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30 Fascinating Facts We Bet You Don’t Know About Microsoft

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Microsoft Corporation, abbreviated as MS, is the world renowned multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates on April 4, 1975, the company is known to develop, manufacture, license, support and sell computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services. Here are some interesting facts about the American company:

  1. Microsoft, which this year met the expectations with a total of $23.6 billion in revenue, had just $16,000 as the revenue for the first year.
  2. As of 2017, With Satya Nadella as CEO, the company has scaled back on hardware and has been focusing on cloud computing, a move that helped the company's shares reach its highest value since December 1999.
  3. Back in 1975, Gates and Allen actually named the company as “Micro-soft,” considering it's a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software." The hyphen was officially removed when the company was registered in November 1976.
  4. When Microsoft stock opened for its first IPO on March 13, 1986, it was priced at $21. Thirty years later, it has become one of the top tech stocks on the market, and has increased by a whopping 71,283%. 
  5. The Microsoft Windows XP background titled "Bliss," is more likely the most viewed photo in history. The photo was reportedly taken by Charles O'Rear, in the year 1996, in Sonoma County, California.
  6. The company firmly believes that artwork helps reduce stress in the workplace and also that artwork increases employees’ productivity. In their 150 campuses around the world, the company has over 5,000 pieces of contemporary pieces including painting, works on paper, photographs, studio glass, ceramics, sculpture, and multimedia works.
  7. The first operating system developed and distributed by the company was Xenix, a rebranded version of UNIX. It was after Xenix that MS-DOS made for IBM PCs that gave the company a foothold in the software market.
  8. Microsoft files approximately 3,000 patents every year and owns more than 48,313 till date.
  9. Before Microsoft, both Gates and Allen founded their first company named "Traf-O-Data," through which they sold a rudimentary computer to track and analyze automobile traffic data.
  10. In the year 1987, at the age of 31, Gates became the youngest-ever billionaire at the time. In 1995, he became the world's richest man with a net worth of $12.9 billion.
  11. It is said that on the anniversaries of their hire dates, every Microsoft employee takes a pound of M&Ms to work, more like a tradition. Every additional year with the company adds an extra pound of candy.
  12. Microsoft has split its stock nines times since it went public back in March 1986. Since the company has had six 2-for-1 splits and three 3-for-1 splits, one original share would now be equal to 288 shares.
  13. The first ever mention of the company's name "Microsoft," was in a letter from Gates to co-founder Allen, wherein Gates reportedly wrote the name as "Micro-soft," which was said to be suggested by Allen himself.
  14. Gates and Allen originally founded Microsoft to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems's (MITS) Altair 8800 microcomputer, which was featured in the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics.
  15. The company currently employs more than 114,000 people who work across their premises, over 50,000 of which are U.S.-based. An average Microsoft employee, or "Softie" as they are often referred to, is a 38-year-old male with the average salary as a developer coming in at $106,000.
  16. The company had said to have acquired over 190 other companies from different categories and sectors. Among the most notable things are the Hotmail, Skype and Lumia series.
  17. The name of its search engine “˜Bing’ is said to have its origins in the most popular game "Bingo." Just like the game, it is meant to suggest that something looked for has been found.
  18. It was reported that the company’s Surface team were working in secret behind the Studio B building in Redmond. Many employees did not even know what was going on and that it was rumored that the door leads to an underground bunker.
  19. The company launched a new logo in August 2012, after nearly 25 years of using the “Pacman” logo designed by Scott Baker, which emphasized the “soft” with a slash between the “o” and “s.” Before that, the company used the logo nicknamed as "Blibbet," that featured an emphasis on the “O” as the middle letter and a green background.
  20. Microsoft's Windows 1.0 was originally scheduled to launch under the name “Interface Manager” as Gates named it, but it was the marketing department who stepped in claiming “Windows” was catchier.
  21. The first ever hardware product made by the company was the Microsoft Mouse, which dates back to 1983. The Microsoft Mouse featured two hardware buttons.
  22. The company reportedly paid just $35,000 to musician Brian Eno to create the famous “Microsoft Sound,” originally used as the startup tune for Windows 95.
  23. In the year 2006, Microsoft is said to have passed on the offer to acquire YouTube for just $500 million. Six months later Google paid $1.6 billion for the site, which is now the most popular video destination.
  24. It was said that the company had an advertising budget of around $300 million for the Windows 95 released in August 1995. Not to forget the launch event featured a Rolling Stones theme song and also a Jay Leno cracking wise.
  25. The company's most popular MS-DOS, was initially the program Quirky and Dirty Operating System, which the company purchased for $25,000 in 1981.
  26. Microsoft's growth has not made just Gates a billionaire, but two others including former CEO Steve Ballmer. According to analysts, Microsoft has paved way to around 12,000 millionaires.
  27. The company has a reputation for asking off-beat, off-the-wall questions during its job interview. The most oft-quoted question is: "Why is a manhole cover round?"
  28. Microsoft sued high-schooler Mike Rowe for rights to the domain mikerowesoft.com on grounds of copyright infringements. The company reportedly offered Rowe $10 to reimburse the cost of registering the domain, but Rowe was said to have ended up getting an all-expense trip to Washington, Microsoft certification training and a new X-box.
  29. Microsoft is famous for its codenames, ever since its first operating system. Past codenames include "Longhorn," "Lone Star," and "Vienna."
  30. The first ever Microsoft App was Microsoft Excel, which is said to have unseated the reigning spreadsheet champions Apple VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft Office for Mac was first introduced in 1989, which is a year before Office was launched for Windows.

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