Microsoft: Tech Giant
Microsoft: Tech Giant
Microsoft corporation is the leading developer of personnel-computer based software systems and application. The term micro-soft is the combination of two words microcomputers and software. In January 1975, Paul Allen read an article in Popular Electronics magazine about the Altair 8800 microcomputer and showed it to Bill Gates. Gates called MITS, makers of the Altair, and offered his and Allen’s services to write a version of the new BASIC programming language for the Altair. After eight weeks, Allen and Gates demonstrated their program to MITS, which agreed to distribute and market the product under the name Altair BASIC. The deal inspired Gates and Allen to form their own software company. Thus, Microsoft was started on April 4, 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico—the home of MITS—with Gates as the first CEO. Microsoft Corporation is an American technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, that supports the invention, manufacturing, and licensing of goods and services related to computing.
Applications by Microsoft:
In 2001 Microsoft released the Xbox followed by Xbox Live in 2002. Both releases were very successful which placed Microsoft second in the video gaming market. The Xbox 360, released in 2005 was a very powerful gaming console while facing strong competition. Microsoft had to cut the prices of their gaming consoles to gain a higher market share due to competition. This was a successful move; the Xbox 360 was the most used game console in American homes.
Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 for $8.5 Billion; this was the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history. Microsoft acquired Skype to compete with Apple’s Facetime and Google’s Voice. Microsoft planned to add Skype to its products such as Outlook, Xbox and Windows smartphones.
Microsoft has also recently moved into cloud computing with Windows Azure platform which was announced in 2008. The Windows Azure platform lets consumers build computing infrastructure in the “cloud” and offer it to its users. In 2011, Office 365, a cloud version of Office business software suite was released which included applications such as Word and Excel.
Another popular product, Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012, featured many enhancements to previous versions. This included Always On which provided options to improve the database availability and easy cloud set up and compatibility. Features also included performance and programmability enhancements. DSP-Explorer provide support for all versions and features of Microsoft SQL Servers, across a wide variety of windows platforms.
Operating system legacy:
The successful Altair deal back in January 1975 inspired Bill Gates and Paul Allen to form Microsoft. Their revenues for 1975 totalled $16,000. Microsoft’s big break was in 1980, when a partnership was formed with IBM which resulted in Microsoft providing a crucial operating system, DOS, for IBM PCs. This meant that for every IBM Computer sold a royalty was paid to Microsoft. In 1990, Gates showed the future plan for Microsoft with the introduction of Windows 3.0. 60 million copies of Windows had been sold now which effectively made Microsoft the sole keeper of the PC software standard. As technology advanced and personal computers become so popular, the bulk of Microsoft’s revenue was generated from sales to consumers. It was the first software company to reach $1 Billion in revenues. As more and more versions of Microsoft Windows were launched, Microsoft captured a higher market share the world’s PC (around 90%).
The first versions of Windows (1.0 through to 3.11) were graphical shells that ran from MS-DOS. Windows 95, though still being based on MS-DOS, was its own operating system, using a 16-bit DOS-based kerne and a 32-bit user space. Windows 95 introduced many features that have been part of the product ever since, including the Start menu, the taskbar, and Windows Explorer (renamed File Explorer in Windows 8). In 1997, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4 which included the (at the time controversial) Windows Desktop Update. It aimed to integrate Internet Explorer and the web into the user interface and also brought many new features into Windows, such as the ability to display JPEG images as the desktop wallpaper and single window navigation in Windows Explorer. In 1998, Microsoft released Windows 98, which also included the Windows Desktop Update and Internet Explorer 4 by default. The inclusion of Internet Explorer 4 and the Desktop Update led to an anti-trust case in the United States. Windows 98 also included plug and play, which allows devices to work when plugged in without requiring a system reboot or manual configuration, and USB support out of the box. Windows Me, the last DOS-based version of Windows, was aimed at consumers and released in 2000. It introduced System Restore, Help and Support Center, updated versions of the Disk Defragmenter and other system tools.
In 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT 3.1, the first version of the newly developed Windows NT operating system. Unlike the Windows 9x series of operating systems, it is a fully 32-bit operating system. NT 3.1 introduced NTFS, a file system designed to replace the older File Allocation Table (FAT) which was used by DOS and the DOS-based Windows operating systems. In 1996, Windows NT 4.0 was released, which includes a fully 32-bit version of Windows Explorer written specifically for it, making the operating system work like Windows 95. Windows NT was originally designed to be used on high-end systems and servers, however with the release of Windows 2000, many consumer-oriented features from Windows 95 and Windows 98 were included, such as the Windows Desktop Update, Internet Explorer 5, USB support and Windows Media Player. These consumer-oriented features were further extended in Windows XP, which introduced a new visual style called Luna, a more user-friendly interface, updated versions of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer, and extended features from Windows Me, such as the Help and Support Center and System Restore. Windows Vista focused on securing the Windows operating system against computer viruses and other malicious software by introducing features such as User Account Control. New features include Windows Aero, updated versions of the standard games (e.g. Solitaire), Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Mail to replace Outlook Express. Despite this, Windows Vista was critically panned for its poor performance on older hardware and its at-the-time high system requirements. Windows 7 followed two and a half years later, and despite technically having higher system requirements, reviewers noted that it ran better than Windows Vista. Windows 7 removed many applications, such as Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Mail, instead requiring users download a separate Windows Live Essentials to gain some of those features and other online services. Windows 8 introduced many controversial changes, such as the replacement of the Start menu with the Start Screen, the removal of the Aero glass interface in favor of a flat, colored interface as well as the introduction of “Metro” apps (later renamed to Universal Windows Platform apps) and the Charms Bar user interface element, all of which received considerable criticism from reviewers. Windows 8.1, a free upgrade to Windows 8, was released in 2013.
