Microsoft Corporation

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Microsoft Corporation

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MICROSOFT HISTORY 1
EARLY INFLUENCES 2
FIRST BUSINESS VENTURE 3
EDUCATION ATTEMPT 3
THE MOTIVATIONAL SIDE OF FEAR 4
A JAPANESE CONNECTION 5
IBM INFLUENCE 5
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST 6
A CRUCIAL DEAL 6
COMPETITION ERRORS 7
BIRTH OF WINDOWS 7
MISSION STATEMENT AND ANALYSIS 8
INDUSTRY AND COMPETITVE ANALYSIS 9
DOMINANT ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 9
Market Differentiation 9
Pace of technological change 10
Advances to the Printed Word 11
DRIVING FORCES 12
The Internet 13
The Information Highway 14
KEY SUCESS FACTORS 14

Microsoft History

Historians categorize blocks of time with the discovery of certain raw materials that humans utilized. The Bronze Age and the Iron Age were two periods in human history that proved through the discovery of artifacts that humans learned to harness these raw materials ingeniously. The Industrial Revolution of the late nineteenth century brought the discoveries of the Bronze and Iron Ages to new heights, and the advent of the locomotive, automobiles, cargo ships and airplanes were the most evident by-products of such raw materials. Use of these by-products from the earth's raw materials dramatically changed the world of business and trade. With the subsequent invention of wire communications (i.e., tapping out Morse code and speaking over telephone lines), business and trade grew exponentially. Wireless communications via the inventions of radio, television, and motion pictures contributed greatly to the advances of the Industrial Revolution. The need to find better ways of doing business to keep the marketplace fresh and innovative has driven the human race toward the brink of a new eraCthe Information Age. Unlike more tangible qualities of prior ages, the Information Age offers less defined qualities. At the heart of this new age is the advent of the personal home computer. Pumping life into this otherwise material home appliance is software that incorporates the necessary commands to access information stored within the computer's memory. The company that offered the world its first software manufacturing company was Microsoft Corporation (MSFT on the NASDAQ exchange). At the helm of this young, innovative company are William Gates and Paul Allen, a pair of former high school chums who envisioned a world of home computer technology years before such a dream became even remotely possible.

Early Influences

Their story begins at Lakeside High, a private high school in Seattle, Washington. The Mothers' Club at Lakeside decided to purchase a computer terminal for the kids with proceeds from bake sales and rummage sales. Students at Lakeside became enthralled with this new toy. True to their innate curiosity, Gates and Allen began to dabble farther into the workings of the computer; Gates, for example, wrote his first computer program at the age of thirteenCa version of Tic, Tac, Toe. Because the computer terminal was so slow, one game of Tic, Tac, Toe took up most of a lunch break; if played on paper, a full 30 seconds might have been required. Despite the simplicity of the program, it spawned the creative genius in both young men to tackle more challenging programs in the years ahead. Because the Mothers' Club was unable to afford continued use of computer time at $40 per hour, they decided to make it students' responsibility to purchase their own computer time. Most students complied by getting jobs outside school. Gates and Allen became programmers in the summers for compensation of computer time and $5000 in cash. In his 1995 book The Road Ahead, Gates describes the mainframe computers of the early >70's as A. . . temperamental monsters that resided in climate-controlled cocoons . . . connected by phone lines to clackety teletype terminals. . . .@ (11) He went on to...
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