As in the early 80s, when Microsoft were instrumental in the first truly personal computer - the mass-market computer, Microsoft truly brought computing to the masses. For the first time, the elderly, the young, and the technically illiterate were empowered to use computers. Although computers still betrayed some of their arcane origins of a time when computing was the real of those with genius IQs and degrees in mathematics, the computer was now almost as much a part of the home as the television and the microwave. This was achieved by always providing what the market needed. The Microsoft formula was to pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap. This formula was applied again and again over the years, slashing the price of software until everyone could afford it. Microsoft's success came through out-maneuvering the competition. Revolutionary was the approach that said that a spreadsheet, which at one would have cost over a thousand dollars, could be sold for a fraction of the price. This approach drove the computing revolution of the 80s and the net revolution of the 90s. Microsoft's aggressive approach made computing far more affordable, leading to today's society, where we truly can afford to have a computer on every desk. While competitors floundered - as IBM pursued their lumbering corporate path, as Apple chose to marginalize themselves by charging a premium for their product, and as the Unix vendors were tied to standardization committees and relics from the 60s - Microsoft recognized the potential of computing for the masses. By the launch of Windows 95 (at which time Linux was little more accessible to the masses than the punch-card computers of the 1950s), Microsoft's approach of providing the product the market wanted right now had made Bill Gates richer than Croesus, and the youngest billionare in history. Since that time Microsoft have continued to pursue their agenda of expedient computing, empowering thousands of small businesses, often...
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