History of Microsoft

1975

Revenue: $16,005

Employees: 3

February: Bill Gates and Paul Allen license first computer language program written for a personal computer.

November: Gates uses the name Micro-soft for the first time in a letter to Allen.

1976

November: Microsoft trade name registered with secretary of state in New Mexico.

1978

December: Year-end sales exceed $1 million.

1979

January: Microsoft moves to Bellevue, Wash., from Albuquerque.

1980

Revenue: $7.5 million

Employees: 40

June: Steve Ballmer hired from Procter & Gamble as assistant to the president.

1981

June: Microsoft reorganizes into privately held corporation with Gates as president and chairman and Allen as executive vice president.

August: MS-DOS introduced.

1982

June: Microsoft name becomes a registered trademark.

1983

February: Allen resigns as executive vice president, but remains on the board.

May: Company introduces the Microsoft mouse.

November: Company announces Microsoft Windows.

1985

Revenue: $140.4 million

Employees: 910

November: Marking its 10th anniversary, the company ships the first retail version of Microsoft Windows.

1986

February: Company moves into new headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

March: Stock goes public at $21 per share, rises to $28 at the end of the first trading day. Initial public offering raises $61 million.

1990

Revenue: $1.2 billion

Employees: 5,635

May: Microsoft announces Window 3.0.

July: Revenue exceeds $1 billion for the first time.

1993

May: Company formally launches Windows NT.

1995

Revenue: $5.9 billion

Employees: 17,801

August: Windows 95 released.

November: Gates' book, The Road Ahead, goes on sale. Company announces release of Internet Explorer 2.0.

December: Gates outlines company's plans to respond to the popularity of the Internet.

1996

June: Slate, an online magazine edited by Michael Kinsley, debuts.

July: MSNBC debuts.

1997

April: Microsoft acquires WebTV.

August: Apple and Microsoft announce broad product and technology agreements.

September: Internet Explorer 4.0 released.

October: Justice Department files a motion in U.S. District Court, alleging Microsoft violated a 1994 antitrust consent decree.

1998

June: Microsoft launches Windows 98.

July: Ballmer named president of Microsoft.

1999

October: Microsoft added to the Dow Jones industrial average, along with fellow technology giant Intel.

December: Microsoft releases the code for Windows 2000 to manufacturers.

2000

January: Gates steps down as chief executive, becoming chairman and chief software architect. Ballmer, at left, becomes CEO.

February: Microsoft releases Windows 2000.

March: Cisco surpasses Microsoft as the worlds most valuable company in market capitalization.

Monday: Judge issues ruling in governments antitrust case against Microsoft. *

Sources: Times staff and wire reports, company Web site

Researched by NONA YATES / Los Angeles Times

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