The History of Microsoft - 1999: The Series Finale!

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I want to thank everyone for their support of The History of Microsoft series here on Channel 9.  I had a great time creating it and I hope you enjoyed watching it.  1999 is the Series finale because we may try and do something a bit different for the last decade which would include the years 2000 to 2009.  Maybe go a bit more indepth.  We haven't decided and they have not been shot yet.  Thanks again for the support and enjoy The History of Microsoft 1999. 

For Microsoft, 1999 is the end of the decade but just the beginning of more growth.  Microsoft is one of the first software companies to create its own computer science research organization, called MSR. Internet Explorer 5.0 is introduced by Bill Gates at a launch event on the Microsoft campus in Redmond and MSN Mobile the newest addition to the MSN(TM) network of Internet services is available.

Previous Episodes:

1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998



1999 Revenue/Headcount

The 1999 fiscal year-end sales total $19,750,000,000. The 1999 fiscal Year employee headcount totals 31,396 people.

Official Subsidiaries Launched:
SIA Microsoft Latvija, Microsoft Bulgaria EOOD, Microsoft Trinidad & Tobago Limited (Jamaica),Microsoft Tunisie S.A.R.L. (Tunisia), Microsoft Bolivia S.R.L.


International Sales Offices Established:  Microsoft Kuwait, Microsoft Corporation Lebanon

January 6, 1999
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po Say 'Eh-0h' to Microsoft
Microsoft is awarded the license to produce ActiMates Interactive Teletubbies, based on the international children's phenomenon. The ActiMate "Teletubbies" are the first interactive toys created for children from one year old and will interact with children by responding to touch through a series of sensors.

February 1, 1999

Microsoft is one of the first software companies to create its own computer science research organization, called MSR. Microsoft sees the need to support long-term computer science research not bound by product cycles.

February 24, 1999

Microsoft's first online store, located at, debuts.

March 18, 1999

Internet Explorer 5.0 is introduced by Bill Gates at a launch event on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. By the following week, more than 1 million downloads of the new version have taken place.

March 24, 1999

Bill Gates releases his latest book, "Business @ the Speed of Thought," published by Warner Books.

June 7, 1999

Steve Ballmer officially launches Office 2000, a key element of the company's vision of "Knowledge Workers Without Limits."

June 14, 1999

Microsoft Corp. today announced the product details of its client and server software for the television industry - the Microsoft® TV Platform Adaptation Kit (Microsoft TVPAK) - and confirmed that it has released the software in different forms to key industry leaders. More than 30 industry-leading companies are already actively working with the software, which merges Internet and television technologies, to create new devices, services and content to enhance the entertainment value and usefulness of television for consumers.

June 14, 1999

MSN Mobile the newest addition to the MSN(TM) network of Internet services is available. From MSN.COM, consumers can now sign up to receive a host of wireless information services on their interactive pagers and cellular phones. MSN is the first of the major Internet portal sites to provide wireless information services. Microsoft also revealed it has acquired OmniBrowse Inc., a wireless data services company specializing in applications for wireless handheld devices. An enhanced version of MSN Mobile is scheduled to be available later this year in conjunction with the next major upgrade of MSN.COM.

August 5, 1999

Asheron's Call is scheduled for holiday release. Microsoft is calling on all gamers attending the 32nd annual GenCon Game Fair to be among the first to explore the expansive new world of "Asheron's Call(TM)," an epic, massively multiplayer online role-playing game, months before its scheduled holiday release on the MSN(TM) Gaming Zone. Also on display at the Microsoft booth is "Age of Empires(R) II: The Age of Kings," and "Starlancer," an intense first-person space combat game created by Digital Anvil Inc.'s Chris and Erin Roberts, pioneers of the space combat genre.

September 13, 1999

Microsoft announces Windows DNA 2000, a comprehensive, integrated platform for building and operating state-of-the-art distributed Web applications as well as the next wave of Internet-based Web services.

November2, 1999

Microsoft launched MSN eShop, a new shopping site built with the specific goal of helping consumers easily find, decide on and buy products. The site is a full-featured shopping service that integrates with the entire MSN network of Internet services giving shoppers the ability to easily find and buy exactly what they are looking for this holiday season.

November 5, 1999

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issues his initial findings of fact in the antitrust trial, finding that Microsoft held monopoly power and used it to harm consumers, rivals and other companies.

