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10 things you probably didn't know about Microsoft.

Updated on January 5, 2013

Microsoft; One can arguably say that this is the largest software company in existence today. Founded way back in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen then students, it was established to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800 computer. It later on rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid 1980-s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems. Microsoft is now without a doubt, the worldwide leader in software services and solutions. With its widespread popularity, you'd think you know almost everything about it wouldn't you?. Well think again my friend.

Below, I have compiled a list of roughly 10 facts about Microsoft that very few know about or even bother to find out. Enjoy reading:

pictured here are the two bad boys, this photo was taken around that time when they hacked into a Seattle company's security system
pictured here are the two bad boys, this photo was taken around that time when they hacked into a Seattle company's security system
Steve Ballmer at CES 2010.
Steve Ballmer at CES 2010. | Source
MS DOS logo.
MS DOS logo. | Source
  • Alright here's one small fact I bet you didn't know. Microsoft originally started out as "Micro-soft" not "Microsoft" when it was founded/created by Paul Allen and Gates in 1975. The hyphen was removed over a year later in 1976.
  • Microsoft also had their very first official customer around that time. It was a company called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems which bought Altair BASIC, which was written by Allen and Gates while Gates was in college. This basically opened Microsoft for business.
  • Microsoft was created on a relatively modest budget and didn't really start pulling in alot of money until later on. Its total revenue in its first year: $16,000 but less than four years later, the company was pulling in $1 million. Talk about skyrocketing success!
  • Steve Ballmer the current CEO dropped out of Stanford grad school just to become Microsoft's 24th employee. Stupid decision? Not really, Steve Ballmer was the first person ever who was not a company founder to become a billionaire off stock options. Good choice Steve.
  • Microsoft's first major investment was buying the Quick and Dirty Operating System for $50,000 from Tim Patterson in 1980 and renaming it MS DOS, it was licensed to IBM for the first PC.
  • Before the marketing people got ahold of it, Windows initially was going to be called "the Interface Manager". How awful would that sound?
  • Apple once tried to "sue Microsoft out of existence" in 1985 and 1988 for allegedly "stealing" their idea of implementing drop-down menus, tiled windows and mouse devices. Note that Apple was one of the first companies to implement a GUI (Graphical User Interface) in its Operating systems.
  • In 2004, Windows guru Jim Allchin wrote, "We lost Our Way" while he was developing what would eventually become vista; which is kind of misleading, but I can see his point. All chin also wrote: "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft."
  • Though Microsoft may have been one of the top industry leaders in technology, it didn't have a website till 1993. It launched its first website in 1993 for support resources, which were previously on a Compuserve forum.
  • Since its creation, Microsoft has created at least three billionaires i.e Paul Allen, Bill and Steve Ballmer with each of their net worths exceeding $10 billion and over 12000 millionaires. Also, because of his stock in Microsoft, Gates became the first American with over $100 billion in assets back in 1999.

Other facts worth noting:

According to statistics I got on their website and some online research;

  • Microsoft has acquired nearly 150 companies in its 34-year history some including Yammer, Hotmail and most recently Skype.
  • After nearly 23 years, Microsoft reported its first loss in April of 2009.


Microsoft has been through some really rough patches and gone through some major controversies, but the reason why I admire it the most and chose to feature it in one of my hubs is how it all always manages to get out of the ruts it's put in. Something I find both interesting and inspiring.


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    • madelineyochum profile image

      madelineyochum 5 years ago

      Some interesting facts. I own a Mac but I use Microsoft Word and Windows Live daily. Why did they remove the hyphen and what the heck is the "Quick and Dirty Operating System?" Can't lie, sounds pretty provocative.