25 Interesting Facts About The History Of Microsoft And Its Rise To Domination

When it comes to large tech companies, there are few that have forged a reputation for themselves that is more ubiquitous than that of Microsoft. It’s everywhere. From mobile phones to video games to almost every personal computer in the world that doesn’t have “mac” in the name. There are very few people who don’t know or haven’t heard the name “Microsoft”. And while everybody knows it’s a computer company started by Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, few people know more than that. There is actually quite a bit of interesting history to this larger-than-life company. For example, do you know where the name actually came from? It’s supposed to be a portmanteau of “microcomputer” and “software”. It was started in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen and today it is the world’s largest software maker in terms of revenue. So, whether you are a fan of Microsoft products or you avoid them like the plague, it’s hard to get away from the effect that Bill Gates and his crew have had on the world as we know it. These are 25 interesting facts about the history of Microsoft and its rise to domination.

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Featured Image: C_osett via Flickr

25

The generic user outline used in Microsoft Outlook 2010 was actually Bill Gate's mugshot from when he got caught driving without a license

The generic user outline used in Microsoft Outlook 2010 was actually Bill Gate's mugshot from when he got caught driving without a licenseSource: wikipedia, Image: 9gag
24

Charles Simonyi, the inventor of Microsoft Office, has paid nearly $30 million to visit the International Space Station...twice!

Charles Simonyi, the inventor of Microsoft Office, has paid nearly $30 million to visit the International Space Station...twice!Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
23

A guy named Bob was the first to buy the domain name "windows2000.com". Ironically, Microsoft owned "bob.com" so they worked out a deal.

A guy named Bob was the first to buy the domain name "windows2000.com". Ironically, Microsoft owned "bob.com" so they worked out a deal.Source: wikipedia
22

For every Android device, Microsoft gets about $8 in royalties. In 2013 that worked out to nearly $3.5 billion

For every Android device, Microsoft gets about $8 in royalties. In 2013 that worked out to nearly $3.5 billionSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
21

Microsoft intentionally made msn.com look wrong on Opera browsers in order to push people to use Internet Explorer.

Microsoft intentionally made msn.com look wrong on Opera browsers in order to push people to use Internet Explorer.Source: wikipedia
20

Microsoft Flight Simulator is the company's longest running product. It precedes Windows by 3 years!

Microsoft Flight Simulator is the company's longest running product. It precedes Windows by 3 years!Source: wikipedia, Image: Nicholas Volodimer via Flickr
19

In 1997, Microsoft actually gave Apple $150 million in a deal that has been misconstrued as altruistic (it wasn't, but it is still funny that Microsoft paid its competitor so much)

In 1997, Microsoft actually gave Apple $150 million in a deal that has been misconstrued as altruistic (it wasn't, but it is still funny that Microsoft paid its competitor so much)Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

One of the reasons Microsoft included Solitaire in Windows was to familiarize users with drag and drop interfaces. This was something most people still had no experience with.

One of the reasons Microsoft included Solitaire in Windows was to familiarize users with drag and drop interfaces. This was something most people still had no experience with.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
17

In 2001, some Microsoft employees continued to work right through an earthquake in spite of alarms. It wasn't until they received an on-screen warning to leave the building that they left their workstations

In 2001, some Microsoft employees continued to work right through an earthquake in spite of alarms. It wasn't until they received an on-screen warning to leave the building that they left their workstationsSource: newscientist.com
16

The original Halo video game was a third person shooter for the Mac. At least until Microsoft bought Bungie and released the game on Xbox instead.

The original Halo video game was a third person shooter for the Mac. At least until Microsoft bought Bungie and released the game on Xbox instead.
15

3 billionaires and more than 12,000 millionaires owe their fortunes to Microsoft

3 billionaires and more than 12,000 millionaires owe their fortunes to MicrosoftSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
14

Microsoft Encarta was originally codenamed Gandalf. It's demise has been largely attributed to Wikipedia

Microsoft Encarta was originally codenamed Gandalf. It's demise has been largely attributed to WikipediaSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
13

One of Microsoft's most famous interview questions was "Why are manhole covers round?"

One of Microsoft's most famous interview questions was "Why are manhole covers round?"Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
12

In order to acknowledge the transition from the print age to the digital age, Microsoft changed its official font from Times New Roman to Calibri 11

In order to acknowledge the transition from the print age to the digital age, Microsoft changed its official font from Times New Roman to Calibri 11Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
11

In 1995, Windows95 was the second most installed piece of software. The video game DOOM was first.

In 1995, Windows95 was the second most installed piece of software. The video game DOOM was first.Source: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
10

In 2104, Microsoft and the NFL struck a deal to use Microsoft Surface as the league's official tablet. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the announcers kept calling them iPads.

In 2104, Microsoft and the NFL struck a deal to use Microsoft Surface as the league's official tablet. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the announcers kept calling them iPads.Source: wikipedia
9

It was in 1998 that the Microsoft DirectX team came up with an idea for a new game console and called it the directXbox. It was then shortened to Xbox.

It was in in 1998 that the Microsoft DirectX team came up with an idea for a new game console and called it the directXbox. It was then shortened to Xbox.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
8

The first mention of Microsoft was in a letter Bill Gates wrote to his co-founder Paul Allen. In the letter, Bill hyphenated the company name (Micro-soft).

The first mention of Microsoft was in a letter Bill Gates wrote to his co-founder Paul Allen. In the letter, Bill hyphenated the company name (Micro-soft).Source: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
7

The average "Softie" (Microsoft employee) is a 38 year old male

The average "Softie" (Microsoft employee) is a 38 year old maleSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
6

Bill Gates bought the Da Vinci Codex for $30 million. He then had the pages scanned and released as screen savers for Windows 95

Bill Gates bought the Da Vinci Codex for $30 million. He then had the pages scanned and released as screen savers for Windows 95Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
5

A teenager (Mike Rowe) once registered the domain mikerowesoft.com for his web business. He ended up getting sued by Microsoft.

A teenager (Mike Rowe) once registered the domain mikerowesoft.com for his web business. He ended up getting sued by Microsoft.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
4

DirectX was originally codenamed the "Manhattan Project" because Microsoft was trying to end Japan's domination of the video game industry. Yes, somebody at Microsoft had a very dark sense of humor.

DirectX was originally codenamed the "Manhattan Project" because Microsoft was trying to end Japan's domination of the video game industry. Yes, somebody at Microsoft had a very dark sense of humor.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
3

The average starting salary for a Microsoft developer is $106,000

The average starting salary for a Microsoft developer is $106,000Source: mashable.com, Image: wikipedia
2

Microsoft has over 10,000 patents which makes it one of the top 5 patent holders in the United States

Microsoft has over 10,000 patents which makes it one of the top 5 patent holders in the United StatesSource: wikipedia, Image: thebluediamondgallery.com
1

When Internet Explorer 4 was first released, some drunk Microsoft employees planted a huge Internet Explorer logo in the fountain outside of Netscape's headquarters

When Internet Explorer 4 was first released, some drunk Microsoft employees planted a huge Internet Explorer logo in the fountain outside of Netscape's headquartersSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia


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