The History of Microsoft - 1985

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For Microsoft, 1985 brings the announcement of the release of Microsoft MacEnhancer expansion system, the Microsoft Mouse is quarantined in Canada and Microsoft celebrates its 10th Anniversary. There's some great footage of the 1985 Roast in this episode. 

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
The History of Microsoft - 1980
The History of Microsoft - 1981
The History of Microsoft - 1982
The History of Microsoft - 1983
The History of Microsoft - 1984

January 23, 1985
Microsoft announces the release of Microsoft MacEnhancer expansion system, a new hardware product designed to open up the Apple Macintosh computer to a wide range of IBM compatible peripherals.

February 1, 1985
Ida Cole is named the new Vice President of Applications, responsible for planning, development, and marketing for the application software product line. She will report to Jon Shirley, President. She was previously with Apple Computer, Inc..

May 3, 1985

Microsoft Mouse Quarantined in Canada
Rich MacIntosh, General Manager of Microsoft Canada, Inc., was recently called to the Canadian Department of Agriculture to retrieve his Microsoft "Mouse" after four weeks of quarantine.

August 9, 1985
Microsoft announces that Wright Runstad & Company breaks ground today on a new Microsoft World Headquarters in Redmond scheduled for completion by mid-1986. The $25 million facility will be located in the southeast quadrant of Evergreen Place Office Park, in a heavily wooded, 29-acre campus setting.

August 12, 1985

Microsoft celebrates its 10th anniversary with sales figures of $140 million for the fiscal year of 1985.

August 22, 1985

Microsoft signs an agreement with IBM for joint development of operating systems and other systems software products.

September 3, 1985

Microsoft selects the Republic of Ireland as the site of its first production facility outside the U.S. for software products to be sold in the European market.

September 30, 1985
Microsoft announces the shipment to retail stores of Excel for the Macintosh, a powerful, full-featured microcomputer spreadsheet that combines business graphics with an on-sheet database.

November 20, 1985

Microsoft ships the retail version of Windows, an operating system that extends the features of the MS-DOS.

Other products released in 1985:

MS-DOS 3.2,  Chart for Macintosh, Microsoft Access 1.0 (business communication app, not database), Cobol 2.1, MacEnhancer 2.0, Basic 2.1 Interpreter for the Mac, Chart 2.0 for DOS, Word for Networks, QuickBasic Compiler, LOGO for the Mac,

Notable New Hires:

Jeremy Butler - Former Senior Vice President, International and OEM.;Tony Dirksen - Former Senior Manager, Investor Relations;Ralf Harteneck - Former Vice President, Communication and Meeting Services Group;Min S. Yee - Former Vice President and Publisher of Microsoft Press.

Other 1985:

·         Gaming: Tetris is written by Russian Alexey Pazhitnov.

·         Internet: The Domain Name System (DNS) is created.                                       is the first domain registered, followed shortly by,, and others.

·         Storage: The CD-ROM format is created by Phillips, in collaboration with Sony.

·         USSR: Mikhail Gorbachev becomes general secretary of the Communist Party on the death of Chernenko.

·         Exploration: The wreck of the Titanic is discovered after 73 years.

·         Music: All-star Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London raise almost $250 million for African famine relief.

·         Drugs: Crack cocaine begins hitting the streets of New York, setting off a drug epidemic.

·         TV: Top-rated shows include The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Murder She Wrote. MacGyver, Moonlighting, and Golden Girls premiere. Economy: The US becomes a debtor nation for first time since 1914.

·         The King: The U.S. Postal Service issues an Elvis Presley commemorative stamp, which sells a record-breaking 500 million.

·         Comics: Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes premieres in the nation’s newspapers.

·         Terrorism: Palestinian terrorists hijack the Italian liner Achille Lauro, killing one hostage. US Navy jets later force down the terrorists’ getaway plane in Sicily.

·         Reagan: Public outrage accompanies President Reagan on his visit to a Nazi military cemetery at Bitburg, Germany.

·         Rock: Rock Hudson dies of AIDS.

·         The Real Thing?: Coca-Cola introduces New Coke in one of the biggest marketing disasters of the 20th century.

·         Greenpeace: French intelligence officers bomb and sink Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in the harbor of Auckland, New Zealand. The boat was protesting French nuclear testing.

·         Soccer Disaster: The main stand at Bradford City Football Ground in Northern England catches fire, killing 40 and injuring more than 170.

·         Movies: Top grossing movies of the year include Out of Africa, Back to the Future, Rambo, and The Color Purple. Out of Africa also nets Oscars for Best Movie and Best Director (Sydney Pollack). Best Actor is William Hurt in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Best Actress is Geraldine Page in Trip to Bountiful.




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