to ask, is the Microsoft Museum/Visitor Centre open to civilians?

  • User profile image
    Dengin

     He prophetically concludes with the line, "...Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software."

    That was 1976, I'm still waiting... and yes, I do actually remember 1976.

    And I love "I love the 80s" and cringe at how much of it I remember/did.

  • User profile image
    Dengin

     He prophetically concludes with the line, "...Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software."

    That was 1976, I'm still waiting... and yes, I do actually remember 1976.

    And I love "I love the 80s" and cringe at how much of it I remember/did.

  • User profile image
    Chris Arnold

    Its amazing to see what they all looked back then. Without knowing what I know now, I doubt I would of invested if I was around in those days.

  • User profile image
    Chris Arnold

    Its amazing to see what they all looked back then. Without knowing what I know now, I doubt I would of invested if I was around in those days.

  • User profile image
    39cents

    flashbak brings up a good question.. is the center open to visitors? also.. im very interested in what happens in the 80's. i didnt realize how quick ms took off. in just a couple of years they go from a start up to a million dollar a year company.

    ps.. i was also born in '79!! .. but sadly thats all i can confidently say. i dont know what my birthday REALLY is. i decided on one. but there could be any of about 4 days.

  • User profile image
    39cents

    flashbak brings up a good question.. is the center open to visitors? also.. im very interested in what happens in the 80's. i didnt realize how quick ms took off. in just a couple of years they go from a start up to a million dollar a year company.

    ps.. i was also born in '79!! .. but sadly thats all i can confidently say. i dont know what my birthday REALLY is. i decided on one. but there could be any of about 4 days.

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