Microsoft is 40 years old today

April 4th, 1975, Gerald Ford was president, Richard Nixon was still casting a shadow on the American landscape, the country was reeling from the effects of the OPEC oil embargo of 1973-74, and the US presence in Vietnam was about to become a sore memory.

Two young men, aged 19 and 22, set up shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bill Gates and Paul Allen left Harvard and Washington State early with an idea to put a computer in every home, on every desk. Their company: Microsoft.

When you consider that the personal computer did not exist, nor did any meaningful platform to actually put computers to use outside of commercial and industrial applications. The vision was bold, and for its time, everything about the idea was vaporware.

Over the course of four decades, with Microsoft at the center of much of it, a technological revolution would take place that would change the world forever. While some would argue that it was not always flowers and unicorn kisses (Windows Me, Microsoft Explorer to name a couple), one cannot deny that the company just does not stop.

It is easy to forget, but Microsoft was among the first have a smartphone platform. Yes, Windows Mobile had plenty of shortcomings, but it excelled in ways other devices simply could not at the time. To this day, the HTC HD2 has a bit of cult following thanks to how great the hardware is. Microsoft was a pioneer with wearable technology, the MSN connected Microsoft SPOT watch.

These devices pre-dated today's wearables by a decade. A variety of the connected watches were made from top brands, including Tissot, Suunto, and Fossil. SPOT watches received their MSN Direct updates via FM radio waves. The watches usually ran about 5 days between charges to boot.

Who can forget Windows? An operating system that changed the world, and while Microsoft is about more than Windows today, who would ever think that we would see a day when OS updates would be offered for free? Who would ever believe that Microsoft would open up its Beta builds of its operating system environment for everyone to participate? Windows is about to begin a new chapter as a platform that spans the desk, tablet, mobile, and augmented reality.

Whether you are a developer, or a consumer, there is very little technology in use today that is not touched by Microsoft in some way. Even Apple uses Windows machines to build some of its Mac computers.

Microsoft continues to remake itself, quite amazing given that in the 40 years the company has been in existence, it has only had three CEOs. Microsoft’s co-founder, Bill Gates is still an iconic figure, while having gracefully allowed future generations to carry the flame initially set in New Mexico 40 years ago. Today, Bill Gates thinks more about Microsoft’s future than the past. Below is the text of a letter he wrote to employees the day before the 40 year

reference: Business Insider



1. DarkRadeonFX

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

King will rise again....

3. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

What do you mean? Microsoft is doing fine right now, and honestly they have the marketshare they deserve both in mobile and PC market.

5. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

both the markets might rise with win 10 i think

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I do agree with the part that computing will evolve faster over the next 10 years, especially with the Internet of things (IoT). Right now its still in its infancy. However with that said, IoT and embedded computing is dominated with open source software and open source operating systems like Android, Linux, and a few others. Windows use to be heavily in the embedded, but companies have seen the light. Why pay for licence and royalty fees. Not to mention the extra fees for service calls and support. The open source market is much cheaper and the service is just as good, or even better when you pay for support, also you don't have to worry about royalty fees, ever. This area is going to see an explosive growth. With ligh bulbs, smart connected homes, door bells, wall outlets, thermostats, security camera, and so much more to come. Not to mention all different droids from flying, driving, to walking, to floating on water, and more.

6. DarkRadeonFX

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

Mobile, search and other areas they lag behind others. Windows 10 will fix everything....

2. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

Wow them smartwatches...

20. engineer-1701d unregistered

I totally forgot about the watches. I personally can't wait for win 10 to get the new browser i hope they leave the name Spartan getting tiered of chrome

27. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

They'd be insane to not adopt the new name, IE is given a bad rep these days, some of it is deserved and some of it is not, but that is really hard to shake off.

4. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, STEEEEEVEEEE BALLLLLLLMEEEERR!!!!!!!!! lol jk. Happy Birthday, Microsoft! Windows FTW!

16. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

7. bendgate unregistered

Happy Birthday Microsoft! Off topic- Windows 10 free for 1 year is still confusing me. Is Windows 10 free for 1 year then we have to pay or if we download within a year, it will be free forever?

9. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

how is it confusing? They stated their normal business model will not change. You get one year to get windows 10 installed, if you dont, then fork over the 100+ that the OS usually costs and be done with it. A subscription would change their business model.

