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    Microsoft History

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    Optimus
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    Microsoft History

    Post by Optimus on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:27 pm

    Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKEX: 4338) is a multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions.[2] Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, Financial Times Global 500 ranks it as the third largest company in the world for the first quarter of 2010.[3] Established on April 4, 1975 to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Windows line of operating systems.[1][4][5][6] The company's initial public stock offering (IPO) was in 1986; the ensuing rise of the company's stock price has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.[7][8]

    Throughout its history the company has been the target of criticism such as monopolistic business practices and anti-competitive strategies including refusal to deal and tying, privacy concerns and restrictions in the use of software, and misrepresentation in advertising. The U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission have ruled against Microsoft for antitrust violations.[9][10] Microsoft also has a mixed record on its environmental impact over time while having a favorable record on diversity within the company.[11][12][13] Known for its interviewing process with off-the-wall questions such as "Why is a manhole cover round?", Microsoft gives customer support over Usenet newsgroups and the World Wide Web and awards Microsoft MVP status to volunteers who are deemed helpful in assisting the company's customers.

    History
    Main articles: History of Microsoft and History of Microsoft Windows

    Following the launch of the Altair 8800, Bill Gates called the developers of the new microcomputer, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), offering to demonstrate an implementation of the BASIC programming language for the system. After the demonstration in March 1975, MITS agreed to distribute Altair BASIC. Gates left Harvard University, moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where MITS was located, and officially established Microsoft on April 4, 1975.[1] The company's first international office was founded on November 1, 1978, in Japan, titled "ASCII Microsoft."[16][17] On January 1, 1979, the company moved from Albuquerque to a new home in Bellevue, Washington.[18]

    Microsoft entered the operating system business in 1980 with its own version of Unix, called Xenix.[19][20] However, it was DOS (Disk Operating System) that brought the company its first real success. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft to provide a version of the CP/M operating system, which was set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (PC). For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, branding it as MS-DOS, which IBM itself rebranded to PC-DOS. Following the release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft secured the marketing rights to MS-DOS. Since the IBM copyrighted its BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer the BIOS in order for versions of DOS to run, releasing computers dubbed IBM PC compatibles. Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS's available software selection, Microsoft eventually became the leading OS vendor for the IBM PC compatible.[4][5] The company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as a publishing division named Microsoft Press

    Read More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft

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