Microsoft: The monopoly of Windows Computers

The Microsoft Corporation is an international hardware and software developers and technology company headquartered in Redmond , a suburb of Seattle in the US state of Washington . With approximately 148,000 employees and sales of $ 125.8 billion, the company is the world’s largest software manufacturer and one of the largest companies . Satya Nadella has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since February 4, 2014 . [5] The company is known for its operating systemWindows and its office software package Office .

The company was founded on April 4, 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, (New Mexico). The company moved to Bellevue, Washington on January 1, 1979. On February 26, 1986, the company moved to its current location, the company campus in Redmond (Washington). Steve Ballmer was the successor to Gates from 2000 to 2014 as CEO. The word Microsoft is a suitcase word from english microcomputer and software . [6]

After initial successes with a BASIC – interpreter in the late 1970s, the company introduced its 1981 operating system MS-DOS before that on behalf of IBM had been developed. The IBM PC and its PC- based replicas were primarily equipped with this DOS operating system in the 1980s . In the 1990s, the Windows graphical operating system and Microsoft’s office software suite, Office, became the market leader in the field of personal computers.

Microsoft has been the market leader for PC operating systems and office packages since the 1990s . The company is also represented in the entertainment and service industry with the products Xbox 360 , their successors Xbox One , Windows Mobile and (formerly Hotmail ). While Microsoft dominated the entire operating system market before the 2010s, the company now only plays in the field of personal computersa dominant role. In 2016, the global share of the Windows operating system in the large and growing smartphone and tablet market was less than 2 percent; In the area of ​​servers, Windows only accounted for around a third of the world, behind the most widespread server operating system Linux and just ahead of the similarly widespread Unix systems.

Due to Microsoft’s dominant position on the desktop market and the great importance of computer technology in general, the company also influences other areas such as the job market or language .

Profitability and market capitalization
With a return on sales of between 25 and 33 percent between 2005 and 2014, Microsoft was one of the most profitable corporations worldwide after the turn of the millennium. [7] However, the extremely unfavorable takeover of the Nokia mobile phone division in spring 2014 [8] and the lull in the global personal computer market [9] that has started since then have recently greatly reduced profitability (return on sales in 2015 and 2016 : 13 percent and 19.7 percent respectively). With the takeover of Nokia employees in 2014, the number of global employees rose to the highest level of 128,076 people to date and has been declining since then. [10] Microsoft regularly consulted by theMarket capitalization among the world’s most expensive companies according to the Financial Times Global 500 list .

Main article :-

Microsoft products

Microsoft offers operating systems and application programs as well as hardware such as mice , joysticks (the further development of Sidewinder gamepads and joysticks has been discontinued), keyboards and other input devices, as well as (since the acquisition of Navision) ERP software. Since 2001, Microsoft has branded Xbox and game consoles to. Microsoft also sells the Windows Phone operating system and, as its successor, Windows 10 Mobile for the mobile communications market. From 2006 to 2011 Toshiba built the Zune MP3 player on behalf of Microsoft, In the associated Zune Marketplace, similar to the iTunes Store , Microsoft offered music tracks in which so-called Microsoft Points were used as payment. In 2012, Microsoft launched the Xbox Music service to replace the Zune Marketplace. The service has been called Groove Music since 2015 . Microsoft offers tablets under the name Microsoft Surface , in which the hardware and software are bundled.

Operating systems

Windows 8.1 start screen
Up to 2001 there were two lines of today’s main product of the group, Microsoft Windows : [20]

The systems based on MS-DOS ( Windows 1 to Windows 3.0 , Windows 3.1 , Windows 3.11 for workgroups, Windows 95 (4.0), which for the first time was (partly) based on 32-bit architecture and introduced a new user interface, Windows 98 (4.1 ) and Windows ME (4.9)). With the appearance of Windows XP, the old line based on MS-DOS was discontinued, and support for it has since been discontinued.

The so-called NT-rail ( N ew T echnology ). This comes from a development of IBM’s OS / 2 and was henceforth called Windows NT (with versions 3.1, 3.5, 3.51 and 4.0). In 1996, the user interface of Windows 95 was adopted. Windows 2000 (NT 5.0), Windows XP (NT 5.1) and Windows Server 2003 (NT 5.2) followed some time later . On January 29, 2007 [22] Microsoft released Windows Vista (NT 6.0, also Longhorn ). [23] The successor to Windows 7 (NT 6.1) was released on October 22, 2009.
Windows 8.1 (NT 6.3) was released on October 18, 2013 .

