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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Microsoft celebrates 40th birthday


Microsoft celebrates 40th birthday

On April 4th, 1975, two young men, Bill Gates, aged 19 and Paul Allen aged 22, left Harvard and Washington State and set up shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an idea to put a computer in every home, on every desk. This marked the birth of 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.

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 the company has faced its shares of bumps along the road, one cannot deny that that Microsoft has not given up.

Despite the iPhone revolution, Microsoft was among the first to 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 also a pioneer with wearable technology, with 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.

The company's greatest triumph has to be 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.


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