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Microsoft Company 15 September 1975

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1991

The Incredible Shrinking PC

The age of the "luggable" comes to an end as computer systems size and weight decrease. 

The computer industry continues to reflect Moore's law and the components used in computers grow smaller, are less costly and their overall performance improves. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are able to put almost the same power of current processor speeds, storage capacities and other features found only in desktop PC designs into portable lines of products. Most PC manufacturers introduce notebook PCs and now a wide range of model choices are available to users.

A worldwide phenomenon is underway Personal computer users begin adopting Windows in large numbers -in just one year, Microsoft ships four million copies of Windows 3.0 to 24 countries in 12 languages. Hardware manufacturers include Windows as standard equipment on their computers, as part of the Windows Ready-to-Run program. And Microsoft's hardware group benefits as well, with the Microsoft Mouse selling six million units. The company also returns to its language roots with the announcement of Microsoft Visual Basic, which wins an award for technical excellence from PC Magazine.

1/9/91 Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft Excel for Windows 3.0. It also announces Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh 3.0 and Excel for OS/2 Presentation Manager which are expected to ship in the next few months.

3/11/91 Microsoft announces the Microsoft BallPoint Mouse, designed especially for use with laptop computers. This mouse represents the culmination of more than two-and-a-half years of development, and incorporates both mouse and trackball technology in a new category of pointing device.

3/18/91 Microsoft announces that it has purchased a 26 percent share of Dorling Kindersley, Ltd., a London-based book publisher and international packager. As part of the agreement, the Microsoft Multimedia Publishing Group gains the rights to license content from Dorling Kindersley for use in future Microsoft multimedia software titles.

5/20/91 Microsoft announces Microsoft Visual BASIC for Windows at Windows World '91 in Atlanta. It is a graphical application development system for Windows 3.0 that combines visual design tools with a powerful, general-purpose programming language and Windows .EXE compiler. French and German versions are expected to ship in August, with other foreign versions to follow.

11/14/91 Microsoft announces the Multimedia Edition of Microsoft Works for Windows 2.0. This is the first business productivity application from Microsoft to incorporate multimedia. This CD-ROM version adds digital sound, animation, and pictures to the Online Tutorial to make it easy for new users to learn the capabilities of Works.

Microsoft acquires an interest in Dorling Kindersley, the British publisher whose library of striking photographic images can be adapted for use in multimedia products.

Stats
Revenues: $1,843,432,000
Employees: 8,226
MS-DOS 5.0-the first version of MS-DOS featuring a retail upgrade-ships.

International

International operations reorganized: Europe divided into three regions, the rest of the world into four (Far East, Intercontinental, Latin America, and AIME). International headcount at year's end: 2,866.

Microsoft Excel 3.0 ships simultaneously for Windows, OS/2, and Macintosh, the first Microsoft product to ship across platforms this way.

Microsoft acquires an interest in Dorling Kindersley, the British publisher whose library of striking photographic images can be adapted for use in multimedia products

1992

Digital Equipment Corporation announces a new architecture with its RISC based ALPHA processor. Designed to accelerate high end graphics functions, the Alpha sets a new precedent for processor power.

Office of the President 2/3/92 With the departure of Mike Hallman, Microsoft creates an "Office of the President" headed by three executive vice presidents: Steve Ballmer, worldwide sales and support; Frank Gaudette, worldwide operations; and Mike Maples, worldwide products. Windows continues to roll, with releases of Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups. The company launches its first television advertising campaign. To bolster its presence in the database market, Microsoft merges with Fox Software, Inc.

3/1/92 Microsoft announces that Michael Hallman is stepping down as the President of Microsoft and as a member of the Board of Directors. He will become a consultant to the Company. His position is filled by the newly created three-member "Office of the President."

3/1/92 Microsoft kicks off its first-ever television advertising campaign. The TV ads are designed to demonstrate the benefits of Windows-based computing to a new, broader audience. The campaign was developed by the Ogilvy & Mather Agency in Los Angeles.

3/24/92 Microsoft and Fox Software Inc. of Perrysburg, Ohio, announce that they intend to merge the two companies. Under the terms of the letter of intent, Microsoft will exchange approximately 1.36 million shares of its common stock for all of the outstanding stock of Fox Software.

4/6/92 Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows 3.1 with over 1,000 enhancements. The new version created unprecedented user demand with over one million advance orders placed worldwide. To help customers, Microsoft has trained thousands of resellers and has in place more than 500 product support personnel

4/27/92 Microsoft announces that its Board of Directors has approved a 3-for-2 stock split. Shareholders will receive one additional share for every two Microsoft shares held on the record date of June 3, 1992. Cash will be paid in lieu of the issuance of any fractional shares.

Medal of Technology6/23/92 President George Bush awards Bill Gates the National Medal of Technology for Technological Achievement, at a White House Rose Garden ceremony. The President recognizes Gates "for his early vision of universal computing at home and in the office; for his technical and business management skills in creating a worldwide technology company; and for his contribution to the development of the personal computing industry."

 

10/27/92 Microsoft announces the worldwide availability of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1 which integrates networking and workgroup functionality directly into Windows 3.1. The product allows common activities of sending electronic mail, scheduling group meetings, sharing files and printers, managing calendars, and working together on groups projects. It can provide networking capabilities on its own, or it can be used as a client on an existing local area network.

11/11/92 Microsoft announces that the Microsoft Windows NT beta program is shipping to corporations for system evaluation. Also, the Win32 Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows NT, which includes the same beta code plus additional development tools, is being delivered to developers.