The current version of Microsoft Windows was introduced on September 30, 2014. Windows 10 has been available since July 29, 2015. Windows 7 and Windows 8 users were free to switch to Windows 10 for one year.
On October 2, 2019, a new operating system for tablets was presented at the Surface Event : Windows 10X should appear in 2020 with the new Surface Neo . Laptops should also be supported.

As PCs gradually moved into the living room, Microsoft developed the operating system variant Windows XP Media Center Edition (Windows MCE), which can be used to convert a normal PC with appropriate hardware into a media center . Windows XP Media Center Edition is based on Windows XP, but has been expanded to include specific functions (such as the recording function of films, program magazines, etc.).

In addition, from 2002 the company sold the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system , which was used on mobile devices. This was replaced in 2010 by the newly developed Windows Phone and this will be replaced by the new successor Windows 10 Mobile in early 2016.

Microsoft has been selling the Linux distribution Suse Linux Enterprise since 2007 . According to Heise , Microsoft has climbed to third place among Linux providers with the sale of coupons worth $ 240 million. [25]

A Microsoft operating system is installed on most PCs. The only significant exceptions are Apple with its own operating system macOS (5% market share ) and various Linux distributions (<1% market share). [26]

A new line, based on systems that only consist of one or more touch-sensitive displays and should be integrated in surfaces (e.g. of tables), is currently under development with Microsoft PixelSense (formerly Surface ) and is already in hotels test in use. [27]

Application programs

The best known application programs from Microsoft are

Microsoft Word ( word processor )
Microsoft Excel ( spreadsheet )
Microsoft Access ( database management system )
Microsoft Outlook ( Personal Information Management program (calendar, tasks, contacts, email))
Microsoft PowerPoint ( multimedia presentation program )
Microsoft Publisher ( desktop publishing program)
Microsoft Project ( project management )
Microsoft OneNote (note management, since Office 2003)
Microsoft Visio (illustration program)
Internet Explorer ( web browser )
Microsoft Edge ( web browser )
Windows Virtual PC ( computer emulator )
Windows Live Messenger (web chat ) and
Microsoft Mathematics
Microsoft Teams
The office programs Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint and Publisher are sold together as a so-called office package . The latest version of Microsoft Office is Office 2019 for Windows and Office 2019 for Mac . The Microsoft Office package is offered in different editions, which differ greatly in scope and price.

Microsoft Mediaroom (formerly “Microsoft IPTV Edition”) is a television platform based on IP networks. TV channels broadcast via Microsoft Mediaroom can only be received from a set-top box with the Microsoft Mediaroom operating system or Microsoft’s Xbox 360 . Mediaroom devices do not support reception via the DVB-IPTV standard . Mediaroom is used by BT (UK), SingTel (Singapore), Telekom Entertain (Germany), Portugal Telecom (Portugal), Swisscom (Switzerland), AT&T (United States), Reliance (India) andMTS Allstream (Canada). In 2013, Microsoft sold Mediaroom to the Swedish company Ericsson . [29]


Microsoft offers IT consulting and support services worldwide to help customers and partner companies plan, operate and optimize their IT infrastructure based on Microsoft products. Microsoft Services employs over 9720 people in 88 countries and 7 regional service centers. [30] The securing of business-critical IT systems and consulting services for error prevention is offered under the Microsoft Premier Support Services label , while topics such as updating or re-evaluating an IT architecture, project-specific consulting and kernel infrastructure are offered under the Microsoft Consulting Services .


→ Main article : Xbox Game Studios
The best-known series distributed by Xbox Game Studios (formerly Microsoft Studios ) include the Halo series, Age of Empires , Minecraft (bought by Microsoft), Forza Motorsport series and the Microsoft Flight Simulator , the further development of which was initially discontinued. In 2014 the license of the flight simulator engine was handed over to Dovetail Games .