November 23, 1999

Microsoft® Passport "wallet" service is now live at 24 leading merchant sites. In addition to these live sites, there are now over 100 e-commerce sites committed to supporting Passport, a 90% increase since the service was launched in October. According to Jupiter Communications, shoppers will spend more than $6 billion dollars online this holiday season. Microsoft Passport can help streamline the online purchasing process for consumers by giving them one electronic wallet for use across multiple Web sites, making it faster and easier to purchase their gifts online.

November 30, 1999

Mediation in the antitrust trial begins as both sides meet with the mediator, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, to see if they can settle the ongoing antitrust lawsuit.


Other Products Released in 1998: Internet Explorer 4.5 for the Mac, Outlook Express 4.5 for the Mac,  MacTopia (website), Microsoft® DirectX® Software Development Kit (SDK) 6.1, Systems Management Server 2.0, Windows Media™ Technologies 4, Windows NT Embedded 4.0, MapPoint 2000, Midtown Madness, IntelliMouse Explorer, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) 6.0 , VBA Software Development Kit (SDK) 6.0, Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals, Baseball 2000, Windows 98 Second Edition, SideWinder Dual Strike 1.0, SideWinder Game Pad Pro 1.0, BackOffice Server 4.5, Links Extreme, Vizact 2000, Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) 2.5, Publisher 2000, MCIS 2.5, Access 2000, The Natural Keyboard Pro, Internet Keyboard Pro, Internet Keyboard, Microsoft Outlook® Express 5.0 for Mac, ActiveSync 3.0, NBA Inside Drive 2000, NFL Fever 2000, Encarta Reference Suite 2000, Encarta Reference Suite 2000, Microsoft Word 98 Special Edition For the iMac and iBook, Money 2000 Deluxe, Cordless Wheel Mouse, Works Suite 2000, Home Publishing Suite 2000, Pandora's Box, PhotoDraw(TM) 2000 Version 2, "Age of Empires® II: The Age of Kings, Flight Simulator 2000, Links LS 2000, Encarta Africana 2000, Play Pack CD-ROM, Windows Smart Card Toolkit, MSN Messenger Service 2.0

Notable New Hires:

In the World:

·         Linux Kernel 2.2 releases. The number of people running Linux is estimated at over 10 million, making it not only an important operating system in the Unix world, but an increasingly important one in the PC world.

·         Sun Microsystems acquires StarDivision, the developers behind the StarOffice suite of software.

·         IEEE introduces 802.11b, aka Wi-Fi.

·         The release of the movie "The Matrix" raises the bar for computer-generated special effects.

·         Internet Restrictions: The China News Service announces new government restrictions on Internet use aimed especially at Internet cafes.

·         Super Bowl: The Denver Broncos win their second Super Bowl in a row, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida.

·         Endurance Record: While trying to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon, Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new endurance record after being aloft for 233 hours and 55 minutes.

·         Enron: Enron energy traders allegedly route 2,900 megawatts of electricity destined for California to the town of Silver Peak, Nevada, population 200.

·         Melissa: The Melissa worm attacks the Internet, forcing several large corporations to shut down their e-mail servers.

·         The Last Supper: After 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo de Vinci’s "The Last Supper" is placed back on display in Milan, Italy.

·         Female Prime Minister: The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand's history.

·         Panama Canal: The US turns over complete administration of the Panama Canal to the Panamanian Government as stipulated in the Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977.

·         Russian President: Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President.

·         Columbine: Two Colorado students go on shooting spree in Columbine High School, killing 15, including themselves

·         Joe DiMaggio: Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio dies at age 84.

·         Gene Siskel: Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel dies at age 53.

·         Internet Use: The number of Internet users worldwide reaches 150 million by the beginning of 1999. Over 50% are from the United States.

·         Space Capsule: The Liberty Bell 7 space capsule, piloted by Gus Grissom on America's second manned space flight, is discovered off the Florida coast after being submerged for 38 years

·         NATO: Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic join NATO.

·         Tornado: An F5 tornado slams into Moore, Oklahoma, killing 38 people - the second strongest tornado ever recorded in United States history.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Sounds great. This decade is one of the most interesting of all.

  • User profile image

    Thank you! This series is GREAT! Looking forward to 2K.

  • User profile image

    Great job guys,


    But could you post all these videos in some easily accessible or searchable place? like a link in a main category, or even a link on Wikipedia.


    It would be nice to have quick access to this history. Otherwise it might get lost over time among vast video resources on Channel9.