11/16/92 Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Microsoft Access Database for Windows, at Fall/COMDEX '92. The new, fully-featured and fully relational DBMS provides easy, transparent access to data; powerful, usability-tested tools; and a robust development environment.

Presidents

* Steven A. Ballmer, formerly senior vice president, systems software
* Francis J. Gaudette, formerly senior vice president, finance and administration, and chief financial officer
* Michael J. Maples, formerly senior vice president, applications division

Stats
Revenue: $2,758,725,000
Employees: 11,542
Microsoft Windows for Workgroups wins an award for technical excellence from PC Magazine.

International

Word 2.0 for Windows is offered in 22 languages.

1993

The number of licensed users of Windows now totals more than 25 million, making Windows the most popular graphical operating system in the world.

1/1/93 Microsoft announces the 10th anniversary of Microsoft Word, which first shipped for MS-DOS in 1983, on the Macintosh platform in 1984, and on the Windows platform in 1989. Based on data recently released by Dataquest, Inc. there are now more than 10 million Word users worldwide.

1/27/93 Microsoft announces that it has introduced a new product support program, Microsoft Select, designed to make it easier for large organizations to acquire and maintain Microsoft products. The program offers flexible new product acquisition, licensing, and maintenance options.

3/22/93 Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft Encarta, the first multimedia encyclopedia designed for a computer. The product contains a high-quality collection of articles, animations, sounds, illustrations, graphs, and photographs, as well as, an atlas and interactive timeline all on a single CD-ROM.

3/30/93 Microsoft introduces and announces the availability of Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Upgrade. This version has integrated data compression, called DoubleSpace, which can safely and easily double the PC's available disk space, free conventional memory, protect data from viruses and accidental deletions, and increase performance.

3/30/93 Microsoft announces five new multimedia titles at the Intermedia Conference in San Jose. Shown for the first time are: Microsoft Dinosaurs; Multimedia Mozart: The Dissonant Quartet; Multimedia Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; Microsoft Musical Instruments for the Macintosh; and Microsoft Bookshelf, 1993 Edition on CD-ROM.

4/14/93 Microsoft reports that the number of licensed users of Microsoft Windows now totals more than 25 million, making it the most popular graphical operating system in the world.

4/27/93 Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Microsoft Mouse 2.0, with a sophisticated new ergonometric design for maximum comfort. The new Mouse is equally effective for both right- and left-handed users. It includes the enhanced-performance driver software 9.0, which ensures full compatibility and reliability with Microsoft Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS..

(sponsors ad)
Microsoft Windows Driver Updater

5/24/93 Microsoft formally launches Microsoft Windows NT at Windows World in Atlanta. Windows NT delivers a powerful, reliable and open platform for client-server solutions - business applications ranging from inventory management to sales automation to financial analysis. It can also scale to meet the user's increasing processing needs because it has no internal system constraints on resources and provides consistent support for Intel, RISC and multiprocessor systems. It is scheduled to be released in 60 days.

Designed for mission-critical corporate applications, Microsoft Windows NT is launched, winning an award for technical excellence from PC Magazine.

Microsoft also announces Microsoft Home, a complete line of inexpensive, easy-to-use software products for personal use. Judge Vaughn Walker rules in favor of Microsoft in the Apple vs. Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard copyright suit, the closing of an important chapter after 63 months of litigation.

Microsoft introduces a better mouse, code named "Carrera." A Better Mouse

6/1/93 Microsoft announces that Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court of Northern California ruled today in Microsoft's favor in the Apple vs. Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard copyright suit. The judge granted Microsoft's and Hewlett-Packard's motions to dismiss the last remaining copyright infringement claims against Microsoft Windows 2.03 and 3.0, as well as, the HP NewWave.

7/6/93 Microsoft announces that it has become an official member of the EPA's Ally program to promote energy-efficient computer systems. Microsoft currently ships software to enhance energy efficiency, and continues to conduct additional energy-efficient research.

11/8/93 Microsoft ships Windows for Workgroups 3.11. This new version has already gained major support from more than 30 top OEM systems manufacturers worldwide. It has improved support for Novell NetWare and Windows NT; I/O performance gains of more than 100 percent; and new capabilities for mobile computing, such as remote access and built-in fax capabilities.

12/6/93 Microsoft is named the "1993 Most Innovative Company Operating in the U.S." by Fortune Magazine, as part of its Fifth Annual Study of America's Best Cities for Business.

12/7/93 Microsoft announces its first software products designed especially for children: Creative Writer and Fine Artist>. Combining full-featured tool sets, lively characters and offbeat humor, these products have been designed to inspire and stimulate children's natural creativity in writing and art with many engaging project ideas.

 

Stats
Revenue: $3,752,701,000
Employees: 14,430
The number of licensed users of Windows now totals more than 25 million, making Windows the most popular graphical operating system in the world.

International

Microsoft Windows version 3.1 now available in Japanese.

1994

Microsoft announces five new multimedia titles at the Intermedia Conference in San Jose. Shown for the first time are: Microsoft Dinosaurs; Multimedia Mozart: The Dissonant Quartet; Multimedia Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; Microsoft Musical Instruments for the Macintosh; and Microsoft Bookshelf, 1993 Edition on CD-ROM.

Microsoft reports that the number of licensed users of Microsoft Windows now totals more than 25 million, making it the most popular graphical operating system in the world.

