The History of Microsoft
the Effect it had on Computing
The Childhood of bill gates
October 28, 1955, William Henry Gates ІІІ was born.
Born into a family with a rich history in business and politics.
Gates grew up in Seattle, Washington with his sisters.
His father, William H. Gates ІІ is a Seattle attorney.
His mother, Mary Gates who passed away was a school teacher,
University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of united Way
Gates attended private elementary school in Seattle.
During his stay in elementary school, Gates
revealed his interest in software and began
programming computers at the age of 13.
Gates surpassed all of his felloe students
abilities in practically all subjects, especially
the math’s and sciences.
His parents recognized his intelligence and
decided to enroll him at Lakeside, which is
a private school known for its intense
Early in Bill Gates’ childhood, it was
obvious that he inherited the aspiration,
cleverness, and competitive spirit to Bill Gates
In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen were attending Harvard University
when they made their first significant accomplishment in the world of
Paul Allen stumbled across an issue of popular Electronics, featuring
the first minicomputer to rival commercial models, the Altair created
by Ed Roberts.
The Altair was an incredibly elementary, yet ground-breaking device
that raised the hopes of future programmers.
Gates and Allen determined to implement the BASIC computer
language on the Altair.
Gates and Allen joined Roberts and successfully implemented BASIC
on the Altair.
From that point on, Gates and Allen
were given jobs at Robert’s Micro
Instrumentation and Telemetry
Systems (MITS) computer company.
In July 1975, Allen and Gates formed
a business partnership called
Later on that year, Microsoft made Altair
an agreement with MITS to allow
them to distribute their software,
while not selling it to them.
Years later, tension mounted
between Microsoft and MITS, as
Roberts wanted Gates and Allen to
work for Altair.
While the industry demanded more
advanced software, Gates and Allen
turned to other microcomputer
manufacturers. Paul Allen
A serious road block hindered Microsoft Albuquerque Group
as their revenue slowly began to trickle
Gates discovered that club members
were copying and freely distributing their
software throughout the country.
Gates wrote two letters to the clubs
proclaiming his stance on the situation.
Following a discussion at a computer
seminar, Gates closed the issue and
agreed to move on. Top row: Steve Wood (left),
Bob Wallace, Jim Lane.
Months later, Gates and Allen hired Middle row: Bob O'Rear,
several young programmers and began Bob Greenberg, Marc
distributing to respectable companies McDonald, Gordon Letwin.
such as General Electric and Motorola. Bottom row: Bill Gates,
Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood,
After this, they established their first
office in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
where Microsoft began to take off an a
The Growth Of Microsoft
IBM played a crucial role in turning Microsoft into a superpower in
the computing world.
because of the changing market, IBM became increasingly interested
After wanting to enter the market themselves, IBM knew that they
needed help from an outside company.
Since Microsoft’s name kept turning up, and sales numbers were so
high, IBM sought out Bill Gates.
After a couple of meetings, IBM revealed to Gates that they
wanted to release a little more than half a year a personal
computer capable of running popular programs.
Microsoft agreed and said that, given the specifications, they could
do it. IBM called this plan “Project Chess”.
Microsoft’s first step was finding the operating system they
would use for the 16 bit microprocessor.
Microsoft ended up buying the rights to an operating system
called QDOS, or Quick and Dirty Operating System.
Once Microsoft pulled all of this together, they were able to
convince IBM that they were the right people for the job. On
November 6, 1980 Microsoft signed a contract with IBM.
Bob O’ Rear was the man in charge of developing MS-DOS. The new
named for QDOS.
In February 1981 MS-DOS ran on a prototype for the first time.
IBM made MS-DOS the official system of the IBM PC.
IBM announced their new microcomputer on August 12, 1981.
Microsoft then entered software market. They released MS-DOS.
The success of MS-DOS had a large impact on Microsoft and in turn
on the field of personal computing.
By 1984 MS-DOS clearly dominated the field.
In 1986 Microsoft announced that half of its annual revenues came
from sales of their operating system.
This gave Microsoft financial stability. This stability allowed
Gates to start developing other applications, such as Microsoft
Word and Multiplan.
These programs, beginning with MS-DOS, made Microsoft into a
superpower, and changed the face of business and personal
As of last year Microsoft’s net revenue was $28.37 billion.
Computers worldwide now use Microsoft programs and its chairman
Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.
The Windows Era
Bill Gates proposed a creation of an interface manager to replace MS
This interface would eliminate problems and be graphical and user
This proposal became known as Windows and would have failed if
not for the dedication of Bill Gates.
The goal of the project was to make the interface independent of the
hardware, workable in graphics mode, and standardize the
appearance of applications.
Work began on this project in September of 1981, by 1983 it had its
official name of Microsoft Windows.
In 1984, Bill Gates stated that Windows would be operating on 90% of MS
This announcement is one that Microsoft would live to regret.
The release date of Windows was pushed back several times due to
problems. Other companies that wrote programs for Gates were not happy.
In the summer of 1984, Microsoft did a company reorganization in the hopes
of completing Windows.
While Windows was being completed IBM released its Top interface. The
product failed like most of its kind at the time.
Windows was no Microsoft’s top priority and a team of thirty people were
working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week until its completion.
Finally in November 1985, Microsoft Windows was released.
Initial market reaction to the interface was mild. Computers could not adjust to it
and the interface ran slow and had few programs to run on it.
Program publishers lost interest in creating programs for Windows.
Despite all the problems Microsoft faced, Windows series went on to become
Microsoft’s best selling software.