What is Microsoft?

Microsoft is a titan of PC software, one of the largest multinational companies.

Read more about what Microsoft is, about the history of the corporation, as well as about its products, read on.

The history of Microsoft

The company Microsoft owes its appearance to the creation of the Altair 8800 personal computer in 1975. Learning of the advent of a high-tech machine, talented programmers (then students) Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote the Basic language interpreter for it.

Having signed a cooperation agreement with a PC manufacturer, the guys decided to create their own company, calling it Microsoft - abbreviated from the words microprocessors (microprocessors) and software (software), since it was in these areas that young entrepreneurs were going to develop.

After 5 years, the paths of the company's founders diverged - Allen left it, and Bill took the reins in his hands. Working tirelessly to develop and strengthen his business, Gates not only managed to grow a truly great brand, but also became the richest man on the planet.

Microsoft's annual turnover is more than $ 26 billion, of which about $ 6 billion is net profit. The number of employees of the company according to the data for 2014 reached 127 thousand people.

Holding Products

We have already noted that the key areas of the brand’s work are software, software for computers. The vast majority of PC users around the world use these products. But in addition, the company in recent years has decided to bet on the popular sector of console games, releasing a gadget of its own production, which has made a serious competition to Sony.

The list of products produced by the brand is extremely wide, and therefore we offer a more detailed look at some of the key developments of the well-known holding.


Windows is the most popular operating system (91% of all PCs in the world run on it), the first version of which appeared back in 1985. True, it was originally just a graphic add-in of an earlier Microsoft OS, MS-DOS. However, over time, this software has managed to include the whole range of necessary elements for computer operation.

In total, there are three Windows OS families:

  • Windows 9x (these are Windows 95 and 98).They were much less functional, faster and safer than the modern generations of operating systems, had a less attractive interface, but still allowed computers to work at the proper level.
  • Windows NT. This group no longer required the participation of MS-DOS, the OS for servers appeared in it. With the advent of updated versions of operating systems, Microsoft minimized existing errors of previous systems, increased system speed and parameters of its multitasking, strengthened the "intellectual" abilities of the OS. The latest version of Windows NT at the time of publication of the article dates back to 2015.
  • OS for smartphones. Deciding not to lose sight of the constantly evolving smartphone market, the company released its OS for these gadgets. It is also installed by default in certain brands of navigators, MP3-players, pocket PCs. True, Windows-based smartphones are still less popular than devices with Android firmware.

Internet applications

  • Internet Explorer Browser. It is installed by default on Windows computers. For quite a long time, this guide to the world of the Internet was the main one, but lately, users increasingly prefer other browsers.
  • SkypeIncredibly popular program for online communication on the Internet through messages, as well as video. It has both paid and free features.
  • Outlook Express. It is also a very popular program that allows you to easily send various documents via e-mail.

Office applications

  • Microsoft Office. Today it is almost impossible to imagine working with a computer without this software package. With their help, you can create text documents, accounting reports, presentations, work with graphic images and much more. The set is paid, and therefore it is often for it that a replacement is selected in the form of simpler in terms of functionality, but nonetheless completely working free programs.

You can find out more about the software package in the Microsoft Office section.


  • Xbox Game console, created in late 2001. In many ways, similar to the popular Playstation from Sony, but it has its own features, advantages, forcing game console fans to choose between two really excellent developments. So, the latest generation Xbox supports cloud technology, which allows you to share your wins in the game with other users.The console provides the ability to control voice and gestures, makes it possible to communicate with friends via Skype, watch TV, video, listen to music. The prefix can even be controlled via a smartphone. True, the majority of multimedia capabilities are not very relevant for domestic consumers, and therefore most Russians still prefer PS.
  • Xbox Games Together with other companies, Microsoft is engaged in the release of games for its consoles. Among them, for example, the famous Halo 2 and Fable.

Other products

  • NET Framework. Software platform, alternative to java. In addition to variations, sharpened specifically for Windows, there are versions of the Framework that work on other operating systems.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio. This is a whole line of products, with the participation of which you can develop both console applications and web sites, applications with a graphical interface.
  • Windows Media Player. The standard for the OS production "Microsoft" player video and audio files. Despite the good functionality of the program, many users still prefer it to other players.

It is also worth noting that Microsoft is developing software specifically for computers, as well as tablets from Apple (Mac line).Among them are office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Entourage), and Microsoft Messenger for Mac - a program for instant messaging.

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