Microsoft, this technological monster is today one of the companies with the most wealth and profitability due not only to the popularity of the goods and services it offers but also to its alliances and diverse business schemes.
Microsoft’s main shareholder, businessman Bill Gates, has made a personal fortune of more than 110 billion dollars, which is itself far exceeds the assets of other large companies, being the “richest man in the world”, in subjective evaluations being surpassed in 2019 by Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon.
Microsoft’s speciality is programming. Its operating systems for computers and mobile devices are today as or more popular than devices as such since there are many computer and mobile brands, but Windows Office and Windows Phone are trends directly associated with the highest quality standards, beyond the fact that They may have detractors who are faithful to other systems such as Macintosh, Linux, iOS, Android, among others.
Like any large multinational, Microsoft has been the subject of controversies that have even led it to appear before the United States Department of Justice, since it has been accused of violating the privacy of its consumers, and has even been involved with the same government to, supposedly, develop ultra-secret global surveillance software.
History of Microsoft
Unlike Apple, which was born in that famous Silicon Valley garage, Microsoft had a more glamorous start. College students Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who became friends at a private school in Lakeside (Seattle), met in Albuquerque (New Mexico) in 1975 to found a company that would commercialize their interpreter for the BASIC programming language.
Its name was “Micro-Soft”, created from the acronyms of the words “microprocessor” and “software”, respectively, from which the script was removed that same year and later became a registered trademark in 1976. Aside From the BASIC interpreters, Microsoft began shipping compilations of COBOL and Fortran. In 1979, the brand launched its first operating system, a variant of Unix, nicknamed Xenix, but this launch would go almost unnoticed.
The first real success of Microsoft would be with the creation of the MS-DOS operating system, which was included in the personal computers of the multinational IBM that began to hit the market in 1981. The great scope that the product had achieved still grew. more in 1983, with the integration of the “mouse“. This same year the “Microsoft Press” division was created.
In 1985 after the great impact of MS-DOS, IBM and Microsoft decided to collaborate in the creation of several operating systems under the name of OS / 2. This same year Microsoft released the first version of its Windows Microsoft operating system, which was originally only a graphical extension for MS-DOS, but which eventually evolved. In 1987 Microsoft released its first version of OS / 2 for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
In 1989 Microsoft innovated a bit and secured a position in the world’s offices with the creation of Microsoft Office, an office system available for the Macintosh, which originally integrated Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Mail. On November 19, 1990, it is officially released for Windows. It is said that to make Windows Office work better than competing applications, undocumented knowledge of MS-DOS and Windows was used, which worked very well as Office became the most widely used office program despite being the most expensive.
By 1990 Windows 3.0 was released, a new version of the operating system with incredible new features, a much more streamlined interface, and improved protected mode. It is with this version that Windows begins to gain the recognition that has continued to this day. In less than 6 months, more than 2 million units were sold. This event caused Microsoft to withdraw resources from the creation of OS / 2 and invest them in Windows, which meant a fall for OS / 2 and a total favouring of Windows as PC software.
In 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT 3.1,42 an operating system specially created for the business world.
In 1995, Windows 95 was launched on the market, a completely new and improved version of the previous ones with functions that fascinated the public such as the new Start Menu, an improved file explorer, Plug-and-play Hardware compatibility and improved multimedia support. and games, plus 32-bit priority multitasking, which allowed multiple programs to be used at the same time. In its first four days, it exceeded one million sales. That same year, Internet Explorer was launched on the market, included in the Windows 95 Plus package!
At the end of 95, Microsoft began an expansion into the world of networks with the creation of the online service MSN. The expansion into other markets continued in 1996, this time to communications, with the creation, in association with NBC, of MSNBC and the founding of Slate magazine (bought by The Washington Post in 2004).
In October 1997, the United States Department of Justice in a motion to the Federal Court accused Microsoft of having violated an agreement signed in 1994 and demanded that the sale of Internet Explorer with Windows be stopped. A little before the end of the year Microsoft buys the Hotmail webmail service (now Outlook.com ).
In 1998, Bill Gates appointed Steve Ballmer as the new president of the company so that he could focus on his true interests within the company. This same year, Windows 98 was released, an update to Windows 95 with new improvements focused on Internet and compatibility. In 1999 Windows 98 SE goes on sale, in this new version many errors were corrected and greater stability was added to the operating system.
In 1999, Microsoft created the popular messaging program MSN Messenger (later Windows Live Messenger, which would eventually be replaced by Skype, one of the company’s hundreds of acquisitions).
On February 17, 2000, Windows 2000 was born, in this version, things such as Active Directory, the incorporation of the Device Manager and Windows Media Player stood out. This same year, the battle in courts continues and this time the company is accused of an “abusive monopoly“, for which they wanted to force it to divide its products and subsidiaries into two units.
