Microsoft History

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Background

The beginning of Microsoft Inc. started with Bill Gates and Paul Allen writing computer program code for local businesses and municipalities. In 1975 they were inspired by an issue of Popular Electronics that showed the new Altair microcomputer kit, manufactured by MITS Computer. Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote a version of BASIC, a computer programming language, for the machine. Later that year Bill Gates left Harvard University to work full time developing programming languages for the Altair, and he and Paul Allen relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be near MITS Computer, where Paul Allen took a position as director of software development. Bill Gates and Paul Allen named their partnership Micro-soft (Microsoft Company History, 2008).

Microsoft's big break came in 1980 as IBM began developing its Personal Computer, or PC. While IBM contracted Microsoft to develop languages for the PC, Microsoft was not their first choice. Instead IBM's first choice to provide an operating system was a company called, Digital Research, a leader in the field at the time (Microsoft Company History, 2008). However, IBM and Digital Research were unable to agree on terms, so the contract for the operating system was awarded to Microsoft (Microsoft Company History, 2008).

In 1981 the company was incorporated as Microsoft, Inc., with Bill Gates as president and chairman and Paul Allen as executive vice-president. The company ended their first year with 128 employees and revenues of $16 million (Microsoft Company History, 2008).

Trends

Every January the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) takes place and everyone is waiting to see what Microsoft has been developing. Microsoft's presentation was somewhat calm compared to previous years. This year they are focusing on integrating the Xbox 360, Windows Mobile and Windows Vista into a fully integrated streamlined system (Thomas, Brett, 2008).

The big news of the day at the CES included NBC and Disney bringing their TV shows to the Xbox Live Marketplace, which brings the network up to having more than doubled the on-demand content of any cable or satellite provider worldwide (Thomas, Brett, 2008).

Apple is one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors and in mid-January they started getting into the movie business. Apple will rent movies from Fox at its iTunes digital media store. Microsoft is already offering online video rentals. But Apple has a user base of more than 100 million people worldwide who own iPods (Regan, Tom, 2008).

Another future trend Bill Gates touched on was Microsoft Sync, the joint effort with Fiat in Europe and Ford in the USA to create a streamlined voice activation system for your personal devices in a car (MP3, mobile phone, GPS, etc.) (Thomas, Brett, 2008).

Training

Microsoft is dedicated to helping its employees do their best, both now and in the future. Microsoft’s goals are to grow the skills that make leaders more effective in their current roles, while at the same time preparing them for upcoming challenges. Achieving these goals requires an educator's specialized training in effective learning techniques (Microsoft.com, 2008). It also takes the ability to recognize areas in which tech-industry professionals need to develop, and often involves identifying the leadership techniques and business knowledge that will benefit Microsoft personnel, plus the creation of training tools including classroom seminars and training materials that help employees learn. The goal of Training and Development at Microsoft is to achieve an optimal match between each employee's professional growth and Microsoft's business objectives (Microsoft.com, 2008). You can benefit from having a career or professional development plan, whether you are at the beginning of your career, looking to make some changes in your present position, or even if you already have your dream job and want to enrich your skills and knowledge. As a Microsoft employee, you will...
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