    Just a though, does somebody know how many gigabytes(terabytes, petabytes) all Channel9 videos are?

    Could you post a banner of sorts (up on top of the page somewher) so that people can see how much work you guys did?

  • User profile image

    here is what you're looking for ivan: Smiley

  • User profile image

    Any chance of putting these all together into one video so I can watch them all at once?

  • User profile image

    I've watched every one of these so far, and I really look forward to what you do for the 2000's.

  • User profile image

    You have done a fantastic job, excellend work!  I look forward to the next 10!

  • User profile image

    Any chance to get the 20+ episodes into one full downlodable package, in a zip file somewhere? Also, a DVD in the company store would certainly be a best seller! I would buy 10 DVDs for sure!


    Moreover, the export into Zune format doesn't seem to work, for me.

  • User profile image


  • User profile image

    We have been brainstorming about how else to offer these.  One full downloadable package seems like the most effecient.  Let me see what we can do on our end. 



  • User profile image

    I need more please!

  • User profile image

    Really enjoyed all off it. Thanks a lot!

    Looking forward to anything on Microsoft beyond 1999.

  • User profile image

    Any update regarding the possibility to have a full package of all the MS history? Also, a DVD sold at the company store could be a hit!



  • User profile image

    How about the Internet and future of Microsoft operating systems ?

    Microsoft Windows Operating Systems like windows vista are very much likely to unable to provide satisfactory performance and support to the users for using Internet. Also newly release windows 7 has the same problems though initially it was somehow light and faster performance. Now a days Internet is a difficult place to work or just to connect for a while. Like just connecting to the Internet for a minute the computer get rush of privacy or piracy items of malware, spyware and unwanted adware or harmful activeX disable the computer and systems.


    On the top new we can see new windows 7 has some simplified and colourful features are looks interesting but the usability and the security of the systems are in question ? Like windows Vista now is the systems of trailers of loads have 100s of update and also service packs (1 and 2) makes the systems very much complicated and sluggish has little opportunity to adopt with others systems software.


    Let we can have a sight at the computer of Windows Operating Systems with a system below and has been tried to fix the error of the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems and it feature functions: Due to the complexity of the Operating System it has been tried with a newly installed windows vista/7 system and it’s functioning capacity.



    It has found some critical unwanted 152 registry entries, 42 junk files, 2594 privacy or piracy items and 11 performance features errors. Also it has thousands of harmful activeX items and other harmful features, however, Microsoft Windows products like Windows defender or Windows malicious software removal tools are unable to do anything with these. Initially it has few registry errors and junk files and only 4 privacy items and few harmful activeX items. So just connecting on the Internet it found to caught half of these and within couple of days have got all these harmful items. In a month could be millions of harmful items are being resident in the computer. So now it is found so difficult to connecting to the Internet or have very much slower and sluggish connection.


    Now we can see in the above that with the help of PC Errors fixing system it has been scan and clean the PC and finally looks it has been found cleaned. The system shows to has done cleaning by removing nearly 10,000 items and blocked thousands of harmful bad activeX. It also can be seen that the Error fix system shows PC health is good and the health meter shows in light green position. However, this PC clean though have little improvement in the PC speed and memory the overall performance of the PC is in question, specially using the Internet all thousands of these are coming back again.


    Let we can have a sight at another tools used to connect to the Internet. Below is a Internet connecting software can connect to the network secured/unsecured. It can also use multiple adapter at any time or can change the mode of adapters. It show all the network are showing green and available for connection, however, windows network systems are somehow or completely unable to recognize or to make a connection at all.


    So the Microsoft software and the other Internet product are very much is in some contradiction and the users found sufferings a lot.


  • User profile image

    Why the pics are not coming ?

  • User profile image

    This series has been fantastic.  All I can say is: MOAR!

  • User profile image

    A great documentary. I started it today with the first episode and finished it the same day with the series finale. It was both fun and knowledge to watch.

  • User profile image

    This is great! Any chance to get one file compiling all the episodes? The best would be to release a DVD available at the company store. Or just a downloadable file

  • User profile image

    I am very sad to see no "history" beyond 1999. I think you could have stopped at the release of Windows Vista or 7. History for the next decade please or at least only a "products shipped" list.

  • User profile image

    Make the next set of Microsoft History! It will be a great series once complete

  • User profile image

    This is a great series, I hope to see more. Wathcing these has made me go back and watch Pirates of Silicon Valley again, good film!

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