microsoft-logoBorn on October 28, 1955, Bill Gates was the son of Mary Gates and William Henry Gates III. His mother was a teacher at the University of Washington while his father was a prominent lawyer. During his time at Lakeside Prep School, Bill Gates was regularly one of the school’s top students in math and science. By 1968, he began to learn how to use computers and make programming code. Ultimately, Bill Gates would become one of the founders of one of the world’s most iconic personal computer companies. Known as Microsoft, the company took its named from the words software and microcomputer.

The Creation of a Company

During school, Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen would skip classes and work in the computer room. They wanted to discover how computers worked and write new programs. Before long, they were able to hack into the computer system and were banned from the school’s computer room. As they worked on tightening security loopholes, the pair of friends was hired by a company to bolster the business’s computer system. Although the position did not include pay, it allowed Bill Gates and Paul Allen around-the-clock access to a computer.

Time at Harvard

The two friends signed up for school at Harvard University, but only a few hours were spent on campus. Computer companies in the area hired the famous duo to fix bugs and create programs. The experience taught the two students more about how computer programming worked and allowed them to even make money at it.

Microsoft is Born

In 1975, Paul Allen noticed an article about the Altair 8800. After showing it to Gates, the two friends decided to start their own business venture. They met with Altair and discussed creating a program for the company. By 1976, they registered the name Microsoft in the state of New Mexico. Over the next five years, the company rapidly expanded. Bill Gates became the chairman of the business and Paul Allen because the executive VP. The company formed a partnership with IBM so the Microsoft operating system could be installed on IBM’s computers.

By the 1990s, the company had launched multiple versions of Microsoft Windows and had gained over 90 percent of the market share.

Changing Structure

In 2008, Microsoft boasted of annual revenue of $60.42 billion and almost 90,000 employees. Although Bill Gates still held a role as chairman, Steve Ballmer is the company’s current president. He was appointed in 1998.

Famous Products

In 1985, Microsoft introduced their first retail version of Microsoft Windows. Not long after on March 13, 1986, the company had its first initial public offering. Microsoft sent the year busily embroiled in creating other products. The year 1986 saw Microsoft create its proto-type for the Microsoft Works program. Microsoft Works integrated office functions so database, word processor and spreadsheet functions were all incorporated into one program.

The success of Microsoft brought about controversy. As the Internet caught on, Microsoft was caught by surprise. Unprepared for the advent of the Internet, they approached Spyglass to obtain their Internet Explorer Browser. After the agreement was struck, Spyglass disputed the agreement. Microsoft was supposed to be paid royalties for each copy of the browser sold. Since the program was bundled for free, Microsoft chose not to pay any royalties to Spyglass. Later in 2000, Microsoft was told to divide into two units and a judgment called Microsoft an abusive monopoly. Microsoft continued to thrive despite the court ruling and created the Xbox console and the Kinect. It also purchased Skype Communications on May 10, 2011.

This piece was contributed by Peter Lowe, a freelance writer and blogger who lives in the greater metro area of Oklahoma City. Lowe has an interest in computers, technology, futuristic technology, gadgetry and other subjects. He has a particular interest in software; to view more on this topic view the information at Jobsite and the profile of Matt Cassarino.