Microsoft Encarta Ships
Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft Encarta, the first multimedia encyclopedia designed for a computer. The product contains a high-quality collection of articles, animations, sounds, illustrations, graphs, and photographs, as well as, an atlas and interactive timeline all on a single CD-ROM.

 

Microsoft products continue to evolve to keep up with how people work and live, and with what our customers demand from the constantly changing, constantly improving possibilities of technology.

As part of the continuing evolution of personal computer technology we and our industry have entered a new era of integration -in part by integrating different types of technology (e.g., sound, pictures, video, and text) in elaborate multimedia presentations as well as uniting formerly independent applications into powerful new combinations.

The first version of Microsoft Word came bundled with a Microsoft Mouse, but customers were not ready to adopt the mouse.

While Word offered advanced features and sophisticated output for its era, and the Mouse provided Point-and-click simplicity of use, the slow market reaction to the combination of the two products proved that this was definitely an idea ahead of its time.

To help spark interest in Word, Microsoft arranged for a demonstration version of the product to be bound into PC Magazine -the first "disk insert" ever by any company. Word was the first word processor to support laser printers when they arrived on the market, and it introduced a host of new features, such as style sheets and outlines.

By bringing together word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation programs, Microsoft created a new category: the office suite. The announcement of Microsoft Office for Macintosh on CD-ROM came on June 19, 1989; a Windows-based version followed in 1990. At first, some customers saw only the packaging as different. But there was a lot more going on -integrating the interface so these multiple applications really worked like one. The result? In less than two years, Microsoft Office represented more than half of the company's total office applications sales. And Office itself grew to include Microsoft Office Professional, incorporating the Microsoft Access database.

With more than 60 titles available under the Microsoft Home brand, the company's push into the consumer market takes off. Microsoft announces a merger with Intuit, developer of personal finance and tax preparation packages; the merger is not completed. The company also acquires SOFTIMAGE, Inc., the leading developer of computer animation software, whose programs helped bring dinosaurs to life in Jurassic Park

1/31/94 Microsoft announces Microsoft Plus, a product support program designed to increase users' satisfaction with Microsoft and its products by offering them extended services, cost savings, and timely information.

4/18/94 Microsoft announces that Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11 has become the world's best selling retail operating system, edging Windows 3.1 into the No. 2 spot. Sales totaled just over 300,000 copies worldwide in January 1994. International success has led the way, with some European markets such as Sweden and the United Kingdom (U.K.) seeing more than 70 percent of their retail volume of Windows move to Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

4/25/94 The Lexmark WinWriter 600 laser printer, the first office device based on Microsoft At Work printing software, wins the CeBIT Highlight '94 Award for the Top Product in the Printer category. Microsoft and Lexmark worked closely together to develop the WinWriter 600, which is making its European debut at CeBIT.

6/10/94 Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Microsoft Complete Baseball, a multimedia reference CD-ROM that details Baseball's history, players, teams, season summaries, and statistics. This is the first multimedia CD-ROM program with an on-line feature, Microsoft Baseball Daily, that provides integrated, up-to-date information daily.

6/28/94 Microsoft completes the acquisition of SOFTIMAGE Inc., the leading developer of high-performance 2-D and 3-D computer animation and visualization software.

9/8/94 Microsoft announces that Microsoft Windows 95 is the official name for the next version of Windows, code-named "Chicago." This name was chosen to make it easier for customers to identify the most current version of Microsoft Windows. It is a fully integrated 32-bit operating system replacing Windows 3.11, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, and MS-DOS as the mainstream desktop operating system.

11/8/94 Bob Herbold joins Microsoft as a new Executive Vice President and the Chief Operating Officer. In this position, he will serve as a member of the Office of the President and report directly to Bill Gates. He will be responsible for worldwide operations including, Finance, Manufacturing, Distribution, Logistics, Information Technology (ITG), Human Resources, Corporate Services, Real Estate and Development, and Microsoft Press. He was previously with The Procter & Gamble Company.

11/14/94 Microsoft debuts its new international advertising campaign, "Where Do You Want To Go Today," at actor Robert DeNiro's trendy SoHo restaurant in New York. Microsoft plans to spend $100 million on a global campaign to build brand awareness with a non-technical audience.

11/14/94 In a dramatic multimedia presentation entitled "Information At Your Fingertips - 2005," Bill Gates calls the industry to action with a vision of how integrated technology solutions can improve the quality of life in the next decade. In his keynote address at Fall/COMDEX '94, he presents a complete framework of how continued advancements in technology will increase consumer benefits and drive industry growth during the next ten years.

12/2/94 Wal-Mart is marketing Microsoft products on "power-aisles" in its stores during the Holiday season. The stores are featuring a special fixture - dubbed the Microsoft tower - containing 46 software programs and one piece of hardware, the Microsoft Mouse. The displays are placed in areas with the highest traffic, near checkout stands and in busy aisles, instead of the electronics section of the store. This is the first time that Microsoft software is being treated as an "impulse" buy item.

 

Stats

Revenues: $4,648,981,000
Employees: 15,257
Microsoft Office is the #1 product in its category, with sales of more than seven million units in little over one year.

International

Opening of Latin American office in Florida puts the business close to its customers and business partners.

1995

 

After seven years with Microsoft, Mike Maples announces his retirement.

Microsoft Internet Explorer takes full advantage of the advancement in Windows 95 to offer users easy access to the Internet and high performance. MSN(tm), The Microsoft Network online service, is launched. Bill Gates becomes a man of letters by authoring a twice-monthly newspaper column and publishing his first book, The Road Ahead, detailing how new technologies will guide the way we work, play, and live in the future. Microsoft and Intuit abandon their planned merger.