At the end of the year, Windows ME is put on sale as a replacement for Windows 98, its main novelties were the inclusion of the System Restore option and connection improvements. The operating system was less successful than expected.
Windows XP created a new concept in the world of operating systems and became the best-selling x86 in the world with a total of 400 million copies
In 2001 a new historical milestone occurred for the company with the launch of Windows XP, the first version of the operating system that mixed home and business features, as well as including a completely new interface. Despite being criticized for flaws in security and compatibility features, Windows XP created a new concept in the world of operating systems and became the world’s best-selling x86 with a total of 400 million copies. This same year the foray into new markets continues, this time in the world of video games, with the launch of the Xbox on November 8.
In mid-2017 there was a strong restructuring in the company with a massive layoff of 3,000 employees, along with which they announced their new focus on data management services and the abandonment of operating systems for mobile devices.
In 2018 Microsoft became the most effective and listed company on the globe, again dethroning Apple Inc. This is how in this same year it obtained the position of the third public company in the United States that manages to be valued at more than $ 1 billion dollars after Apple and Amazon.
Currently, the company has more than eighty thousand workers who earn an average salary of one hundred thousand dollars a year.
The Microsoft logo has almost always been a logo. The first one it had was designed in 1975, with a genuine typeface, when the company was called “Micro-soft”. It was grey in colour and its letters, very groovy at the time, were made with thin lines that followed the shape of the spellings. The logo changed the same year when it was decided to withdraw the hyphen from the term “Microsoft”, and the word, made with a white typeface without serifs on a rectangular green background, was collected in a single line. The design of the first “o” in this logo, known as “The Blibbet“, was made of horizontal lines that demarcated a smaller circle in the centre of the script.
In 1987 a drastic change was made to the design: the logo was kept but this time with a different typeface, in italics, in ups and downs and with an incomplete first “o”, cut as if it were a cake or a pizza, which is He came to know as “Pac-Man“, although continuing the flat corner of the “s” that followed. This logo was kept until 2012; Starting this year, the company changed the logo font to a thinner one without italics and included an element that consists of a box divided into quarters and coloured (it is said, although it is not confirmed) in the representation of the products most characteristic of the brand: blue for Windows, red for Office, green for Xbox and yellow for Bing.
Microsoft has used its money to increasingly monopolize the software market around the world. It has bought more than one hundred companies and business groups since its foundation related to this technological branch, in addition, it has made specific purchases that have been very mediatic, such as the Finnish mobile phone company, Nokia, for more than seven billion dollars.
It is very difficult to propose a generalized business model for Microsoft because although it can be based on the sale of licenses of its programs, it is clear that its diversifications towards the field of video games, mobile telephony (smartphones) and Internet services, give us a clue that the former is not as profitable as it appears to be. First, the success of Microsoft’s licensing business, contrary to popular culture, is not domestically but corporately.
The Xbox has been one of the most important businesses for Microsoft in recent years
Piracy has substantially impaired the software licensing business in general, since through the Internet it is very easy to hack codes to crack a program or even an entire operating system. Today it is very easy to find in Internet forums ” Windows 8 cracked and ready to use” or “Office 2013 with code included“, among others.
The Xbox has been one of the most important businesses for Microsoft in recent years. It already has three versions (Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One X ), which, together, have sold approximate one hundred and twenty million units worldwide, generating a net profit of 19 billion dollars for the company. . Some of the video games for the Xbox, such as Halo, Crimson Dragon and Kung Fu Chaos, have been developed by an own division of Microsoft known as “Microsoft Studios”, which published in the nineties very popular video games for computers such as the series Age Of Empires(one of the star games of the strategy genre), and driving simulators, both with planes ( Microsoft Flight Simulator ) and trains ( Microsoft Train Simulator ).
Microsoft’s contributions to the world after Covid-19
It is no secret to anyone that Bill Gates has been one of the voices that have echoed about the tragedies that a pandemic can bring to the world because we were not prepared for this. And this topic is so interesting to Bill and to Microsoft that he has created Premonition, a platform that aims to detect viruses and catastrophes before they become monumental.
Premonition would use the weather sensors that voice assistants use to diagnose the weather, but this time to predict the existence and distribution of microbes, viruses and disease-carrying animals. This is how this tool would be able to detect anomalies before they become an epidemic or pandemic.
Ethan Jackson is the senior director of Premonition and has commented that it is an advanced system that will detect these anomalies early, working with different technologies such as AI, robotics and predictive analytics to study animals carrying different diseases, collect air samples in the environment and thus be able to scan it to determine if there are threats to human health or not. We can only hope for what this wonderful project can bring.
Perhaps Microsoft is one of the most recognized brands in the modern world, and although many do not want to recognize it, or declare themselves fans of Apple or other brands, they cannot so easily get rid of its influence since Microsoft is one of those companies that are present in our lives even if we do not realize it, because they have developed, through their subsidiaries and various acquisitions, innumerable applications that we use and enjoy.