Microsoft is the tech-savvy mega beast of computers, gaming, software applications, email services, and portable media. What other company, but them, are capable of fleshing all of these things out? Microsoft has home bases in countries across the world such as its Cambridge, England location, founded in 1997, and in New York in 2012.
It is likely most people know of the founder Bill Gates, but maybe, do not know that it was also founded by another by the name of Paul G. Allen. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the were two boyhood friends from Seattle who in 1975 converted BASIC. A prevalent mainframe computer programming language, to employ on an early personal computer (PC), the Altair.
The boyhood friends shortly after the conversion of the BASIC they went on to be the founders of Microsoft. They procured the name from the words microcomputer and software. Setting out to refine the BASIC’s mainframe and developing other programming languages.
In 1980 according to, “Encyclopedia Britannica” International Business Machines Corporation is known by its acronym IBM, asked Microsoft to produce software it needed to help with their indispensable operating system, for their personal computer, the IBM PC. This tells you a lot about how Gates and Allen cornered the market in programming languages early on.
They didn’t stop there, in 1985, they vastly expanded their electronics publishing division with their already successful multimedia encyclopedia, Encarta. According to “eWeek” they entered into the entertainment industries in 1996 with products including the Microsoft Network and MSNBC, which was a joint effort with the National Broadcasting Company which, of course, is a major American television network.
According to “eWeek” they entered into the entertainment industries in 1996 with products including the Microsoft Network and MSNBC, which was a joint effort with the National Broadcasting Company which, of course, is a major American television network. A raise of hands if fans knew whether or not Microsoft owned MSNBC. According to “eWeek” the companies have ended their relationship in 2013.
According to “eWeek” the companies had ended their relationship in 2013. But with the power of branding, MSNBC walks away from Microsoft with the MS still attached to their name. Microsoft will still hold the possibility to advertise on the network.
Microsoft busy with the endeavors of the PC software world was slow to come around to network systems and the internet. According to “Encyclopedia Britannica” their first attempt with Windows NT, be it a landmark program, tied PCs together and also offered a more secure network. Sadly it didn’t take off like they hoped it would, but by 1996 Windows NT was standard for PC networking. It rapidly surpassed Novell’s NetWare Network in market sharing.
The companies internet endeavors did not come about until Netscape Communications Corp. introduced the Navigator, a web browser. The program basically put into laymen terms for the computer illiterate, it helped people to navigate the World Wide Web. With the launch of Navigator, Microsofts rebuttal with their free version of the same type of browser called Internet Explorer came quickly. They moved fast to pursued computer makers and Internet services to market it exclusively.
With all of what Microsoft has done, one would think that they would have stopped there. Why would they need to sink their teeth into anything else? If they had, then the popular gaming system Xbox would have stayed in the dark. In 2001, they released the electronic game console Xbox 360 which won second place in the video gaming market.
With pressures coming from both Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii, the Xbox stepped up the game in 2002 by introducing Xbox Live, and later in 2005 by revamping the console to be more powerful. Even with these changes Xbox struggled to stay above water. Having to cut their price for the console to pick up market shares. The move was a fruitful one in 2010 the Xbox 360 was the most used game console across America.
According to the “Encyclopedia Britannica,” Microsoft had a brief setback in 1999 of a 30-month trial because of a judge finding the company in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act which translates into the company being ordered to break up. Even though it was overturned, the Microsoft Company was still found guilty of trying to maintain a monopoly.
The companies setbacks did not stop there either, again being accused by the European Union, EU of trying to monopolize the market in 2004. This came with steep fines of $611 million. With Microsoft’s blatant disregard of the later fines from the EU, they were again fined in 2008 an even higher fine of $1.35 billion dollars for illegally bundling multimedia with its Window OS, excluding the competitors. One would think that this type of money set back would have bankrupted the company but the internet moguls were able to keep their heads above water.
The competition fierce in the “browser wars,” Microsoft did not want a duplicate the incident with the search engine market. Trailing behind both Yahoo! Inc., and Google Inc., the new industry mega-giant, Microsoft dove into the market with Bing in 2009. The search engine was designed to show and gather more reliable information. According to “Encyclopedia Britannica” they offered Yahoo! in 2008 at a whopping $44.6 billion, unfortunately, Yahoo! rejected the offer the first time around. Microsoft came back with an offer in 2009 to use Bing for its Web site also agreeing to carry the advertisements for Microsoft Web.
In 2011 according to “WIRED” Microsoft bought out Skype at a whopping $8.5 billion dollars. The purchase is one of Microsoft’s biggest buys. The company already had overlaps of their own Windows Live Messengers which offers free video and voice chat. The big difference in Skype and Windows Live is that Skype has about 8 million users who pay for their services. While Microsoft Live is free.
It would seem as though Microsoft is a Mega tech Platform that can not be stopped. With payouts of billions of dollars and buyout of billions of more dollars, the company keeps trekking along.
By Tracy Blake
iDigitalTimes: Xbox one vs. PS4 Sales: Sony Outselling Microsoft By 89 Percent
BGR: Two Years After its Epic E3 Blunders, Microsoft is Suddenly Stomping all Over Sony
Encyclopedia Britannica: Microsoft Corporation
eWeek: Why Microsoft’s 16 Year Experiment With MSMBC.com Ended
WIRED: Microsoft Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion. Why, Exactly?
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Stefanie Seskin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Esparta Palma’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License