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Microsoft turns 40, Bill Gates writes anniversary letter to company's employees

By Julio Franco
Apr 4, 2015
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  1. Microsoft, one of the most significant companies in the history of computing, turns 40 years old today. Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975 as a small software vendor for Altair computers and later IBM-compatible PCs, it went to become the most dominant software company in the world in the 1980s, arguably up to this day.

    The company's IPO in 1986 and subsequent rise in share price created three billionaires (famously Gates is the long standing wealthiest man alive) and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees. Today Microsoft employs over 125,000 people worldwide and is the third most valuable company in the world, only behind Exxon Mobil, long-time rival Apple, and closely followed by relentless new competitor Google.

    While Microsoft's is undoubtedly a success story, over the last decade it's come to face its biggest challenges, from competitors and from within. As technology continued to evolve, the software giant failed to recognize change, markedly missing out on the huge market for mobile devices. Nevertheless, the Windows operating system runs over 90 percent of the world's computers, and Microsoft's Office remains the de-facto productivy suite. Other big Microsoft brands and businesses include Xbox, Skype, Windows Server, Bing, Windows Phone/Nokia, Onedrive/Azure (cloud), among others.

    In celebration of the company's 40th anniversary, Bill Gates sent the following letter to Microsoft employees:

    Tomorrow is a special day: Microsoft's 40th anniversary.

    Early on, Paul Allen and I set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. It was a bold idea and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible. It is amazing to think about how far computing has come since then, and we can all be proud of the role Microsoft played in that revolution.

    Today though, I am thinking much more about Microsoft's future than its past. I believe computing will evolve faster in the next 10 years than it ever has before. We already live in a multi-platform world, and computing will become even more pervasive. We are nearing the point where computers and robots will be able to see, move, and interact naturally, unlocking many new applications and empowering people even more.

    Under Satya's leadership, Microsoft is better positioned than ever to lead these advances. We have the resources to drive and solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry. In my role as technical advisor to Satya, I get to join product reviews and am impressed by the vision and talent I see. The result is evident in products like Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens -- and those are just a few of the many innovations that are on the way.

    In the coming years, Microsoft has the opportunity to reach even more people and organizations around the world. Technology is still out of reach for many people, because it is complex or expensive, or they simply do not have access. So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices.

    We have accomplished a lot together during our first 40 years and empowered countless businesses and people to realize their full potential. But what matters most now is what we do next. Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,156   +1,431

    Bill looks like he kicked it off right from his cradle back then.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    SalaSSin likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,156   +1,431

    Should have sent one out to Steve for the OS ideas once stolen. Your man must be rolling down there today.
     
  4. SuperVeloce

    SuperVeloce TS Booster Posts: 133   +34

    You mean, he stole a stolen idea? Ok then
     
    fimbles likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,519   +2,062

    I'm not so sure about the Nadella part of the letter. Let's wait and see.
     
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +791

    Awwwwwww .... how touching, they got an "atta-boy" letter from the biggest scam artist in the industry ....
     
  7. swgod

    swgod TS Rookie

    At least Windows was for anyone's hardware. Apple has created a very closed ecosystem to lock everyone in to their expensive hardware.
     
    husseinHr likes this.
  8. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,392   +329

    Tell me more Uncle AI about how hes a scam artist? im pretty sure you would be just as rich as he is if you stop complaining and sitting around doing nothing or is that all part of the "I'm better then he is" plan.
     
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  9. bcopley

    bcopley TS Rookie

    I am very proud of Microsoft. They have truly turned it all around. Until January 21st. Since I was a child I have been an advocate against them and their way of bludgeoning the consumer with "The Microsoft Way because we said so".

    The gloves have come off now. The world is about to change, all because Microsoft, grew a heart again. Because Microsoft started took seriously all the things it has done wrong and committed itself to what we all do in the tech industry everyday: Enrich lives by providing the means to get it done how they want to get there, but gently escourt the user to the new way.

    We never bully, we never chain the user down. We tread softly as we tread on private information, not because we want to but because it's the nature of the beast.

    Happy 40th Microsoft. Can't wait to see what's next.
     
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,560   +2,901

    There is no turn around, MS has always been that way. They prove it with every other Windows release. (We hate it, we love it, we hate it, we love it)
     
  11. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +791

    I work every day as an environmentalist so while I'm comfortable I'm certainly not rich. Anyone that tries to drive another person out of business strictly for their financial gain, then do nothing with what they have stolen rates as a scam artist in my book. Look back at the history of MAC basic and what he did to Apple ..... if you're old enough to read history .... :)
     
  12. cldmstrsn

    cldmstrsn TS Booster Posts: 102   +52

    Capitalisms a ***** aint it.
     
  13. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,392   +329

    Read it ages ago... they didnt drive anyone out or are you saying apple doesn't have $100+bill in the bank? or that they are worth more than microsoft?

    Please do tell how your a fanboy that thinks apple would be worth $20trillion if bill gates didnt "steal" this trillion dollar technology. no one drove anyone out of business but if you want to think they did then looks like apple tried to drive microsoft out of business with the scam artist adverts etc.etc.etc.
     
  14. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +791


    No more time for your childishness, you obviously can't do your research ...... we have enough haters in this world so blow!
     
  15. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,392   +329

    Says the guy that has more information about bill gates then anyone else in this world, you'd think if he actually did the things you said that it would have been included in this article and oh of course IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST HIM...

    This world does have enough haters, could it be because apple is now dead thanks to microsoft?
     
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  16. Riza Armati

    Riza Armati TS Rookie

    I have the same birthday as Microsoft.
    04.04.1975. :)
     
    Arris likes this.
  17. ridox12

    ridox12 TS Rookie

    happy birthday Riza
    I'm a microsoft fan"leaving people run their systems freely " open source it's what makes microsoft 100 times better than mac haha even android is a open source ,,, sorry Apple your in my blacklist
     
  18. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,160   +198

    Surely you mean xerox?
     
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  19. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 658   +174

    Wow haters gonna hate...

    Going on about how MS stole from apple and yet released a product the very following year based on an entirely different set of hardware and OS kernel etc etc etc..
    But lets just ignore the facts like xerox was the first company to develop a GUI and both MS AND Apple "stole" from them.

    Anyways, never fails that as soon as a rich person that tries to do some good gets mentioned here everyone hates the heck out of them.
    Go hate on Donald trump or some Colombian dictator or something.
     
  20. Hey, Pal, check your facts.There are no "Colombian dictators", not at least in the last 60 years. If your point is that successful people are hated by some folks, I agree with you. On the other, Microsoft is now a cool company again...
     
  21. hrowder

    hrowder TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +10

    No one ever got rich by being gentle. We could argue back and forth about the early business practices of Microsoft under Bill Gates. It is somewhat startling to realize that Bill Gates could not be hired at his present company because he does not have a college degree. The same is true of many of the founders of tech companies. Perhaps we are ignoring new innovators who are not getting the chance to develop skills in present companies for the same reasons... but I digress. The whole of the tech industry related to computing is a miracle of chance and "should haves/would haves" along with some sordid tales of sometimes underhanded practices. Microsoft is a great company because its software ran on more or less "open platforms" (Thanks IBM for allowing that!) and Microsoft, however it achieved it, adopted and continues to perfect an OS that consolidated PC computing so that productivity and game software could be written for a single operating system, thus unifying the "home" and business computing worlds. So happy birthday Microsoft. We sometimes hate you, but we needed you and still do.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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