The History of Microsoft - 1980

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For Microsoft, 1980 means a new decade and new technology. Microsoft introduces the Z-80 SoftCard, Steve Ballmer joins the company and we announce XENIX OS, a portable, UNIX-based operating system for 16-bit microprocessors.

Previous Episodes:
The History of Microsoft - 1975
The History of Microsoft - 1976
The History of Microsoft - 1977
The History of Microsoft - 1978
The History of Microsoft - 1979

January 1, 1980

Microsoft Consumer Products announces its first consumer-oriented application software, Typing Tutor.

April 2, 1980

Microsoft introduces the Z-80 SoftCard, a circuit board that plugs into the Apple II computer and allows Apple II users to run CP/M applications with only minor modifications.

June 11, 1980

Steve Ballmer joins Microsoft with responsibility for Operations, including personnel, finance, and legal areas of the business.

August 25, 1980

Microsoft announces XENIX OS, a portable, UNIX-based operating system for 16-bit microprocessors.

1980 Revenue/Headcount

The 1980 year-end sales total $8,000,000. The 1980 Calendar Year employee headcount totals 40 people.

Other products released in 1980:
Basic Compiler 5.3, TRS-DOS COBOL and Basic, muLISP and muMATH, TRS-80 Editor/Assember, XMacro-86 Cross Assembler, COBOL-80 Compiler 4.0, BASIC Interpreter for Z8000, Olympic Decathlon (game), M/SORT, FORTRAN & COBOL for Apple II, RAMcard (memory expander for the Apple II)

Other 1980:

  • Apple Computer goes public with 4.6 million shares, the largest offering since Ford Motor Co. went public in 1956.
  • Novell, Inc. is founded.
  • President Carter declares a U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts.
  • Ordinary People, with Mary Tyler Moore, wins the Best Picture Oscar.
  • Call Me, by Blondie, tops the Billboard charts.



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