The History of Microsoft - 1983

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For Microsoft, 1983 means the end of an era with the resignation of Paul Allen, the introduction of MS - DOS 2.0 and the formation of Microsoft Press, a trade-book publishing division specializing in computer books.

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

1983 Timeline

February 18, 1983

Paul Allen resigns as Microsoft's executive vice president, but remains on the Board of Directors.

March 9, 1983

Microsoft introduces MS-DOS 2.0.

May 2, 1983

Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Mouse, a low-cost, handheld pointing device for use with the IBM PC as well as any other MS-DOS-based personal computer.

August 1, 1983 
The assets of Wiser Laboratories Pty, Ltd. of Australia, the local distributor of Microsoft products, are acquired. With the establishment of this subsidiary, Microsoft obtains a direct distribution network into the region. All of Wiser's employees will be retained, and the firm will stay at its existing address. This is considered the company’s first acquisition.

September 29, 1983

Microsoft ships it’s full-featured word processing program, Word for MS-DOS 1.00 and provides a free demonstration copy to subscribers of The PC World Software Review.

November 3, 1983 
Microsoft Press, a trade-book publishing division specializing in computer books, is formed. Nahum Stiskin is named General Manager and Publisher. The primary marketing focus is the business professional, with secondary emphasis on the hobbyist, home, and education markets. Microsoft Press expects to publish 30 to 35 books in its first year. 

November 10, 1983

Microsoft unveils Windows, an extension of the MS-DOS operating system that provides a graphical operating environment. Windows features a window management capability that allows a user to view unrelated application programs simultaneously. It also provides the capability to transfer data from one application program to another.  Windows wouldn’t actually ship until 2 years later.

December 1, 1983 
The first international subsidiaries to connect to Microsoft e-mail are in Europe: Microsoft Ltd. in the U.K., Microsoft Sarl in France, and Microsoft G.m.b.H. in Germany.

Other products released in 1983: BASIC Interpreter 1.0, Multi-Tool Budget 1.0,  Microsoft Multiplan 1.1, Microsoft Sort

Notable new hires: Jon Shirley - Former Microsoft president, chief operating officer, and director; Joachim Kempin - Former senior vice president of Microsoft's OEM Division;Mike Slade -Former product manager, helped products such as Excel and Works to become household names and managed the entire line of Mac products;Pete Higgins - Former group vice president of the Interactive Media Group and member of the Office of the President;Raymond B. "Buck" Ferguson - Former senior director of Investor and Shareholder Relations;Bernard Vergnes - Chairman Emeritus of Microsoft EMEA.

Other 1983:

·     World Population: 4.690 billion

·     Nobel Peace Prize: Lech Walesa (Poland)

·     U.S. Statistics:  President- Ronald W. Reagan; Vice President - George Bush;  Population -233,791,994;  Life expectancy - 74.6 years

·     First Artificial Heart: A permanent artificial heart was implanted in a human for first time.  The operation was performed on Dr. Barney B. Clark, 61, at University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

·     First Woman In Space: Sally K. Ride, 32, is the first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger.

·     Academy Awards:  Best Picture - Terms of Endearment, James L. Brooks, producer (Paramount); Best Actor - Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies; Best Actress - Shirley MacLaine, Terms of Endearment; Director - James L. Brooks, Terms of Endearment.

·     Nobel Prize for Literature: William Golding (UK)

·     Song of the Year: "Always on My Mind," Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, songwriters

·     Record of the Year: "Rosanna," Toto

·     Major Movies of the Time: The Big Chill, Terms of Endearment, Fanny & Alexander, The Right Stuff

·     M*A*S*H: More than 125 million viewers tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.

·     Birth of Cell Phones: The FCC authorizes Motorola to begin testing cellular phone service in Chicago.

·     New Camera Technology: Kodak produces 8 million disc cameras during the first year of production.

·     The Pope: Pope John Paul II signs new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council.

·     World Series: Baltimore d. Philadelphia Phillies (4-1)

·     Wimbledon: Women - Martina Navratilova d. A. Jaeger (6-0 6-3); Men - John McEnroe d. C. Lewis (6-2 6-2 6-2)

·     War: U.S. forces invade island of Grenada, disposing the Marxist regime there

·     Median Household Income(current dollars):  $20,885

·     Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.20

·     Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: The Color Purple, Alice Walker

·     Pulitzer Prize for Music: Three Movements for Orchestra, Ellen T. Zwilich



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

     It is always nice to look back. Some new unknown information gives the feel of "Oh, this is what it is...". And some are revelations. The transition was nice to know from solution provider to the owner. With the MS Word and Excel - there are some hiddent functions - like rand in word and in excel, there was a game packaged... you can touch upon those for the lighter side...
    Nice work Tina.

  • User profile image
    First Woman In Space: Sally K. Ride

    I'm guessing that's a typo ?

    Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova - 1963
  • User profile image
    Good show Tina. One advice. Stop twitching your head so violently while talking. Smiley
  • User profile image
    so me and the mouse on the same age Smiley
  • User profile image
    "First US Woman in space" is what I heard.
    Another great nostalgia inducing episode as always. Smiley
  • User profile image

    So 7 months is all it took them to go from MS DOS 2.0 to Windows? Amazing, I didnt realise Windows started it's life so far back!

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