The History of Microsoft - 1997

Play The History of Microsoft - 1997
Sign in to queue


For Microsoft, 1997 is filled with big moves as  the Company announces the immediate availability of Office 97, we sign an agreement to acquire WebTV Networks for approximately $425 million in stock and cash and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 is released to critical acclaim and enormous customer demand.

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 Revenue/Headcount

The 1997 fiscal year-end sales total $11,360,000,000. The 1997 fiscal Year employee headcount totals 22,232 people.

Official Subsidiaries Launched: Microsoft Dominicana, S.A., Microsoft Egypt, Limited Liability Company


January 16, 1997

Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Office 97, the new version of the world's best-selling productivity suite, which integrates the ease of intelligent applications with the power of the Web. February 7, 1997
Microsoft unveils its ActiMates™ early learning system. The system is a combination of products that work with the personal computer or the VCR. Microsoft, through a licensing agreement with The Lyons Group, presents Barney® as the first ActiMates interactive character.

February 24, 1997

DreamWorks SKG is using Softimage® 3D, Softimage Eddie and Mental Ray to create its new film project "Shrek." Driven by DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, "Shrek" will be a milestone production in content creation and the first full-length computer-generated film to use motion capture as its primary tool for character animation.

March 18, 1997

Leading software vendors and content providers, including Borland International Inc., The Carsey-Werner Company, Macromedia Inc., the Powersoft division of Sybase Inc., Time Warner Inc., Wired Digital and ZDNet announced their intent to support Microsoft® Dynamic HTML in future products and Web Sites. Microsoft Corp.'s implementation of Dynamic HTML, developed in collaboration with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), builds on standard HTML through an open, language-independent object model.

April 3, 1997

The Seattle Sidewalk city guide is now available free on the World Wide Web and as a featured offering on MSN.

April 6, 1997

Microsoft signs an agreement to acquire WebTV Networks for approximately $425 million in stock and cash. WebTV Networks offers a complete system that provides consumers access to the Internet via television.

June 9, 1997

Microsoft invests $1 billion in Comcast, the nation's fourth-largest cable television operator and diversified telecommunications company. The $1 billion cash investment will enhance Comcast's deployment of high-speed data and video services via its cable delivery network.

June 16, 1997

The Internet Gaming Zone hit several milestones in May: a record 275,000 members have signed up to play over its free gaming site, and more than 1 million games sessions were initiated during May. These figures make the site the one of the largest gaming communities on the Internet

July 7, 1997

Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Microsoft® Site Server, a comprehensive Web site environment for enhancing, deploying and managing rich intranet and Internet Web sites. Site Server is available through standard Microsoft channels in two editions: Microsoft Site Server and Microsoft Site Server, Enterprise Edition.
August 6, 1997

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates lay out a broad product and technology development agreement between Apple and Microsoft. The agreement includes the production of future versions of Office, Internet Explorer, and other Microsoft tools for the Macintosh, the bundling of Internet Explorer with the Mac OS, a broad patent cross-licensing agreement for leading-edge Mac technologies, and a $150 million investment in Apple by Microsoft.

September 30, 1997

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 is released to critical acclaim and enormous customer demand.

October 21, 1997

Brad Chase writes a letter to Microsoft customers explaining the Justice Department’s allegations. He expresses Microsoft’s wish to provide customers with innovative products that make the Internet more accessible.

November 25, 1997

Pollsters Hart and Teeter find that Microsoft is the most admired company in one of the most admired industries in America. When the public was asked to volunteer, without being prompted, the names of one or two companies they respect and admire, Microsoft was named 25 percent of the time. IBM and General Motors were next, at 16 percent, followed by AT&T and Wal-Mart at 15 percent.

December 31, 1997

Microsoft Corp. today announced it has acquired Hotmail, the award-winning free Web-based e-mail service. Hotmail will become an important component of The Microsoft Network of online communication and information services that Microsoft offers free to all Internet users


