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.   

Previous The History of Microsoft Episodes:

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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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Chris Richner

      April, 1976, I was finally born not having a clue back then that I will become a dev and use microsoft products 24/7/365 ,)

    • User profile image
      where can i get that interview with bill gates ?
    • User profile image

      I'm glad that Bill's hair has improved since the 90s. He looks even geekier in the wrong aspect ratio though Smiley

    • User profile image
      Great video keep them coming.
    • User profile image
      Paul Allen's beard will never cease to amaze me.
    • User profile image
      Sven Groot
      Some parts of the video are still in the wrong aspect ratio? Is it really that hard to get right?
    • User profile image
      Hi Sven, 
                  First of all I appreciate you watching this video.  I hope you stick around for the entire series and have patience with us with respect to aspect ratios.  Just to give you some insight.  This series was shot in HD and currently our player doesn't support that format.  Clearly the Bill Gates stuff was shot 4:3.  Thus, some inconsistencies.  We are trying a few different things out but it's a bit complicated behind the scenes.  As a team we are communicating daily about this process and are striving to bring you the highest quality content possible.  My goal is to have you comment about our story and not how we present it and I can assure you we are working on it.  Thanks again for being a part of the channel 9 community. 

    • User profile image
      This video series is really great. And, moreover, Tina is so beatiful !!
    • User profile image
      Firas Ammouri

      Very interesting Apple computer, and I liked that Bill Gates was marketing Microsoft by writing that Legends of the Micro-Kid.


      Thanks Tina, Looking forward to the next episode

    • User profile image
      Thanks Firas.  1977 will be airing tomorrow morning.  Smiley 
    • User profile image

      Great vid. I didn't know Paul Allen came back to Microsoft.  Interesting story about how Marc Mcdonalds got the number 1 employee badge when he came back to Microsoft.

    • User profile image
      Microsoft Computers Fan

      Fantastic video. How things have changed since then. Fair play to Gates, a lot of jealous people are hard on him but he has done extremely well for himself.

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