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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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Love it, keep it up! Steve Ballmer seems to always have been the man for bringing in the cash and growing the company, hadn't quite dawned on me that this is nothing new, going back so far.
  • User profile image
    wow - that was very telling...

    fun reading bill gates body language as he describes letting ballmer into to run the show
    "steves great at hiring guys"   "programmers like being run by programmers"

    ..just wow.

    on the + side...

    the 80's MS logo - i dont remember seeing that - very cool with the slanting and drop down letters - looks almost NEW

    and also cool was MS UNIX = Xenix??  double wow.

    it even starts with X (box)

    ps - is my Xphone ready yet Wink  * and i may reconsider if it's Xune 
  • User profile image
    two things i have noticed:

    1) when i view full screen i find the syn is off between the audio and the video.
    2) full screen does not look very good, what is the top resolution you are encoding for ??
    my display is 1200x1920 x 28 inch diagonal  Smiley

    ok the audio sync is not just on this video, i guess there is an issue with sync on many of the videos played by the silverlight player when i go full screen... sucks.
    i wonder if it's a problem with scaling up the video or something else....
  • User profile image
    Thank you, Tina!
  • User profile image

    Can you PLEASE use some convention for these download filenames. ForTinaHistory... WTF?!?!?

  • User profile image
    It looks like a cheesy 80's metal band logo. Then again, it was the 80's.
  • User profile image

    Super Cool! Thank you Tina for bringing us this video. I'm downloading all the series. Could you please make longer videos in the future? We always want to know more ! Bye!

  • User profile image
    Um... What?

    Anyway, we have another fine piece of history in a convenient digital format... always looking forward to new eps! Smiley
  • User profile image
    I miss Bill.
  • User profile image

    I don't know if this is the right thread for this comment, but here it goes,

    My platform since 2000 is mainly Mac, either at home or on the road consulting. I just recently bought my first non-ppc mac, the mac mini so that I can keep up with my personal interest in

    We are divided no more, thanks to OpenSource and Linux, so this is not a platform gripe, it is something for the technicians to test.

    I have VMware Fusion+xp home edition SP3, and I can run "in parallel" windows and mac.

    I noticed using IE 8 in the Fusion virtualization of windows that the volume control for these movies works correctly, with decent decibel output.

    Simultaneously, and logged in to the forum "twice" with a mac os x 10.5.7 (last night update), the volume output is totally unacceptable for the silverlight 2.0 I downloaded and installed as a plugin to Safari browser. You can up the volume control arrow all the way, and still you can't get decent volume.

    Are there known issues about this ?


  • User profile image

    I love MS, I love windows 7 and what is the next of windows ???

  • User profile image

    wow I've never heard of XENIX, you learn something new every day

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