The electronic computer has been around for over a half-century, but its ancestors have
most significant events that would affect it?s development would be the teaming up of
IBM and Microsoft to create a new operating system for the microcomputer. The synergy
development and create an industry standard to be followed by all.
Microsoft Corporation, who at the time consisted of a staff 40 (Cashman, 1.37), the
opportunity to design a new operating system for their new IBM ?personal? computer.
IBM had observed an increased market for the personal computer for quite some time
IBM had considered several options regarding the development of their new personal
computer including buying a little known computer game company named Atari. In the
end, IBM decided that they would proceed with their plans to build a new computer line
with a new operating system. On August 12th, 1981 IBM introduced a new computer
called the IBM PC. The ?PC? was short for ?personal computer? making IBM
responsible for the acronym ?PC? (?Inventors?).
Microsoft bought the rights to the another operating system called Q-DOS (Quick
and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products for $50,000 without the
company ever knowing that it was for the behemoth IBM (Delany). Bill Gate?s of
Microsoft would talk IBM into allowing his company to retain the rights to market the
MS-DOS (MicroSoft Dirty Operating System) operating system separate from the IBM
PC project. In the agreement IBM would be allowed to use the operating system free of
charge while Microsoft would ?sell? licenses to use the operating system to other
computer manufacturers. By 1984 Microsoft had licensed MS-DOS to 200 personal
computer manufacturers, making MS-DOS the standard operating system for personal
profits for Microsoft.
After the introduction of the personal computer, sales skyrocketed from 275,000
to make their software compatible with Microsoft?s operating system. It would now
affordable as possible and nearly every computer manufacturer would accomplish this by
follow in 1983 with it?s release of Microsoft Word, a wordprocessing application. It was
also in 1983 that Microsoft would start developing the multi-windowed enviroment we
now know as Windows (Microsoft Corporation).
Microsoft did not rest on their laurels. In 1984 Microsoft would be one of the few
software developers to support the Macintosh, a personal computer developed by Apple
Computer Company. Their support of the Mac would result in enormous success of their
Word, Excel and Works application software. Multiplan for MS-DOS would succumb
to the popularity of another application heavy hitter Lotus 1-2-3, developed by the Lotus
Development Corporation which would be acquired by IBM in the 1990?s (Microsoft
In 1985 Microsoft would introduce it?s first version of Windows, a graphical user
interface, (GUI) that enhanced the user friendliess of MS-DOS. A GUI combines text,
graphic, and other visual clues to make software easier to use (Cashman, 1.38). Windows
allowed the user to open applications by clicking on pictures or icons instead of typing
would ever catch on but Microsoft perserveared eventhough Windows was slow to gain
acceptance. In 1990 a new improved Windows version 3.0 was introduced. Aided with
year. Microsoft would introduce a networking version of Windows called Windows NT.
This would become the most popular version of the Windows products in the world
commanding more than 25 million users worldwide (Cashman, 1.37).
October 1997(?Computer?, U.S. Census). Schools that have computers make up a
combined total of more than 8 million (?Computer?). Almost ninty percent of personal
computers sold in the United States and around the world use a Microsoft operating
system (Cashman). With a ninty percent market share of operating systems Microsoft is
dominating the industry here and abroad. It?s quite a magnificent accomplishment
considering the meager beginnings. It?s no wonder Microsoft is the computer industry
Cashman, S., Shell, G., Vermaat, M., and Walker, T. (1999).
Discovering Computers 2000 – Brief Addition. Cambridge:
International Thomson Publishing.
?Computer Use in Schools, 1984-1985 and 1997-1998? Market Data
Retrieval, Shelton, Conn.. 15 Oct 2000
?Computer Use in the United States? Sept 1999 21 Oct. 2000
3 May 1995. 14 Oct. 2000
?Inventors Of The Modern Computer Operating Systems MS-DOS, Microsoft – Tim
Paterson – Gary Kildall? 4 Nov. 2000
“Microsoft Corporation,” Microsoft? Encarta? Online Encyclopedia 2000