Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft is one of the world’s largest computer software and electronics companies. They are best known for their Windows line of operating systems, most of which feature the Microsoft Office suite of apps. The company also manufactures mobile devices, gaming consoles, and computer hardware, including the Surface line of tablets.
Microsoft was famously founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. While the initial goal of the company was to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, the company quickly took a different path. They released MS-DOS in the 1980’s, only to follow that up with the launch of their flagship OS, Microsoft Windows.
When the company went to IPO, incredible wealth was bestowed amongst those involved in the company. Instantly, 3 billionaires were made, along with more than 12,000 millionaires. Thankfully, many involved with the company have shown true philanthropic ideals, including co-founder Bill Gates. To this day Bill and his wife Melinda head up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF), one of the largest private foundations in the world with an endowment of over $38 billion.
In recent years, Microsoft has made a number of acquisitions, including the purchase of Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion.
Microsoft remains a key player in technology, with their continued research, innovation and development of hardware and software for a worldwide market.