The History of Microsoft - 1978

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For Microsoft, 1978 begins with the announcement of the Microsoft COBOL-80, which conforms to the 1974 ANSI standards for 8080, Z80, and 8085 microprocessor systems.  We establish our first international sales office and fiscal year sales for the first time exceed one million dollars .  Oh and of course, it was the year of Andy Gibb.  Smiley 

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

April 11, 1978

Microsoft COBOL-80, which conforms to the 1974 ANSI standards for 8080, Z80, and 8085 microprocessor systems, is announced.

November 1, 1978

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

November 6, 1978

Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft EDIT-80, a random access, line oriented text editor for 8080 and Z-80 systems. EDIT-80 is the first microcomputer editor with random line access to floppy disk files.

December 1, 1978

Microsoft announces Microsoft Macro-80 for 8080; Z-80. The 14K assembler is the fastest macro assembler currently on the microcomputer market, assembling over 1000 lines per minute.

December 1, 1978

Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft FORTRAN-80 Compiler for TRS-80.

December 31, 1978

Microsoft's year-end sales exceed $1 million at $1,355,655.  There are 13 employees.

The Albuquerque office's Coca Cola bill for Calendar Year 1978 totals $566.50.

Other 1978

  • Intel introduces the 8086 chip, the start of the 16-bit microprocessor family.
  • Senator Al Gore of Tennessee coins the phrase “information highway” in a meeting with computer industry officials.
  • Louise Brown, the first baby to be conceived outside the human body, is born to British parents.
  • The United States bans chlorofluorocarbons as spray propellants because they damage the ozone layer.
  • Shadow Dancing, by Andy Gibb, tops the Billboard charts for the year.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    I'm enjoying this series, but could you pleeeeaase fix the aspect ratio on the non-widescreen content? Pleeese? Pretty Pleeeese?

    I'd rather not have to see another 31 episodes of Bill with a fat head.
  • User profile image
    I've already given up on that. Guess whoever edits these can't see the difference.
  • User profile image
    If we put asside Bill Gates' inflated cranium, that was still another great C9 video Smiley
  • User profile image

    The modern parts are widescreen and the 90s footage of Bill is not so it got stretched. To fix it the entire video would have to be re-edited and even though the incorrect aspect ratio annoys me too I don't think they're going to bother fixing it.

  • User profile image
    I wouldn't be so sure... Tina is well aware of this issue and I think she's planning on fixing it (you are right in that it will require work).

    Now, back to the content of the show...
  • User profile image
    Yeah, I guess the original project could be opened and the old footage could be squished back to 4:3 then the whole thing re-rendered. Glad to hear she's planning on fixing it because the videos are too good to have something like that messing them up.
  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine
    Observe how Bill Gates gulps before mentioning Cobol. Tongue Out

    Edit: This wasn't meant to be a reply.
  • User profile image

    I am so on this people.  As we speak (type) I am working on the Bill Gates cranium issue.  Starting next week I think we will be good to go.  If you guys think 1979 works as far as aspect ratio goes than I can use that as my template going forward.  Again, thank you for your patience. 


  • User profile image
    Yeah we would not want some future historian to find the videos and start a theory that bill was some kind of mutant with an ugly head....  picture some team 10,000 years down the road looking at it and wondering if they had his genes etc....
    or if we all used to have strange heads in the 20th and 21st century....

  • User profile image
    Rodney McKay

    Again a great video! For all of you out there, check the movie "´Pirates of silicon valley". It tells the story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in the early days, very funny ...

    I would like to add one last thing to the 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio discussion. If you fix the next show, it would be great to have a real 16:9 video, not a 4:3 video that contains a 16:9 video (showing Tina) that contains 4:3 videos (showing Bill Gates). Wink

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