Microsoft

Logan Arbogast

History

In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen began Microsoft by selling a version of the BASIC programming language that would work with the Altair computer that MITS had just made. The computers at the time (and the first few of their own computers) were entirely text-based interfaces, so to get to the calculator you'd have to do "run calculator".

Progression

Eventually, they sold graphics-based interfaces with clicking mice to Apple and IBM. Their old MS-DOS became Windows 95 with the addition of the Start button and graphics too. Then, Microsoft expanded into the world of the Internet, with their proprietary browser Internet Explorer. Windows ME (Millennium Edition) was released, with no notable changes. Shortly thereafter, Windows XP was released, and it is still used today. Around this time, the Xbox was released, breaking into the video game market. In 2005, the Xbox 360 was released. The Xbox 360 beat the Playstation 3 in sales, whereas the original Xbox was beaten by the Playstation 2. In 2007, Windows Vista was released to criticism for its memory and energy requirements. Shortly after in 2009, Windows 7 was released.

How it is now (Progression)

Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 use a similar system to the Xbox One and Xbox 360. It is tile-centric, with the desktop done away with for 8 and 8.1, replaced with a tile-only system. Windows 10, however, has a desktop but uses tiles in the start menu. The Xbox systems have sets of tiles that can be navigated through with different screens of panels at the top, like Games and Store.

Impact on society

Microsoft made computers become mainstream and accessible, and became another contender in the video game hardware market. Without Microsoft forcing other companies to innovate or flop in the computer market, computers like Apple could still be "run calculator +exponents" and other typed commands. Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) also founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donates to various charities, and is donated to by Microsoft.

People

Bill Gates is important in Microsoft's history, because he started Microsoft. He started it to make computers more accessible, so more people would use them. Some interesting facts about Bill:


  • He got 1590 out of 1600 on his SATs, then went on to drop out of Harvard.
  • He was arrested in New Mexico, in 1977, for a traffic violation.
  • He and his wife (Melinda Gates) started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donates to various other charities, and is donated to by Microsoft.
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Products

The best-selling Microsoft product is the Windows operating system. The one most in use now is Windows 7. Their most important product, however, is a debatable subject. One could argue that Internet Explorer is the most important, because it united Windows users across the world. One could also say that Internet Explorer would not exist without Windows, so Windows is more important.

Product Marketing

Microsoft almost doesn't need to advertise. Their OS comes bundled with almost all non-Mac computers on the market. For new releases, like the Surface tablet line, they usually use TV commercials featuring artists endorsing the product. They've also done ads that are just funny, like the "I really like my Surface Pro 3" song. Earlier in their history, however, they appeared in printed publications and even once lit up a major building with the Windows logo.
Surface Pro 3 – Winter Wonderland