In 1975 the student developed Bill Gates with Paul Allen and Monte Davidoff on a programmed by Paul Allen emulator for the processor Intel 8080 programming language Altair BASIC 2.0 for the computer Altair 8800 the company MITS (Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems). The software was initially available in two versions: Altair BASIC 4K and Altair BASIC 8K . On July 22, 1975, Gates and Allen signed a distribution agreement with MITS in Albuquerquefrom. In addition to a one-time payment of $ 3,000 , the contract stipulated that Gates and Allen should receive $ 30 for each 4K-BASIC, $ 35 for the 8K-BASIC, and $ 60 for the Extended Edition (BASIC with manual) an Altair buyer ordered the software together with the kit from which the Altair 8800 first had to be soldered together. The name “Micro-Soft” was born on November 29, 1975, when Gates and Allen had to think about an advertising campaign .

As “General Licensors” they received an additional $ 10 for each BASIC above the 8K version, which was ordered together with the computer. Customers who had already assembled such an Altair without purchasing the software immediately paid $ 500 for Altair BASIC 4K or $ 750 for the 8K version in order to make their computer functional in the first place. Gates and Allen received half of this revenue from MITS as the licensor . The contract with MITS was limited to $ 180,000. It contained a clause that gave Microsoft the right to sell the software to other computer manufacturers. MITS requested royalties for this, Another clause required the young company to set up one-person phone customer service once sales exceeded $ 2,500 a month. A second person was needed as soon as $ 5000 a month was reached. As a result, Bill Gates was unable to continue his studies.

Gates and Allen signed a contract between them, which regulated the tasks in the company and the distribution of profits. Monte Davidoff, who programmed the Altair BASIC floating point functions, was paid out at a one-time payment of $ 2400. Gates and Allen shared $ 1516 in earnings for the first month.

As with version 2.0, the development of Altair BASIC 3.0 required special programming skills due to the small memory of the Altair. Bill Gates had to use unusual methods to reduce storage requirements as much as possible. Later Microsoft employees should often drive this Gates code to despair when they had to revise it for maintenance purposes. At the same time, these programming methods were also helpful in proving the illegal use of program parts by Microsoft to other software manufacturers, because Gates was the only one who could explain the code.

The development cost for Altair BASIC was $ 40,000. The greatest cost was the purchased computing time on the mainframe of a data center , in which Allen first developed an emulator for the Intel 8080 in order to be able to tackle the BASIC at all. To save costs, Gates initially designed large parts of the BASIC in pencil on a notepad.

Given these costs, Bill Gates’ annoyance is hardly surprising when 50 copies of a beta version were in circulation before the official release of Altair BASIC .

Microsoft developed from Altair BASIC its own BASIC interpreter called Microsoft BASIC , which quickly became known for its implementations on the various home computers at that time . Other manufacturers licensed the Microsoft BASIC code and further developed it themselves (e.g. Apple and Commodore ), or they developed alternatives with a syntax largely compatible with Microsoft BASIC (e.g. Atari ); both strategies thus contributed to the further spread of this language. The spread of BASIC was so large that practically every computer system sold at that time had a BASIC available.

In addition to the BASIC interpreter , Microsoft also developed compilers in these years . a. for BASIC, Fortran and COBOL . Initially, these were based on the CP / M operating system.

Later Microsoft, in collaboration with other companies, tried to introduce a home computer standard called MSX , which was to prevail against the large number of home computers that were incompatible with each other. He was temporarily particularly successful in Europe and Japan. However, the following development put an end to the era of home computers as well as the MSX.

In 1980, Microsoft also offered Xenix , a Unix- like operating system. Due to the huge need for resources of this system at that time, Microsoft stopped further development and sold it to SCO in 1987 .

Business with BASIC and the other programming languages ​​was not going particularly well in the years 1979-1980. To open up an additional customer base, Microsoft had even produced the “Microsoft Softcard”, an expansion card with a Z80 processor for the very successful Apple II computer, which enabled the Apple computer to use the software written for CP / M by To let Microsoft run. However, the card quickly became an important independent source of revenue for the young company and outperformed the programming languages, since many buyers were looking for the opportunity to use the successful CP / M-based office programs of other companies, such asWordStar . It was already apparent here that the market for finished application programs far exceeded that for programming languages ​​in the long term. Because of this knowledge, Microsoft began to give up the almost exclusive focus on programming languages.


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