In billions of houses around the world there lays a computer running the popular windows operating system designed by the Microsoft Corporation. On January 1st, 1975 the MITS computer company released the first computer, the Altair 8800. That day Bill Gates and Paul Allen were inspired to create a BASIC language for computers, that without would make the Altair virtually useless. A month later they had com- pleted making the BASIC language and wanted to license it to MITS. In order to do that Bill Gates and Paul Allen had to come up with a com- pany name, Micro-soft or known today as Microsoft, which means Micro-Software.
The Two men successfully sold the BASIC language to MITS of Al- buquerque, New Mexico. They had accomplished the incredibly difficult task, to make the first computer language program for the per- sonal computer. Another month later Paul Allen joined MITS as the dir- ector of software and the Altair BASIC becomes great news. On July 1st Bill Gates and Paul Allen officially released BASIC as version 2.0 in both 4k and 8k versions. The two men signed a license agreement with MITS regarding the BASIC interpreter. The year ended with sales totaling 16,005 dollars, which was huge for Microsoft.
Apple Vs. Microsoft
ver the next ten years Bill Gates takes a position at Apple Com- puter Incorporation headed by Steve Jobs, to find out how the Macintosh worked, to help design and make further adjustments to the Apple computer, and to basically steal starting blocks for the Windows operating system. Bill and Steve became friends as well as business part- ners, that is until Steve found out about the operating system Microsoft was designing. Bill and Steve had an informal meeting one night that in- volved the mentioning of Microsoft’s new operating system idea and how it was theft of ideas that belonged to Apple Inc., Bill simply ex- plained to Steve what exactly Microsoft was doing, but left out some key details. Bill later resigned from Apple Inc. but still held some of the licensing for the Macintosh computer.
In November 20th 1985 Microsoft released its first operating system originally called Interface Manager but then changed by Rowland Hanson to Windows because it was more attractive to the buyer. The Operating system was called Windows 1.0. The operating system con- sisted of a visual user interface that looked similar to Apple’s Macintosh operating system. Windows 1.0 included Windows Paint, Windows Write – A basic word processor, Calendar, Card-Filer, Clock, Control Panel, Computer Terminal, Clipboard, RAM Driver, Reversi – A simple game, and the MS-DOS Executable that was derived from the BASIC lan- guage. This was a huge hit to Apple because Microsoft licensed its soft- ware to many computer companies compared to Apple who kept their software as a whole and manufactured the only computers that held the software.
Innovations Through The 80's
hroughout the 80’s Microsoft released several revisions of Win- dows 1.0. This included Windows 2.0, Windows 2.0x, Windows 2.1, and Windows 2.1x. Microsoft Office first came about around this time with the release of Microsoft Word and Excel, in which PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office Components were added to later. Finally in 1990 Windows 3.0 was released, this was Microsoft’s major breakthrough. Windows 3.0 included better multi-tasking, multimedia extensions – VGA video cards, Sound cards, and CD-ROM Drive Support, and sup- port for Windows TrueType Fonts. Microsoft sold more than 10 million copies of Windows 3.0 before it was discontinued in 2001. Windows 3.1, NT, 95, NT 4.0, 98, 2000, and ME all followed Windows 3.0 with im- proved user interface added features and support for new technology additions. Windows was MS-DOS based until Windows NT 4.0 in which all later operating systems are based on, the NT Based Kernel.
indows XP was released in 2001, it combined Windows NT 4.0, 95, 98, ME, and 2000 into one with added support for Windows server domains and the ability to use two physical processors instead of one. Windows XP stands for Windows eXPerience, what Microsoft called the new age of operating system standards. Windows XP sold more than 500 million copies within the first five years and still continues selling to this day. Windows computers now started being able to be updated via Windows Update and the release of service packs for Windows operat- ing systems becomes common. Starting in 2003 Microsoft started releas- ing Windows Server editions, which allowed files to be stored on the computers HDD or Hard Disk Drive and hosted to an internet address via the Windows Server operating system. The latest Windows Server edition is 2008.
n 2006 Microsoft released its new operating system, Windows Vista. Windows Vista was a complete rework from prior Windows operat- ing systems, the start menu button was replaced by an orb with the Win- dows logo on it, the taskbar was redesigned with thumbnail pop-ups that show a small picture of the actual window when you scroll over the different blocks on the taskbar, and the whole architecture of the operat- ing system was reworked. The Windows Aero Style was introduced in Windows Vista. User Account Control (UAC) was also added to allow users to have more control over every action the computer takes and to approve of or deny of any system changes. Vista has many other changes to it too. Windows Vista comes in various versions, Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise.
ust recently in 2009 Microsoft released Windows 7. Windows 7 is a rework of Vista that includes faster boot times, Windows Powershell, Homegroup Networking, Extended options for User Account Control – to choose how much more or less windows alerts you through UAC. Windows 7 also has improved window management with layered blocks on the taskbar to display multiple instances of a program in less space. The taskbar is also slightly larger than Vista’s. Microsoft also succeeded in phasing in Multi-Touch support for recent touch screen computers and Tablet PC’s. This support has made it a lot easier to navigate and use to the full extent, the operating system. Windows comes in the same edi- tions that Vista does, except “Basic” is referred to as “Starter” for Win- dows 7. Sales for Windows 7 are predicted to be moderate because it is so similar to Windows Vista.
Windows Azure : Your World In The Clouds
icrosoft’s newest innovation is Windows Azure, a Cloud-Com- puting Platform in which companies or people can have their computer the way they want it and be able to access it from any com- puter in the world. Windows Azure works by storing all the data of your computer that you want in the “clouds” or a server somewhere in the world in which you pay to store, in essence, your computer on. This technology is very recent and not released officially yet. Microsoft says that cloud-computing is the way new software and people’s computers will be available, privately or publicly. Windows Azure will officially launch sometime in 2010.
Microsoft Surface : The Coffee Table Computer
icrosoft has also come out with Microsoft Surface, a computer with its own operating system that is in the form of a coffee table. Microsoft Surface includes some very cool technologies, like the ability to connect devices to the computer by simply placing them on the screen. Microsoft Surface has the best touch interface there is, it includes mul- tiple apps just for MS Surface that are very neat and utilize every aspect of the multi-touch technology. MS Surface is rear-projection that projects onto the glass touch screen surface that all operations take place on. There is also a redesigned virtual on-screen keyboard that allows you to have the MS Surface Table self-contained with no user peripherals such
as a mouse, keyboard, speakers, or monitor needed.
icrosoft has grown exponentially from its debut from a dorm room in the 70’s to the company’s first headquarters, a motel, to
its current headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Bill Gates is now one of the richest if not the richest man alive, with all the assets, charitable funds, and net worth he has. He has donated millions of dollars to char- ity from Microsoft’s profits over the years. Microsoft continues to be one of the most successful computer companies there is today.