The History of Microsoft - 1976

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For Microsoft, 1976 was the first year with an official name, it was the first time Bill Gates raised the issue of piracy and we hired our first full-time employee Marc McDonald.

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The History of Microsoft- 1976 Timeline.

February 3, 1976

Bill Gates is the first programmer to raise the issue of software piracy. In "An Open Letter to Hobbyists," first published in Computer Notes, Gates accuses hobbyists of stealing software and thus preventing good software from being written.

March 27, 1976

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

April, 1976

Marc McDonald becomes Microsoft’s first official employee. (Other people did work on Microsoft products before that, but on a contract basis)

July, 1976

Microsoft’s first advertisement appears in Digital Design magazine.

November 1, 1976

Paul Allen resigns from MITS to join Microsoft full time.

November 26, 1976

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

September 1, 1976

Microsoft leases official office space in the Two Park Central Tower Building at 300 San Mateo Blvd, N.E., Suite 819, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

1976 Headcount/Revenue

The 1976 Calendar Year employee headcount totals six people. Revenues are $22,496

Other 1976:

  • Shugart introduces a 5.25-inch floppy disk drive for $390, the first of this size for microcomputers.
  • Three new magazines hit the stands: Byte, Computer Graphics and Art, and Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia.
  • The United States celebrates its bicentennial.
  • A Viking spacecraft lands on Mars and sends back detailed pictures of a rocky, desert terrain.



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