19. bendgate unregistered

I wrote there why I was confused. But thanks for the answer.

36. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Sorry for the snap.

21. engineer-1701d unregistered

No windows 10 for the first year off launch will be free so to get everyone on the new os. And free for 7,8,8.1 and maybe Vista

28. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

They mean for the 1st year, you can upgrade for free. It's free to keep after that. They want people on Windows 10 since it plays into their convergence strategy as well as opens up more potential consumers to windows store.

8. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Microsoft is 40 years old. Apple Inc. is 37. Google is 17. It's not on the age but on accomplishments and contributions to the tech industry and in the world.

10. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Oh my God! Google is so old. No wonder they are no longer hype.

11. lylee73

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Sure, you know one thing- everyone wins (in their own ways). Google is the most-used search engine and also Android OS- almost everyone use it. Apple, one the other hand, although with the thought paltry in most people's opinion (including me), but it's a rocket. Microsoft, by the way, although it's Windows Phone 8.1 wasn't used as much compared to Android, it's original Windows is hard to beat due to the fact that most gamers (I'm a gamer) and people in the world uses Windows. In conclusion, I agree with you.

14. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Three words PC iPhone Android

12. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Happy birthday to a true innovator. The world would not be the same without you Microsoft. And I cannot wait for the next chapter, windows 10.

17. seven7dust unregistered

innovator in desktop not mobile, they should fire the people who created metro and start from scratch again , i’ll even take a start menu in my phone over metro B.S. -:) Metro= weird animations over substance. and before calling me a troll ,yes I had a windows phone {Lumia 800} for a few weeks and I regret buying it more than any other phone I’ve owned, luckily I sold it to some girl {poor soul she bought it for the Nokia brand}, I lost a lot of money on it though. they even runied Nokia hardware and brand reputation , I hope they pay for that in the future. idiots. Nokia was such a great brand.

18. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Yes because the OS hasn't changed since the 800...that's like saying I used android back on honeycomb and it was terrible so it must still be terrible. Come on guy... You are trolling. By the way I use a note 4 and I can see you are trolling

25. seven7dust unregistered

nothing has changed since then the UI is still metro which means weird, what benefit are thoose huge tiles other than waste of space,the app list on the side without folders is even worse, not even talking about apps , just UI here. the search key is weird , multitasking is slow ,and cortana is a waste for for thoose that prefer real search like spotlight and google search. there’s a reason windows phone is still in single digits , metro UI !!! enough said eitherway you still don’t have a answer for the Nokia rant , MS killed Nokia literally , how did they do something good in mobile by killing the most trusted and innovative hardware company in decades ?

29. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

You forgot imo.. Weird to you is beautiful to others. Huge tiles can be super small tiles(as small as icons). You can create a folder tile, spotlight sucks imo, the search key is perfect imo, the physical camera button is the best option, multitasking isn't slow.. Maybe when you tried it 3 years ago on the 800, Nokia isn't dead so I'm not sure what our mean there other than you being dramatic. Nokia was already going down hill before Microsoft UT if it makes you feel better as a blind fanboy to say it was all Microsoft then there is no convincing you. I almost hate that I'm defending Microsoft here but you are going way overboard on your whining.

30. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

The world has copied Metro.

35. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Just rant all day, ass. If Nokia didnt enter a partnership with MS, they would be killed for good. If you dont like their OS, then just shut your mouth and use your own OS.

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

smell that...smell that? ahhh i smell that...its your own stink of a post. Seriously, if i would have left android at the mess 1.x was, and never looked back i would be a full blown tard. It is a fine phone limited by the apps it didnt get. Best? probably not but i would put its camera against any other that came out that year that was 'popular' 2011, the Samsung S2. And i would choose the 800 over the s2 any day. Partially cause i am biased, and also because i owned the s2....

24. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Did you even read the article ignoramus? They were making smart watches before Samsung. Same with tablets. And windows mobile was around before android, and was able to do many of the things android can do today. Hell, it started in the 90s with pocket PC. And as pattyface said, I also had a honeycomb android. It was garbage, but you don't hear me trolling at every android article. So if you are going to troll, at least know what you are talking about.

13. Simona unregistered

Wishing them BEST

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