Microsoft History

Historical Events


Historic InventionFounding of Microsoft

1975-04-04 Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800

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Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the founders of Microsoft
Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the founders of Microsoft
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  • 1981-06-25 Microsoft is restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1988-10-28 Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gives $10 million to University of Washington library

Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen
Co-founder of Microsoft
Paul Allen
  • 1990-05-22 Microsoft releases Windows 3.0
  • 1991-06-11 Microsoft releases MS DOS 5.0
  • 1992-04-06 Microsoft announced Windows 3.1, upgrading Windows 3.0
  • 1992-04-14 Court throws out Apple's lawsuit against Microsoft
  • 1995-08-24 Microsoft debuts Windows 95
  • 1996-07-15 MSNBC begins Microsoft internet-NBC TV
  • 1996-08-13 Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 3.0
  • 1997-04-08 Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4 Beta
  • 1997-08-06 Microsoft announces it will invest $150 million in Apple Computer Inc
  • 1997-09-30 Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4

  • 1997-10-20 US accuses Microsoft of violating pact forcing IE browser on computers
  • 1997-10-22 Compaq testifies Microsoft threaten to break Windows 95 agreement if they showcased a Netscape icon
  • 1997-10-27 Microsoft argues it should be "free from government interference"
  • 1997-12-11 Federal judge orders Microsoft not to bundle IE4 in Windows
  • 1997-12-31 Microsoft buys Hotmail email service for $400 million and re-launches it as MSN Hotmail

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1998-03-03 Bill Gates testifies at Senate Judiciary Committee about Microsoft's dominant position in the software industry

Founder of Microsoft and Computer Scientist Bill Gates
Founder of Microsoft and Computer Scientist
Bill Gates
  • 1998-05-18 United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • 1999-03-26 The "Melissa worm" infects Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world.
  • 2000-01-13 Microsoft chairman Bill Gates steps aside as chief executive and promotes company president Steve Ballmer to the position
  • 2008-06-27 Bill Gates steps down as Chairman of Microsoft Corporation to work full time for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • 2009-10-22 Microsoft releases Windows 7
  • 2013-03-06 Microsoft is fined €561M ($731M USD) by the Euro Commission for failing to respect an antitrust settlement to provide options to chose an alternative web browser
  • 2013-05-21 Microsoft announces the release of Xbox One
  • 2013-09-03 Microsoft purchases Nokia for $7.2 Billion

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2014-02-04 Satya Nadella succeeds Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft

CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella
CEO of Microsoft
Satya Nadella
  • 2015-07-29 Microsoft launches Windows 10
  • 2019-01-07 Amazon overtakes Microsoft to become the world's most valuable listed company for the first time, worth $797 billion
  • 2019-04-25 Microsoft becomes the third US firm to be listed with a market worth of 1 trillion, after Apple and Amazon
  • 2020-03-13 Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates steps down from the company's board to focus on philanthropic activities

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestPaul Allen

1953-01-21 Paul Allen, American business magnate (co-founder Microsoft, owner Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2018)

Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen
Co-founder of Microsoft
Paul Allen

Person of interestBill Gates

1955-10-28 Bill Gates, American businessman and billionaire (founder and CEO of Microsoft, richest person in the world), born in Seattle, Washington

Founder of Microsoft and Computer Scientist Bill Gates
Founder of Microsoft and Computer Scientist
Bill Gates
  • 1957-11-16 Frank Milton "Pete" Higgins II, VP (Microsoft Desktop)

Person of interestSatya Nadella

1967-08-19 Satya Nadella, Indian-American businessman (CEO of Microsoft), born in Hyderabad

CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella
CEO of Microsoft
Satya Nadella
  • 1981-02-20 Adrián Lamo, American threat analyst and hacker (NYT, Yahoo!, Microsoft) who reported Chelsea Manning to the FBI, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2018)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1994-01-01 Microsoft CEO Bill Gates (38) marries Melinda French (29)

Founder of Microsoft and Computer Scientist Bill Gates
Founder of Microsoft and Computer Scientist
Bill Gates
Philanthropist Melinda Gates
Philanthropist
Melinda Gates

Famous Deaths

  • 2018-03-14 Adrián Lamo, American threat analyst and hacker (NYT, Yahoo!, Microsoft) who reported Chelsea Manning to the FBI, dies at 37

Person of interestPaul Allen

2018-10-15 Paul Allen, American business magnate (co-founder Microsoft, owner Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks), dies of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at 65

Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen
Co-founder of Microsoft
Paul Allen