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(Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, The most successful software company in the industry. Microsoft's software and Intel's hardware pioneered the PC and revolutionized the computer industry. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, its Windows operating systems are the de facto standards on the desktop and major contenders in the server arena. Microsoft Office is the most successful application suite in history. The company also has a thriving business in programming languages, which are its roots, as well as in numerous other software categories.

Gates and Allen were two college students when they wrote the first BASIC interpreter for the Intel 8080 microprocessor. MBASIC was licensed to Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems to accompany its Altair 8800 kit. By the end of 1976, more than 10,000 Altairs were sold, and versions were licensed to Radio Shack, Apple and others. Although the company became a leader in microcomputer programming languages, its outstanding success was caused by fitting IBM PCs with DOS in 1981 and non-IBM PCs with MS-DOS. In 1990, Windows 3.0, its third version of Windows, was enormously popular. Later, Windows 95 and Windows NT cemented Microsoft's leadership.

After the explosion of the Web, Microsoft gave away its Internet Explorer (IE) browser and then integrated it into Windows. IE became the leading on-ramp to the Internet, and the company embraced the online world with MSN Network and numerous MSN-branded applications and services (see MSN).

Although Microsoft is known for its software, it is also a very large hardware company, offering mice, keyboards, Webcams and the very successful Xbox gaming console and Kinect motion sensing. In 2013, Microsoft acquired the handset division of Nokia, giving it complete control over its mobile phone platform (see Windows Phone). Introduced in 2015, the HoloLens is a venture into augmented reality (see Windows Mixed Reality). See Windows, DOS, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Xbox, Kinect, Microsoftie and Altair.

William H. Gates, III
Bill Gates has become the most widely known business entrepreneur in the world, regardless of industry. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)

The Microsoft Campus
This is the main building of the sprawling Microsoft campus. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Anand Krishnan, general manager, developer and platform group, Microsoft Ltd, said: 'Working with British Airways to help shape the future of one of the company's key customer experiences is something we're very proud to be involved in.
Prior to PwC (07/2005-12/2009), Gibson was the Chief cyber Security Advisor, and senior corporate spokesperson, risk advisor, and point of contact in the United Kingdom for Microsoft Ltd on all matters related to the conduct of business online, information risk management, online data protection strategy, and prevention and mitigation of online attacks by miscreants, organized crime, and Nation-States.
Stephen Uden Head of Skills & Economic Affairs Microsoft Ltd 'Our internship programmes are an established and integral part of our talent pipelines at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Gordon Frazer is managing director of Microsoft Ltd and vice-president of Microsoft EMEA.
Microsoft Ltd has announced that its Exchange Server 2003 has been released to manufacturing and interested customers can sign up for an evaluation kit.
David Burrows, Head of Education Group, Microsoft Ltd, says: "The initiatives developed at Philip Morant show what can be achieved through a long-term, innovative partnership between the government, schools and providers.
Norton of Unilever (Netherlands), Nancy Perks of Microsoft Ltd.
James Akrigg, Head of Technology for Partners (SMS&P), Microsoft Ltd
Bruce Lynn, head of the Server Business Group, Microsoft Ltd said: "We know that IT professionals are asked to solve problems on a daily basis, and we wanted to recognise this.
Microsoft Ltd has revealed a new version of its SharePoint Portal Server that is currently in beta 2 release.
Microsoft Ltd has set up a free security bulletin notification system for home users.
Microsoft Ltd has launched its Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 Feature Pack 1.

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