The American multinational company, Microsoft Corporation was founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates on April 4, 1975. The company headquartered in Redmond, Washington developed and sold BASIC interpreters for Altair 8800. The company later went on to dominate the operating system industry with their MS-DOS launched in mid-1980s and then they took the industry by storm with their Microsoft Windows. They have been in the industry for over 40 years now and have been a part of major computing revolutions. The history of Microsoft is well known but there some facts about the company which many are not aware of. We bring a compilation of some fun facts about Microsoft in this article.
Before Microsoft it was Micro-soft
Initially the company name was “Micro-soft” and was derived from the portmanteau of “microcomputer” and “software”. While both the company founders were working with their first customer MITS, the name of the company was officially registered as Microsoft on November 1976.
Earlier the company used a “blibbet” logo which had a stylized “O” that was inspired from the name of the burger served in the company’s cafeteria. The logo was changed a number of times later.
Microsoft was Founded in New Mexico
Microsoft is currently headquartered in Redmond, Washington. But the company was founded in New Mexico in April 1975. They shifted the base to the current location in 1986.
The Man Behind the Famous Microsoft ‘Sound’
The famous Windows 95 startup sound was a creation by Brian Eno. The music legend who has worked with the likes of David Bowie and U2 and considered creating such a short piece of music was “funny” and “amazing”.
Brian Eno was asked to create a piece of music that is optimistic, inspiring, emotional and futuristic which should fit in the 3 ¼ seconds time frame. Eno came up with 84 pieces before finalizing on the winning sound.
The Windows XP Background May be the Most Viewed Photo in History
Each one of us must have seen the Windows XP background. The photo titled as “Bliss” was taken by Charles O’Rear in Sonoma County, California. In 1996, Microsoft bought the rights of the photo by paying a good amount to O’Rear and made the photo as the default background for Windows XP.
Even though the company commands over 90% share of the desktop market, XP still remains the most used OS, which also makes the “Bliss” the most viewed photo in the history of the world.
Pizza is Microsoft’s Favourite Food
Microsoft offers free drinks in their campus. And each year over 23million gratis of beverages are consumed by their corporate campus. The company has 35 cafeterias that serve more than 37,000 employees every day. Pizza happens to be the most popular meal among the staff. The company also gives free candies to their employees.
Microsoft Beat Apple to the Smartphone Market by 7 Years
iPhone has undoubtedly set the benchmark for the modern-day smartphone and inarguably has a strong hold in the smartphone market. But you may be little surprised to know that Apple wasn’t the first company to come with an idea of a smartphone. Microsoft worked towards putting Windows mobile on PDA and smartphones in 2000 which is good 7 years before the Apple released their iPhone. Maybe this could be the reason why Steve Ballmer was dismissive of the iPhone during its release.
Microsoft Uses Codenames
Microsoft is known to use codenames for each of their projects, a practice that the company has followed since working on their first operating system. Even Bill Gates planned to launch Windows 1.0 by the name “Interface Manager”, he was later convinced by an employee to change the name. Gates went ahead with the name Windows.
In the past, the company has used several codenames that includes “Longhorn”, “Vienna” and “Lone Star”. The company also named an ad campaign as the “Mojave Experiment “which aimed at introducing the Vista software to new users as a fresh product.
An average Microsoft Employee is Called “Softie”
Microsoft employees call themselves as average “Softies” who generally is a 38 year old male, earning an average salary of about $106,000 for a software developer. Microsoft has over 88,180 people in the work force spread across 32,404,796 square feet of the company’s premises, out of which more than 50,000 are US based employees. The men dominate by 76% among the company’s American work force.
Microsoft’s First Piece of Hardware was the Mouse
Microsoft’s earning has majorly been through their software but that doesn’t mean the company lagged behind in hardware. The first ever hardware produced made by the company was the Microsoft Mouse in 1983. Even this product was created before Apple entered the world of mouse. The Microsoft Mouse features 2 hardware buttons, a design that became the defining feature of Windows mice.
Microsoft Has a Huge Art Collection
The company campuses across many countries around the world are filled with over 5000 contemporary pieces of artwork that includes painting, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, multimedia work, studio glass and work on paper. The collection also includes the works from local artists and big names like Takashi Murakami, Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman. The company believes that art in necessary in work place as it helps to reduce stress, encourages discussions, improves productivity and expression of opinions.
Microsoft Asks Strange Interview Questions
If you were to give an interview in Microsoft, be ready to be asked some of the strangest questions ever. The company holds the reputation of asking bizarre and puzzling questions during job interviews one of which is- Whys a manhole cover is round? Such questions are aimed to judge the candidates out-of-the box thinking capacity. It is no wonder that Microsoft has huge employee base that are creative and have forward-thinking approach.
Microsoft is Among the Top 5 Patents Holders in the US
The company holds over 10,000 patents and 3,000 files every year which makes it one of the top 5 patent owners in the US. The majority of these patents were software related and only the 5000th and 10000th were consumer friendly. The 5000th was for Xbox 360 games and the 10000th was for the Microsoft Surface. Microsoft rewards its employees for getting a new patent. The rewards include a $1500 bonus, a wooden plaque and a black cube that features their name, date and title of the patent.
We have summed up this article with some interesting facts about Microsoft. From these pints we get to know that the company is dedicated not only its work but also towards the welfare of their employees. Out of many of the traditions followed in the company’s campus, one tradition is that the employees celebrate their work anniversary by distributing candies at work. Due to such practices, the work environment is fun and stress-free.