Microsoft Project for Windows 95 9/18/95 Microsoft announces Microsoft Project for Windows 95. This new version, designed exclusively for Windows 95, greatly facilitates project communication throughout an organization, and includes improved workgroup functionality, full ODBC support and integration with Microsoft Office for Windows 95.

Microsoft celebrates its 20th birthday
January 7 Bill Gates announces Microsoft Bob for Windows, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Bob is designed to provide the essential tools for home computing in eight interconnected programs that help users organize, communicate, and play with their computers. Bob, a social interface, includes an entirely new user-interface design and eight programs: Letter Writer, Calendar, Checkbook, Household Manager, Address Book, E-Mail, Financial Guide, and GeoSafari.
March 22 Microsoft and DreamWorks SKG announce that they have signed a joint-venture agreement to form a new software company designed to produce interactive and multimedia entertainment properties. Initially to be called DreamWorks Interactive, the newly formed company was announced jointly by Bill Gates and Patty Stonesifer, and DreamWorks principals Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffin. Microsoft and DreamWorks will each contribute 50 percent of the funding required to build the company. Separately, Microsoft announces that it will be a strategic investor and minority partner in DreamWorks SKG.
May 20 Microsoft and Intuit Inc. announce that they have agreed to terminate their planned merger. Rather than appeal and pursue months of litigation with the Justice Department at the trial and appellate court levels. These litigation delays would have followed the months of delay already caused by the Justice Department's unusually lengthy Hart-Scott-Rodino Act review.
June 16 The U.S. Court of Appeals reinstates a 1994 antitrust settlement between Microsoft and the Justice Department that was rejected by U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin in February 1995. The court's 26-page opinion delivers a harsh rebuke to the judge and grants Microsoft's request to remove him from the case.
August 24 Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft Windows 95, worldwide. To help celebrate the launch, NBC's "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno is a featured guest at an industry event hosted by Bill Gates at the Redmond Corporate Campus, and viewed by Microsoft regional offices via satellite, as well as by PC users via a special Internet World Wide Web site.

August 24

Windows Logo

Originally code-named "Chicago", Windows 95 -the latest version of Windows- features a new user interface and a "plug and play" design that makes hardware setup automatic. When a customer upgrades to Windows 95, performance will meet or exceed performance of Windows 3.1. Windows 95 meets this performance goal by implementing new technologies to better optimize the use of memory of low-end system configurations. Although Microsoft had experimented in the early 1980's with consumer products such as Typing Tutor and Olympic Decathlon, and even though Microsoft Flight Simulator found a consumer audience of more than one million people in a decade, until 1991 the company operated primarily in the business market, not the consumer market. But creation of the Consumer Division, coupled with the arrival of a new generation of content-oriented products, such as Art Gallery, Dinosaurs, and Cinemania, put the company firmly into the consumer business.
 
Win95 Launch
August 29 More than 1 million copies of Microsoft Windows 95 were obtained by customers at retail stores during the first four days of availability in North America. Sales of Microsoft Plus! have also exceeded expectations. Approximately 20,000 retail stores nationwide took part in the sales launch, which featured a variety of consumer promotions and sales events, that kicked off at 12:01 a.m. on August 24, 1995.
September 15 In honor of the company's 20th anniversary, Microsoft celebrates with a series of activities over the next month, culminating with the Company Meeting in Seattle on October 12, 1995.

20th Anniversary Watch
Microsoft 20th anniversary watch

September 18 Microsoft Museum opens to Microsoft employees. The museum features video kiosks and exhibits highlighting Microsoft's culture, product development cycle, international presence, contributions to the community, and employee pranks. As they enter, visitors see a timeline marking events throughout history that led to the growth of the software industry and the creation of Microsoft. Following this exhibit is a Microsoft timeline that chronicles major events and landmarks in Microsoft history and a technology timeline that features the major hardware platforms for which Microsoft has developed software.
Microsoft announces Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro for MS-DOS and Windows 95, a digital-optical joystick designed specifically to enhance the way PC gamers play. Digital-optical technology gives SideWinder sensitivity and precise control. As an optical camera tracks the slightest movements, each position change is accurately and immediately rendered on screen. Microsoft will also offer SideWinder packaged with Activision's MechWarrior 2 combat-simulation game.
September 20 The Chinese State Bureau of Technology Supervision (CSBTS) and the Chinese Ministry of Electronics Industry (MEI) announce that they have signed an agreement with Microsoft to standardize the Chinese version of Microsoft Windows 95 as the software development standard for The People's Republic of China. The agreement is aimed at speeding the development of Chinese Windows 95 by expanding the scope of cooperation and strengthening the foundation of software development in the PRC.

October 2 Microsoft announces that is offering more than 30 titles of its family of Home software products for under $50 each, estimated street price, beginning October 1, 1995. Price changes affect both Windows- and Macintosh-based versions of products such as: Microsoft Cinemania, Encarta 96 Encyclopedia, Encarta 96 World Atlas, Fury 3, Golf, Scholastic's The Magic School Bus, Music Central 96, and 3D Movie Maker. These are expected to run from $29.99 to $54.95, depending on the product.
October 17 Microsoft reports revenues of $2.02 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 1996 which ended September 30, 1995, a 62 percent increase over the same period of fiscal 1995. Net income was $499 million. Earnings per share were $0.78.
Microsoft announces that it estimates that 7 million units of Microsoft Windows 95 have been purchased worldwide, either as an upgrade or on a new PC, since the product's August 24, 1995 release. Techscan, an independent market-research firm, reports that more than 91 percent of 3,000 people surveyed in North America and Europe said they were satisfied or very satisfied with Windows 95. More that 90 percent reported they would repurchase the software if they were making the decision again.

