Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation. It develops, manufactures,
licenses and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.
In January 2007, the Harris Interactive/The Wall Street Journal Reputation Quotient survey concluded that Mi-
crosoft had the world's best corporate reputation, citing strong financial performance, vision and leadership,
workplace environment rankings and the charitable deeds of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Paul Allen and Bill Gates in an attempt to fill a niche in the personal computer
operating system and software business. They grew by licensing their computer languages to many computer
manufacturers around the world. Starting with developing and selling basic programming language for the Altair
8800 - one of the first personal computer - Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market
with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s. Microsoft got its biggest break in 1980 when IBM chose them to write the operating
system for the IBM personal computer. This was historically the biggest turning point for Microsoft. When the deal
was made, Microsoft didn't yet have an operating system to sell to IBM. Microsoft then purchased an operating
system from a Seattle programmer and renamed it MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). During the meet-
ing with IBM, Bill Gates was very crafty and convinced IBM to let Microsoft license MS-DOS to other computer
manufacturers. That move made MS-DOS the standard operating system for personal computers and skyrocketed
The Wonder of Windows
Microsoft introduced its successful office product, Microsoft Office on August 8, 1989. Microsoft Office had appli-
cations like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel etc. On May 22, 1990, Microsoft launched Windows 3.0. Later it was
followed by successive versions - Windows 95, 98, 2000 and so on. More than 1 million copies of Microsoft Win-
dows 95 were sold within 4 days of its launch. With several versions of Microsoft Windows, the organization cap-
tured over 90 percent market share.
Innovations continued to rule at Microsoft. In 2001, Microsoft launched Office XP, followed by Windows XP. In
2002, Microsoft and partners launched Tablet PC. Microsoft launched Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office
System to consumers worldwide. Today, the organization manufactures licenses and supports a wide range of
software products for computing devices. The most popular products are Microsoft Windows operating system
and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.
Microsoft quickly dominated its industry with its Windows operating system, though most experienced computer
users agree that the user-friendly Macintosh operating system developed by Apple Computer is superior to Win-
dows. But Apple kept its operating system proprietary, while Microsoft allowed its operating system to be in-
stalled on all manufacturers’ machines. Thus, since most PCs operated with Windows, the newest software was
developed for Windows machines. And because most softwares were Windows-based, more people bought PCs
equipped with the Windows operating system. Till date, no one has broken this virtuous circle.
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