The current version of Windows, Windows 10, reintroduced the Start menu and added the ability to run Universal Windows Platform apps in a window instead of always in full screen. Windows 10 was generally well-received, with many reviewers stating that Windows 10 is what Windows 8 should have been.
The next version of Windows, Windows 11, has been released in the late 2021. Windows 11 incorporates a redesigned user interface, including a new Start menu, a visual style featuring rounded corners, and a new layout for the Microsoft Store.
|Jan. 1, 1979||Microsoft moves from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Bellevue, Washington|
|June 25, 1981||Microsoft incorporates|
|Aug. 12, 1981||IBM introduces its personal computer with Microsoft’s 16-bit operating system, MS-DOS 1.0|
|Feb. 26, 1986||Microsoft moves to corporate campus in Redmond, Washington|
|March 13, 1986||Microsoft stock goes public|
|Aug. 1, 1989||Microsoft introduces earliest version of Office suite of productivity applications|
|May 22, 1990||Microsoft launches Windows 3.0|
|Aug. 24, 1995||Microsoft launches Windows 95|
|Dec. 7, 1995||Bill Gates outlines Microsoft’s commitment to supporting and enhancing the Internet|
|June 25, 1998||Microsoft launches Windows 98|
|Jan. 13, 2000||Steve Ballmer named president and chief executive officer for Microsoft|
|Feb. 17, 2000||Microsoft launches Windows 2000|
|June 22, 2000||Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer outline Microsoft’s .NET strategy for Web services|
|May 31, 2001||Microsoft launches Office XP|
|Oct. 25, 2001||Microsoft launches Windows XP|
|Nov. 15, 2001||Microsoft launches Xbox|
|Jan. 15, 2002||Bill Gates outlines Microsoft’s commitment to Trustworthy Computing|
|April 24, 2003||Microsoft launches Windows Server 2003|
|Oct. 21, 2003||Microsoft launches Microsoft Office System|
|July 20, 2004||Microsoft announces plans to return up to $75 billion to shareholders in dividends and stock buybacks|
|Nov. 22, 2005||Microsoft launches Xbox 360|
|July 20, 2006||Microsoft announces a new US$20 billion tender offer and authorizes an additional share-repurchase program of up to $20 billion over five years|
|Jan. 30, 2007||Microsoft launches Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System to consumers worldwide|
|Feb. 27, 2008||Microsoft launches Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008|
|June 27, 2008||Bill Gates transitions from his day-to-day role at Microsoft to spend more time on his work at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation|
|June 3, 2009||Microsoft launches Bing decision engine|
|Oct. 22, 2009||Microsoft launches Windows 7; opens first physical store in Scottsdale, Arizona|
|June 15, 2010||Microsoft launches general availability of Office 2010|
|Nov. 10, 2010||Microsoft launches Windows Phone 7|
|Nov. 17, 2010||Microsoft announces availability of Microsoft Lync|
|June 28, 2011||Microsoft launches Office 365|
|Oct. 13, 2011||Microsoft closes its acquisition of Skype|
|June 25, 2012||Microsoft acquires Yammer|
|Sept. 4, 2012||Microsoft launches Windows Server 2012|
|Sept. 12, 2012||Microsoft launches Visual Studio 2012|
|Oct. 18, 2012||Microsoft employee giving tops US$1 billion|
|Oct. 23, 2012||Microsoft introduces new entertainment experience from Xbox|
|Oct. 26, 2012||Microsoft launches Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface|
|Jan. 29, 2013||Microsoft launches Office 2013, expands Office 365|
|Feb. 18, 2013||Microsoft launches Outlook.com|
|May 21, 2013||Microsoft unveils Xbox One|
|July 11, 2013||“Microsoft One” reorganization realigns company to enable innovation at great speed, efficiency|
|Sept. 3, 2013||Microsoft announces decision to acquire Nokia’s devices and services business, license Nokia’s patents and mapping services|
|Oct. 17, 2013||Microsoft launches Windows 8.1|
|Oct. 22, 2013||Microsoft launches Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2|
|Nov. 22, 2013||Microsoft launches Xbox One|
|Feb. 4, 2014||Satya Nadella named chief executive officer for Microsoft|
|March 27, 2014||Microsoft launches Office for iPad|
|April 25, 2014||Microsoft completes acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services business|
|June 20, 2014||Microsoft launches Surface Pro 3|
|Sept. 15, 2014||Minecraft to join Microsoft announcement|
|Nov. 6, 2014||Microsoft announces Office apps for Android tablets|