November 20 Microsoft announces that MSN: The Microsoft Network, has enrolled more than 525,000 members in its first three months of service. With the majority of members using MSN's full Internet access, this makes MSN one of the largest Internet service providers. Microsoft also announces it will not temporarily suspend member enrollment as was previously considered.
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates has authored his first book, "The Road Ahead." It will go on sale in more than twenty languages, with a first printing of more than 1.5 million copies, starting November 24, 1995. "The Road Ahead" looks at how new technologies will guide the way we work, play, and live in the future.
November 27 Microsoft announces the release of the final version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows 95. Internet Explorer 2.0 is widely available for downloading at no charge to licensed users of Windows 95 via the Internet. Internet Explorer 2.0 offers full support for Web standards and for current Internet security standards, including secure transaction technology (STT). In addition, it is the first browser to support advanced multimedia and 3-D graphics capabilities. It will be available in twelve additional languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Pan-European English, Spanish, and Swedish.
December 7 Bill Gates outlines Microsoft's wide-ranging commitment to supporting and enhancing the Internet by integrating the PC platform with the public network. Gates noted that businesses will adopt the Internet for internal business use-"the Intranet"-for communication with employees, suppliers, and customers, and Intranet applications will likely emerge faster than those for the general consumer market. NBC and Microsoft Join Forces
December 14 Microsoft and NBC announce that they have entered into a 50/50 partnership to create two new businesses -- a 24-hour news and information channel and an interactive on-line news service distributed on MSN: The Microsoft Network. MSNBC Cable will debut within six months with 24-hour news programming through NBC's existing America's Talking distribution. The complementary interactive MSNBC Online news offering will be made available globally via the MSN and will incorporate NBC Desktop Video, a computer-based business information service tailored to the needs of financial institutions and corporations.

 

 

Stats
Revenues: $5,940,000,000
Employees: 17,801
Net Revenue (US$) $6.08B %Growth 29%
Net Income (US$) $1.45B %Growth 27%

1996

Windows NT and the family of BackOffice products are designed for the most demanding business uses.

The design goals for Windows NT included extensibility, portability, reliability and robustness, compatibility, and performance. Windows NT is the ideal system for use in mission-critical applications -those essential "make or break" programs that are central to a company's business. Examples of where Windows NT is at work in mission-critical applications include:

Bill Gates completely missed the rise of the Internet -- the biggest computing trend of the 1990s. But once Microsoft saw which way the wind was blowing, it simply spent enough money to catch up.

So campaning, its slogan became:

"Microsoft leads the way as the world embarks upon the information highway"

What's your URL? became an often heard line.

And as stated "Microsoft re-invents itself to respond to the fast-growing popularity of the Internet"

MSNBC, the 24-hour news, talk, and information network from NBC News and Microsoft makes its debut on July 15, 1996. MSNBC on the Internet is the companion news and information service designed to deliver in-depth news and information. Slate™, an interactive magazine of politics, culture, and public policy edited by Michael Kinsley, also appears online. MSN™, The Microsoft Network, is re-organized to offer content on the World Wide Web. Microsoft announces the formation of the Executive Committee (replacing the Office of the President) comprised of Jim Allchin, Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Bob Herbold, Pete Higgins, Paul Maritz, Nathan Myhrvold, Jeff Raikes, and Brad Silverberg.

Jill Barad, Mattel USA President, is named to the Microsoft Board of Directors, the first woman to serve since 1988.
Microsoft Acquires Vermeer Technologies, Inc.
1/16/1996 Vermeer's flagship software application, FrontPage, is a tool for easily creating and managing rich Web documents without programming. FrontPage will become a key component of Microsoft's strategy to provide a full range of tools for both Internet and intranet publishing.

