Have you heard about Bill Gates? If yes, you must have heard about Microsoft without any doubt. And why not? It is a well-established brand like Coca-Cola. It is as old and as successful as it gets. But, have you ever thought about why is Microsoft called Microsoft?
First, let’s talk about this company a bit. This Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It has been always developing, manufacturing, and supports to sell computer software, consumer electronics, and related services.
This company was originally founded on 4th April 1975 in New Mexico, USA. The Redmond giant offers a list of software to its users in today’s world – Windows, Office, Servers, Skype, Dynamics, Surface, etc.
Why is Microsoft called Microsoft?
Well, there is no mystery that the “Microsoft” name has made from two words. This name derived from microcomputer and software that is Micro + Soft = Microsoft. So, this is how we got this name in straight words. But there is a lot to this story of why is it called Microsoft.
Why Is It Called Microsoft?
In 1970, two friends from Seattle – Bill Gates and Paul Allen started working together and comes up with the names Microcomputer or Microprocessor. Microsoft wasn’t founded at that time. They were trying different names to stand out themselves and eventually they settled on “Micro-Soft” in 1975 and became the founders of this most popular and classic organization. In a Forbes magazine interview from 1955, Bill Gates & Paul Allen says:
“Gates: When we signed that first contract with MITS, we referred to ourselves as ‘Paul Allen and Bill Gates doing business as Micro-Soft.’ I don’t remember why we spelled it with a hyphen and a capital ‘S.’ We put a credit line in the source code of our first product that said, ‘Micro-Soft BASIC: Bill Gates wrote a lot of stuff; Paul Allen wrote some other stuff.
Allen: We had talked about a lot of different names back in Boston, and at some point, I said, ‘Well, the totally obvious name would be Microsoft.’
Gates: We also had mentioned names like Outcorporated Inc. and Unlimited Ltd., but we were, you know, joking around. We talked a lot about whether we should call it Allen & Gates, but decided that was not a good idea.
Allen: Yeah. Because companies like DEC and IBM weren’t named after personalities, they would have longevity and identity way beyond the founders.
Gates: …and it seemed like a law firm or like a consulting company to call it Allen & Gates. So, we picked Microsoft even before we had a company to name.”
Despite being founded in 1975, it wasn’t official incorporated until the year 1981. Allen & Gates had a long vision for this company. They knew that it is going to be bigger than what they have imagined.
In January of 1975, there was an article published in Popular Electronics Magazine about Altair 8800 microcomputer and Allen got to take a look at it, he showed it to Gates. Allen & Gates got an idea for developing a version of the new BASIC programming language for the Altair. Gates contacted MITS (The makers of the Altair) to do that.
Allen & Gates delivered the version and the product named Altair BASIC got into the market around March of the same year. This whole event inspired Gates & Allen to start their own software company. That’s how this company was formed on April 4, 1975, Bill Gates being the first CEO of it.
Before developing the world-famous Windows, this company created a successful operating system called MS-DOS at that time. MS-DOS offered a text-based terminal to the users. It was still a big thing to the people. In 1985, they introduced Windows, a graphic user interface operating system. It took the market by storm with Microsoft Word which was a key element for their success as well.
From BASIC to Windows, it is the most used operating system in the world. They have faced quite a lot of issues but none of them was able to stop them in their journey. Not even the birth of Apple was a threat to them because Microsoft himself helped Apple at that time to become what it is today. And, if you are curious to know how Apple got its name, you can check our article, why Is Apple called Apple?
Now, It is one of the most successful brands in the world. And, it certainly tells us why is Microsoft called Microsoft.
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