Other Products Released in 1997: FrontPage v 1.00 for Macintosh, Microsoft Office for the Macintosh, version 4.2.1, Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 software for Macintosh, Home Essentials 97, Software Development Kit (SDK) for Java™ version 1.5, Visual C++ development system version 5.0, Professional Edition, Plus! for Kids, Visual J++ development tool version 1.1, Professional Edition, Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition, Exchange Server version 5.0,, Microsoft® Commercial Internet System (MCIS), Office 97, Small Business Edition, Sidewinder 3D Pro for the Macintosh, Internet Explorer version 3.01 for Windows version 3.1 and Windows NT version 3.51, Visual C++ for Windows CE, Softimage SDK version 1.7, Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest, Mastering Web Site Development Using Visual InterDev, Mastering Visual Basic 5 Fundamentals, Internet Explorer version 3.01 for Macintosh is available, Microsoft Office 60 Minute Intranet Kit, Bookshelf 98, DirectX 5.0, NetShow 2.0, Smart Card Software Developer Kit (SDK), Expedia™ Streets 98, Picture It! version 2.0, Microsoft® Agent, Microsoft Internet Finance Server (MIFS) toolkit, My Personal Tutor: Preschool-First Grade, Windows CE 2.0, Flight Simulator 98, Microsoft Side Winder Force Feedback Pro joystick, Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows 95 and Windows NT, Proxy Server 2.0, MSN 2.5, Encarta Reference Suite 98, Greetings Workshop Deluxe, Home Essentials 98, Works 4.5, BackOffice Small Business Server 4.0, Microsoft Age of Empires, Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far, SideWinder Precision Pro joystick, Money 98 Financial Suite, Visual C++ Development System, NetMeeting 2.1, SOFTIMAGE DS, Encarta 98 DVD Reference Suite, Exchange Server 5.5, Encarta Virtual Globe 1998, SNA Server 4.0, DirectX Media 5.1 SDK, CART Precision Racing game, Mastering Web Site Fundamentals, BackOffice Server 4.0, Fighter Ace

Notable New Hires:  Charles Thacker - Manager Microsoft Research Cambridge, Roger Needham-director Cambridge Lab.

In the World:

·         Again under the leadership of Steve Jobs, Apple restructures and enters an alliance with Microsoft.

·         Intel maintains its position as the world's top chip supplier, and Andy Grove, Intel's CEO, earns "TIME" magazine's Man of the Year title.

·         NASA's Pathfinder craft touches down on Martian soil.

§  Death:  Diana, Princess of Wales is killed in a car crash in Paris, along with companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul, while trying to evade paparazzi. Her funeral at Westminster Abbey is watched on TV by over 1 billion people worldwide.

§  Business: Boeing merges with McDonnell Douglas.

§  Internet: The term “weblog” is coined by blogger Jorn Barger.

§  China: The United Kingdom hands over sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.

§  Stock Market: The stock market sees a year of frenzied activity as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 7,000 for the first time, then closes above 8,000 only five months later. Most of the gain is lost when markets crash around the world on October 27, only to gain much of it back the next day, in the New York Stock Exchange’s first one-billion-share trading day.

§  TV: Seinfeld, Frasier, and Friends are among the top U.S. television programs. Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and South Park premiere. Hillsborough, a made-for-TV documentary about the violent deaths of 92 British soccer fans in 1989, wins top prize at the Banff World Television Festival.

§  Comet: 39 members of cult “Heaven’s Gate” commit suicide, expecting to be transported to an alien spacecraft hiding in the tail of Comet Hale-Bopp.

§  Chess: IBM’s Deep Blue defeats world chess champion Gary Kasparov 3.5 to 2.5 in a six-game match, the first time a computer defeated a world champion in match play.

§  Publishing: The first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, is published, launching a worldwide phenomenon.

§  Internet: The domain is registered.

§  Music: Katrina and the Waves win the Eurovision Song Contest with Love Shine a Light.  Elton John (Candle in the Wind 1997) and Jewel (You Were Meant for Me) top the Singles charts in the U.S.

§  Cars: The Toyota Prius, the first hybrid vehicle to go into full production, is launched in Japan.

§  Blair: Britain’s Labour Party ends 18 years of Conservative rule, as Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister.

§  Video: The first DVDs go on sale in the U.S, following their release in Japan the previous year.

§  Internet: AltaVista introduces its Babel Fish online translator service.

§  Games: Rockstar Games releases Grand Theft Auto.

§  Movies: Top grossing movies of the year include Men in Black, Liar Liar, and The Full Monty. Titanic tops the list and nets the Oscar for Best Movie while Ta'm e guilass (Taste of Cherry) and Unagi (The Eel) share the Palme d’Or at Cannes.



Right click to download this episode

The Discussion

Add Your 2 Cents