February 15 Headed by Patty Stonesifer, the Interactive Media Division will consist of MSN, the Microsoft Network online service; games and kids' titles; and the information businesses formerly residing in the now-dissolved Consumer Division. The new division will focus on creating and marketing worldwide interactive entertainment and information products across a variety of media, including the Internet.
February 20 The Platforms Group will be aligned to more closely coordinate the Microsoft® Windows® family strategy and to concentrate on developing complementary products and technologies for the Internet. The Platforms Group currently comprises four divisions: Business Systems, Consumer Systems, Developer, and Personal Systems. These four will be realigned into three divisions: the Desktop and Business Systems Division, the Internet Platform and Tools Division, and the Consumer Platforms Division.
February 27 Microsoft is segmenting its support offerings into two distinct categories, according to the service level desired by the customer. End users, developers, and organizations requiring Standard and Priority technical support from Microsoft will now be served by the newly named Microsoft AnswerPoint framework, which includes easy access to technical and support information, no charge support, and fee-based, round-the-clock support at various levels. A comprehensive portfolio of direct and partner-supplied enterprise customer services will be offered through the company's new Microsoft Service Advantage and the Global Service Network.
March 12 Microsoft® ActiveX™ Technologies, a set of tools to enable the creation of active content for the Internet and the PC, are announced. Through ActiveX Technologies, Web pages can incorporate active content, including animation, 3-D virtual reality, video, and other multimedia content. ActiveX Technologies include Internet standards and will be delivered on multiple platforms. ActiveX Technologies include various components such as, ActiveX Controls, Active Scripts, ActiveX Documents, ActiveX Server Framework, ActiveX Server Scripting, and ActiveX Server Controls.
April 16 Microsoft® SQL Server™ client-server database management system version 6.5 has released to manufacturing. Key new features include built-in support for Internet applications, improved support for distributed management tools, and a new locking architecture called Dynamic Locking.
May 20 More than 30 million people worldwide use Microsoft®Excel, making it the most popular spreadsheet program of all time. User feedback guides development and shapes priorities for new features and new technologies.
June 6 Microsoft names Mattel USA President and Chief Operating Officer, Jill E. Barad, to its board of directors. Starting as a product manager at Mattel in 1981, she was named executive vice president of marketing and worldwide product development in 1986 and, in 1989, president of the girls and activity toys division. In 1990 she was named president of Mattel USA, which lead to her current position as president and chief operating officer in 1992. Barad is the first woman named to the Microsoft Board of Directors since Portia Isaacson served in 1986 and 1987.
June 13 Bill Gates outlines Microsoft's strategy to deliver a comprehensive set of products and services that seamlessly integrate desktops, LANs, client-server applications, legacy systems, and the public Internet. Besides integrating LANs with the Internet, Microsoft's intranet strategy is to implement new navigation paradigms; simplify applications development, deployment, and administration; and integrate new products and Internet technologies with existing infrastructures.
June 24 Slate ™, an interactive magazine of politics, culture, and public policy edited by Michael Kinsley, debuts online. Slate aims to provide a timely, decisive, and nonpartisan atmosphere for politically and culturally engaged readers through a mix of editorial features, reviews, columns, and interactive forums.
July 15 MSNBC, the 24-hour news, talk, and information network from NBC News and Microsoft, debuts. MSNBC will initially deliver 14 hours of original programming each day. The number of original program hours will continue to increase as the network expands. MSNBC on the Internet is the companion news and information service designed to deliver in-depth news and information.
July 22 Microsoft promotes Jeffrey S. Raikes to Group Vice President, Sales and Marketing. In his new position, Raikes becomes a member of Bill Gates' "Office of the President."
October 29 Patty Stonesifer, Senior Vice President of the Interactive Media Division and the executive credited with building Microsoft's position as the world's leading consumer and interactive media company, resigns. After eight years at Microsoft she leaves to pursue personal interests and a new career as a management consultant.
November 7 Microsoft releases Microsoft® Flight Simulator for Windows 95 marking the first time in its 14-year history that the product is available on the Windows platform.
November 12 Microsoft's Board of Directors approves a 2-for-1 stock split. Shareholders will receive one additional share for every share held on the record date of November 22, 1996.
December 3 Microsoft forms the Executive Committee which will replace the Office of the President as the most senior management team at the company. Senior Vice President Jim Allchin and Senior Vice President Brad Silverberg will join Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Bob Herbold, Pete Higgins, Paul Maritz, Nathan Myhrvold, and Jeff Raikes on the new Executive Committee.

 

Presidents

 

Stats

Revenues: $8,671,000,000
Employees: 20,561
Net Revenue (US$)$9.05B %Growth 49%
Net Income (US$) $2.20B % Growth 51%

 

1997

January Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Office 97, the new version of the world's best-selling productivity suite, which integrates the ease of intelligent applications with the power of the Web.
March 3 Microsoft acquired Interse Corp., a maker of software for analyzing user activity on World Wide Web sites. Financial terms were not disclosed.
April Microsoft signs an agreement to acquire WebTV Networks for approximately $425,000,000 in stock and cash. WebTV Networks offers a complete system that provides consumers access to the Internet via television.

The Seattle Sidewalk™ city guide is now available free on the World Wide Web and as a featured offering on MSN™, The Microsoft Network. Other Sidewalk city guides are scheduled to launch in 10-15 key cities by the end of the year.
May Microsoft is hosting The Microsoft® CEO Summit in Seattle on May 8-9, 1997. The summit is a forum for Chief Executive Officers from more than 100 corporations around the world to engage in discussions about technology.
June Microsoft will make an investment of $1 billion in Comcast, the nation's fourth-largest cable television operator and a diversified telecommunications company. The $1 billion cash investment will enhance Comcast's deployment of high-speed data and video services via its cable delivery network.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda French Gates, today announced the formation of the Gates library Foundation. Microsoft has pledged to match the Gates' cash grant with software of equal value.
June 10 MS purchased 11.5% of Comcast Corp. for $1 billion.
August Steve Jobs and Bill Gates lay out a broad product and technology development agreement between Apple and Microsoft. The agreement includes the production of future versions of Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and other Microsoft tools for the Macintosh; the bundling of Internet Explorer with the Mac OS; a broad patent cross-licensing agreement for leading-edge Mac technologies; and a $150 million investment in Apple by Microsoft.
ie40box.jpg (11305 bytes) Internet Explorer 4.0 The ultimate internet solution. Internet Explorer is designed to take advantage of the latest Internet technologies available.
September Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 is released to critical acclaim and enormous customer demand. Internet Explorer 4.0 combines the premier Internet browser, communication and collaboration tools, innovative Active Channel™ "push" content and true Web integration to offer users an unparalleled Internet client solution.
October The Justice Department filed a motion today in Federal District Court, alleging that Microsoft had violated a 1994 consent decree dealing with certain aspects of licensing the Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. Specifically, the Justice Department asked the court to stop Microsoft from tying the use of its Windows 95 operating system to the use of its Internet browser, a tool to navigate the Internet.
November Pollsters Hart and Teeter found that Microsoft is the most admired company in one of the most admired industries in America. When the public was asked to volunteer, without being prompted, the names of one or two companies they respect and admire, Microsoft was named by 25 percent. IBM and General Motors were next, at 16 percent, followed by AT&T and WalMart at 15 percent.

