Microsoft Timeline - Key Dates in Microsoft History:
- January 2, 1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen create a version of the BASIC language to run on microcomputers
- April 4, 1975: Microsoft founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
- July 1, 1977: With the idea of branching out into different computer languages, Microsoft ships its second language, Fortran.
- April 4, 1979: Microsoft 8080 BASIC wins ICP Million Dollar Award.
- August 12, 1981: IBM awards Microsoft the contract to provide an operating system for the IBM PC. This operating system later becomes known as MS-DOS.
- October 25, 1983: Microsoft released Microsoft Word. The word processor is the first to use WYSIWYG features.
- November 20th, 1985: Microsoft launches the first version of Windows.
- April 2, 1987: Microsoft announces OS/2, an operating system developed jointly with IBM. OS/2 is officially released in December of 1987.
- May 22, 1990: Microsoft releases Windows 3.0. This is the first version of Windows that gains popularity among IBM PC users and eventually becomes a standard install by manufacturers.
- May 20, 1991: Microsoft announces Visual Basic, a development platform with a visual interface.
- May 24, 1993: Windows NT is launched. Originally developed as OS/2 version 3.0, Microsoft slowly split from IBM and the joint development of OS/2 after Windows 3.0's popularity.
- August 24, 1995: Microsoft releases Windows 95, the replacement to MS-DOS. The Microsoft Network (MSN) is also officially launched on this date.
- August 1997: Microsoft invests 150 million into Apple after Apple's stock had fallen by more than 50%.
- October 25, 2001: Microsoft XP is released. This operating system signals the end of the Windows 95 line of operating systems and brings the NT line into the mainstream.
- November 15, 2001: Microsoft launches the Xbox.
- June 23, 2003: Microsoft announces Windows Mobile, an operating system for smartphones and PDAs.