|May 5, 2015||Microsoft releases Surface 3|
|July 29, 2015||Microsoft launches Windows 10|
|Sept. 22, 2015||Microsoft launches Office 2016|
|Oct. 6, 2015||Microsoft announces Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Microsoft Band 2, Lumia 950 and Lumia 95 XL|
|Oct. 26, 2015||Microsoft opens flagship store in New York City|
|Nov. 12, 2015||Microsoft opens flagship store in Sydney, Australia|
|Jan. 19, 2016||Microsoft Philanthropies announces $1B in donations putting Microsoft Cloud to work for the public good|
|June 1, 2016||Microsoft launches SQL Server 2016|
|July 6, 2016||Microsoft introduces Microsoft Dynamics 365|
|Sept. 29, 2016||Microsoft forms what is now the Technology + Research Group|
|Oct. 18, 2016||Microsoft researchers achieve human parity in conversational speech recognition|
|Oct. 26, 2016||Microsoft introduces Surface Studio, Surface Dial, new Surface Book and Windows 10 Creators Update|
|Dec. 8, 2016||Microsoft completes acquisition of LinkedIn|
|March 7, 2017||Microsoft releases Visual Studio 2017|
|March 17, 2017||Microsoft Teams rolls out to Office 365 customers worldwide|
|May 2, 2017||Microsoft introduces new technology for education, including Windows 10 S, new Surface Laptop and Microsoft Teams for classrooms|
|May 23, 2017||Microsoft announces Windows 10 China Government Edition and the new Surface Pro|
|June 14, 2017||Surface Laptop and new Surface Pro available in 25 markets worldwide|
|Sept. 21, 2017||Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius complete “Marea,” the highest-capacity subsea cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean|
|Oct. 17, 2017||Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Mixed Reality Headsets become available; Surface Book 2 announced|
|Nov. 6, 2017||Microsoft launches Xbox One X|
|Nov. 28, 2017||Microsoft announces major Redmond campus renovation|
|Dec. 5, 2017||Microsoft breaks ground on new sustainable Silicon Valley campus|
|Feb. 22, 2018||Microsoft opens new campus in Dublin, Ireland|
|May 15, 2018||Microsoft announces Surface Hub 2|
|May 16, 2018||Microsoft unveils Xbox Adaptive Controller|
|Aug. 2, 2018||Surface Go becomes available|
|Oct. 26, 2018||Microsoft completes GitHub acquisition|
|Jan. 16, 2019||Microsoft announces $500 million commitment to advance affordable housing in Puget Sound region|
|Feb. 24, 2019||Microsoft introduces HoloLens 2|
|July 11, 2019||Microsoft opens flagship store in London|
|Oct. 2, 2019||Microsoft announces five Surface products for late 2019, plus two new dual-screen devices, Surface Neo and Surface Duo, coming in late 2020|
|Dec. 12, 2019||Microsoft announces Xbox Series X, coming in late 2020|
|Jan. 16, 2020||Microsoft announces plan to become carbon negative by 2030|
|March 30, 2020||Microsoft introduces new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions|
|April 15, 2020||Microsoft announces plan to help protect biodiversity of the world’s ecosystems|
|May 6, 2020||Microsoft introduces Surface Go 2, Surface Book 3, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds|
|June 30, 2020||Microsoft commits to helping 25 million people acquire new digital skills|
|Sept. 21, 2020||Microsoft announces it will replenish more water than it consumes by 2030|
|Sept. 21, 2020||Microsoft announces plans to acquire ZeniMax Media and its game publisher, Bethesda Softworks|
|Oct. 1, 2020||Microsoft introduces Surface Laptop Go|
|Oct. 20, 2020||Microsoft introduces Azure Space|
|Jan. 11, 2021||Microsoft introduces Surface Pro 7+ for Business|
|Feb. 4, 2021||Microsoft introduces Microsoft Viva employee experience platform|
|Feb. 11, 2021||Microsoft announces plans to expand its presence in Atlanta|
|March 2, 2021||Microsoft introduces Microsoft Mesh mixed-reality platform|
|June 24, 2021
|Microsoft introduces Windows 11|
(Source: Microsoft official website)
Projects of Microsoft you should check out:
You must check these projects of Microsoft individually to explore their scope of discovery and innovation.
- Courier – a project to develop a dual screen tablet.
- PixelSense – it is surface computing platform that allows multi users to use touch screen.
- Skype voice translation – it is near real time translator application.
- TouchWall – it is used to scan a surface
- HoloDesk – use to manipulate virtual objects in the real world.
- Robotic Receptionists – it is used to handle basic tasks that a real receptionists might do.