Stats

Revenues: $11,360,000,000 % Growth 32%
Employees: 22,232
Net Income (US$) $3.45B % Growth 57%

1998

WINDOWS CE--Smarter & Better Devices
With the 1997 introduction of the handheld PC (HP/C), Windows CE products continue to expand with the introduction of new devices and updated OS versions and applications. The Palm-size PC and the Auto PC along with the HP/C professional edition expand the PC companion line.
Launch of India Development Center in Hyderabad, India. The center will become the second largest development center outside the US facillity in Redmond (WA)
January 26 Microsoft's Board of Directors approved a 2 for 1 split of its common shares. Shareholders will receive one additional common share held on the record date of February 6, 1998. As of December 31, 1997, Microsoft had approximately 1.2 billion common shares outstanding. This is the seventh time the common stock has split since the company went public on March 13, 1986.
February 5 Microsoft realigns its product groups to respond to changing consumer and market needs. The reorganization focuses the product groups on investing in Windows with the goal of delivering simplicity and scalability, allowing businesses to maximize their competitive advantage through their digital nervous system, and promoting the Web lifestyle.
March 26 Microsoft delivers on its commitment to build innovative products for the Macintosh by releasing Office 98, Macintosh Edition, which offers Mac users all of the features found in Office 97, plus added functionality.
March 31 For the first time ever, Exchange Server outsold Lotus Notes in the first quarter of calendar year 1998. In its two years on the market, sales of Exchange Server totaled more than 13 million seats, easily making it the fastest-growing server product in PC history.
May 01 Slate becomes the first Internet-based magazine to join the New York Times global news distribution service, which includes content from The Economist and Le Monde.
June 25 Microsoft launches Windows 98 worldwide

Presidents

On July 21, 1998, Steve Ballmer, 42, is appointed president of Microsoft to broaden the leadership of the company and better position the company to take advantage of future growth opportunities. Ballmer's new responsibilities include boosting the business discipline and performance of all Microsoft's existing and emerging businesses as well as improving customer satisfaction.

Bill Gates, 42, will continue as chairman and CEO, and will focus more time on Microsoft's long-term planning and working with the development teams to devise the technologies and products of the future.

Stats
Revenues: $14.48 billion Growth 30%
Net Revenue (US$) $15.26B %Growth 28%
Employees: 27,055


1999

 

January 8 Microsoft launches Encarta Africana, the first comprehensive encyclopedia of black history and culture.
February 24 Microsoft opens its first online store, Shop.
March 18 Bill Gates introduces Internet Explorer 5.0 at a launch event on the Microsoft campus in Redmond.. By the following week, more than 1 million downloads of the new version have taken place.
March 24 Bill Gates releases his latest book, Business @ the Speed of Thought, published by Warner Books. At the heart of the new book is a single idea: For businesses to think and move quickly enough to succeed in the fast-paced digital economy, they must enable the flow of digital information.
June 7 Steve Ballmer officially launches Microsoft Office 2000, a key element of the company's vision of "Knowledge Workers Without Limits."
September 13 Microsoft announces Windows Distributed interNet Architecture (Windows DNA) 2000, a comprehensive, integrated platform for building and operating state-of-the-art distributed Web applications as well as the next wave of Internet-based Web services.

 

Stats

Revenues: $19.75B % Growth 29%
Employees:31,575
Net Income (US$) $7.79B % Growth 73%

 

 

2000

January 7 Microsoft acquires Visio Corporation, the largest acquisition in Microsoft's history.
January 13 Bill Gates creates a new role for himself chairman and chief software architect so that he can dedicate all of his time to helping drive the next-generation Windows Internet platform and services. Steve Ballmer becomes president and CEO, and will take over management of the company.
February 17 Microsoft launches Windows 2000
April 3 Microsoft announces the retail availability of Microsoft Project 2000 and the companion, Web-based Microsoft Project Central, a major upgrade to the world's best-selling project-management software, with more than 5 million users.
June 22 Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer outline Microsoft's .NET strategy for Web services the vision and road map for its next generation of software and services. Microsoft .NET (pronounced dot net) will provide easier, more personalized, and more productive Internet experiences by harnessing constellations of smart devices and Web sites with advanced software through Internet protocols and formats.
September 14 Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me).
September 20 Warner Books publishes Inside Out, Microsoft—In Our Own Words, a commemorative 25th anniversary book.

 

Stats

Revenues: $22.96B % Growth 16%
Employees:39,170
Net Income (US$) $9.42B % Growth 21%

2001

 

February 13 Microsoft Windows XP operating system makes its public debut at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
May 31 Microsoft Office XP launches, promising to unlock hidden knowledge and unleash the next wave of productivity gains
October 25 Microsoft Windows XP is released worldwide.
November 15 Microsoft Xbox® launches, offering the only system on the market designed from the ground up to deliver a complete online gaming experience.

