Microsoft, the land of the technological development, the first lightbulb to spark when one thinks of anything computing. They were one of the forerunners for modern computing and are still there now.
From the operating system to word processing suites, Microsoft really do know their game. Here we’re going to look at 30 facts about this wonderful company.
- Microsoft’s first major deal was with IBM for their new computer’s operating system in 1980 which the company named PC DOS, the deal was a whopping $50,000.
- November 1985 saw the first release of Microsoft Windows; Windows 1.0, a 16-bit system.
- Bill Gates was officially the youngest billionaire when he reached this astounding feat in 1987 at the humble age of 31.
- Gates’ famous property Xanadu 2.0 is supposedly worth a staggering $123 million as of 2017.
- The renowned Windows Jingle, recognised across the world, was created for Windows 95 and was designed by musician Brian Eno.
- Workers at Microsoft bring 1lb of M&Ms in to celebrate their time at the company on their anniversary for each year of employment. So if you work there 10 years, that 10lb of chocolate!
- Microsoft created the first smartwatch in 1994 with the Datalink 150. The watch, co-produced by Timex, required a PC running Windows 3.1 and over and was water resistant to 100 meters, much more than any PC at the time.
- The X in the name Xbox comes from Windows’ DirectX software that the O.S. uses for processing graphics.
- The current Microsoft logo uses the O.S’ word font Segoe alongside the familiar 4 coloured squares.
- Microsoft headquarters had 35 cafeterias with free candy and drinks for its employees with breakfast being served until 2pm. One Café; the Café Redwest boasts an impressive 2,000 visitors a day.
- Microsoft employee’s gender balance is at almost 3/4 male to female according to one list in 2015, the average software engineer gets $106,000.
- The 10000th patent Microsoft acquired was for the Microsoft Surface, the revolutionary laptop device.
- The Hyphen in the company name, Micro-Soft, was removed after a decision was made in 1981.
- Q33 was the first plane to hit during 9/11 in 2001, when you type in Q33 in Microsoft’s Wingding’s font, a very sinister and uncouth thing appears; Q33. Whether a coincidence or a cruel joke, I strongly believe Microsoft should remove it.
- The Microsoft Mouse was Microsoft’s first delve into the world of peripheral mice. The device released in 1983, came with any purchase of Microsoft Word.
- Sonoma County California was the location of the most famous Windows desktop backgrounds; the field with a blue sky or “Bliss” to give its official name, the photo was taken in 1996.
- To keep up with Google, Microsoft has an army of very virile rabbits wandering around its Corporate Campus after a load was dumped many years ago.
- The well-known and frequently played PC time waster Solitaire was actually given as a game for quite an interesting reason. The game is based on a premise that the user drags the cards to the relevant match, in turn educating a user on how to ‘drag and drop’.
- The arrest photo of Gates actually forms the outline for the default picture option in Outlook 2010.
- In 2014, the Surface Pro was set to become the NFL official tablet but the deal became a flop when commentators kept calling them their Apple counterpart.
- After an unfortunate naming abbreviation mishap in Windows 98 with the Critical Update Notification Tool, the program was renamed to Utility to form CUNU.
- In 2014 Bing, the Microsoft search engine, accurately predicted that the World Cup Final would be Argentina v Germany.
- Former CEO Steve Ballmer said in 2011 that he found it hard for him to become excited when it came to Android devices.
- Microsoft only have an estimated 25% of the stores worldwide when compared to their biggest competitor; Apple.
- In 1992, the first ever Windows virus became prevalent; WinVer 1.4 but this virus was not the first PC ever, this came much earlier in 1986.
- A man named Bob and Microsoft came to an agreement over internet domains after Bob owned “windows2000.com” and Microsoft owned “Bob.com”.
- Microsoft’s Encyclopaedic software; Encarta was discontinued in 2009, it was codenamed Gandalf and its demise is often accounted to Wikipedia.
- According to legend, when Microsoft released its browser Internet Explorer 4, some employees went over to Netscape HQ and placed a huge IE logo in their water fountain.
- Microsoft has acquired an impressive 190+ companies in its life span to date including Nokia which was purchased for almost $8 billion in 2014!
- Windows XP was officially released back in 2001. Microsoft ended their support for XP in April 2014, but still roughly 30% of all PC’s still use Windows XP.
So there we have it, 30 facts about this technological juggernaut, a company that has its finger in every flavour of techy pie from mobile devices and PC’s to search engines and billion dollar business, they really do know their stuff!
Whatever you think of the Microsoft vs Apple debacle, like Apple, you do have to give Microsoft the due in terms of ability and sheer impressive stature. As always, don’t take your eyes off them, they will release something new or wondrous soon I’m sure.