 

Stats

Revenues: $25.30B % Growth 10%
Employees:48,030
Net Income (US$) $7.35B % Growth -22%
June 30, 2001

2002

January 15 Bill Gates outlines Microsoft's commitment to Trustworthy Computing
February 13 Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET launches during the VSLive! Conference in San Francisco.
March 18 Microsoft and those states not agreeing to the settlement reached by the U.S. Department of Justice began a trial on remedies in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
April 4 Microsoft President Rick Belluzzo, appointed to his post slightly more than a year ago, is stepping down.
July 1 Today at Microsoft Tech•Ed 2002 Europe, Microsoft launched Microsoft Visual J#® .NET, a development tool for Java-language developers building applications and services on the Microsoft .NET Framework. The launch of Visual J# .NET signals the completion and availability of all the Microsoft programming languages within Visual Studio .NET, including Visual C++® .NET, Visual C#® .NET and Visual Basic® .NET.
August 8 Microsoft Reaches an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission on Passport.
October 23 Microsoft today will unveil MSN 8 with a celebration in Manhattan's Central Park, the first stop on a national tour intended to show consumers why a recent study revealed that three out of four people prefer the new MSN 8 software to AOL 8.
November 1 Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (U.S. District Court–Washington, D.C.) issues her final judgment conditionally approving the settlement Microsoft reached with the federal government and the nine states
November 7 Microsoft and partners launch Tablet PC

 

Stats

Revenues: $28.37B % Growth 12%
Employees:50,621
Net Income (US$) $5.35B* % Growth -28%

 

2003

 

Launch of GTSC (Global Technical Support Center) in Bangalore, India
January 16 Microsoft declares annual dividend
April 16 Windows Server System™ replaces .NET Enterprise Servers as the first official portfolio name that encompasses more than a dozen Microsoft server software offerings, including Windows Server™ 2003. The new Windows Server System brand change informs customers that Windows Server 2003 is at the heart of the company's server strategy and that Microsoft's server software offerings are being designed around a common architecture to ensure interoperability.
April 24 Windows Server 2003 launches. It is the largest software development project in Microsoft history to date.
June 23 Microsoft announces Windows Mobile, a new global brand for Microsoft software for mobile devices such as Pocket PCs and smart phones. The new Windows Mobile brand helps customers more readily understand and identify the software inside Pocket PCs and smart phones and the consistent experience they can expect.
October 9 Microsoft opens the inaugural Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference for its global network of industry partners, highlighting resources to drive the success of its industry partners, the innovation of its technology offerings, and a renewed commitment to helping partners capture opportunity.
October 21 Microsoft announces the general availability of the new Microsoft Office System, along with research that shows how leading companies are already gaining a competitive advantage from Microsoft Office System productivity solutions.
November 3 Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) announces the founding of the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Beijing, China, a new division that is to focus on further developing innovations produced in the lab.
November 11 Microsoft shareholders approve the addition of two new directors, Charles H. Noski and Helmut Panke, increasing the size of its board of directors from eight to 10 members.

 

Stats

Revenues: $32.19B % Growth 13%
Employees:54,468
Net Income (US$) $7.53B* % Growth 29%

 

2004

 

March 15 The Shared Source Initiative reaches a milestone of 1 million participants. Through Shared Source programs, Microsoft shares source code with customers, governments, partners, academics, and individuals.
April 2 Microsoft and Sun Microsystems enter into a broad technology collaboration arrangement to enable their products to work better together and to settle all pending litigation between the two companies. The companies also enter into agreements on patents and other issues.
July 20 Microsoft's board of directors approves an $0.08 per share quarterly dividend, plans to buy back up to $30 billion of the company's stock over four years, and a special one-time dividend of $3 per share. In all, $75 billion is to be returned to shareholders over four years.
August 11 Microsoft announces a five-country pilot program for Windows XP Starter Edition, a low-cost introduction to Windows XP designed for first-time desktop PC users in developing technology markets.
October 12 Bill Gates delivers Microsoft's vision of digital entertainment anywhere, unveils Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, and showcases a variety of sleek new computer designs, portable media devices, and digital content services.
December 30 Microsoft announces a commitment of $3.5 million in financial support for relief and recovery efforts in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami.

 

Stats

Revenues: $36.84B %Growth 14%
Employees:57,086
Net Income (US$) $8.17B % Growth 8%

 

2005

January 10 Microsoft files a development agreement (DA) with the City of Redmond, WA, outlining its plans to make one of the largest corporate campuses in the world even larger through a major expansion of its corporate headquarters. In the plan, Microsoft also commits up to $30 million to local transportation and infrastructure improvements.
January 11 Microsoft announces the retirement of its Chief Financial Officer of five years, John Connors. He was a 16-year veteran of the company.
January 12 Microsoft Research launches operations at Microsoft Research India (MSRI) in Bangalore. MSRI is to initially focus on geographic information systems (GIS), technologies for emerging markets, multilingual systems, and sensor networks.
February 1 MSN launches a new Search service, available in 25 markets and 10 languages. The new MSN Search service delivers results of greater relevance, instant answers to specific questions, and a collection of tools that give Internet users greater control in targeting and refining searches.
March 30 Microsoft reaches an agreement with the EU to detach MicrosoftMediaplayer from Windows XP - rebranded as WindowsXP N. Microsoft also agrees to pay 497 million Euro in fines.

 

Microsoft's history now contains 2 chapters, click on Go Backto read chapter 1

 

Disclaimer

Though the editors of this history are careful to verify their facts, it is possible, e.g. through missing information, that we have made errors. Please contact us when you are of the opinion that you have found a mistake or missing information

 

 

microsoft timeline chapter 1indexsearch this site Last Updated on March 14, 2013 For suggestions  please mail the editors 

 

Footnotes & References

 

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