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Happy birthday, Microsoft! The company officially turns 49 today!

On April 4, 1975, two young men, Bill Gates and the late Paul Allen, officially formed the company that would later get the name Micro-Soft (later changed to just Microsoft) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Today is, of course, the 49th birthday of the company that has grown into one of the biggest businesses on the planet.

As it did in 2023 for its 48th birthday, the company is not making a lot of fuss about today. It's official X (formerly Twitter) account does have a message about the occasion, however:

Here are a few more interesting tidbits about the founding of Microsoft.

Altair 8800

Why was Microsoft founded?

Both Gates and Allen learned about the world's first microcomputer, the Altair 8800, in late 1974 by reading an article about it in Popular Electronics magazine. It was made by a company called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates and Allen thought they could create a version of BASIC that would work on the Altair 8800. They moved to Albuquerque in 1975 to officially form a company that would later get the name Micro-Soft.

Where was the company founded?

Gates and Allen formed Microsoft in a room at the Sundowner Hotel, off the legendary Route 66. The Sundowner Hotel is still there, although it was converted to low-cost apartments in 2014.

Later in 1975, Gates and Allen moved the business to a proper office building in Albuquerque. In 2006, a plaque was put in place to commemorate that location, although it's been ripped off from its stone base at least once..

Where did the name come from?

The name Micro_Soft was Allen's idea, as he thought it was a good mashup of "microcomputer" and "software".

When did the company officially become named Microsoft?

Gates and Allen waited until November 26, 1976, over a year after the company first began, to register the name Micro-Soft with the Secretary of State in New Mexico. It wasn't until 1979 when Gates refire to the company as Microsoft, without the hyphen, for the first time.

After Gates and Allen, who were Microsoft's first employees?

According to TheOrg, Marc McDonald is credited with becoming Microsoft's first paid employee. He joined the business in 1976 as a system software engineer. In 1977, at least two more people joined the company. Ric Weiland and were both hired as computer programmers.

microsoft 49

Happy 49th birthday, Microsoft! You have certainly had a truly impressive run. We await what you plan to do in one year's time for your milestone 50th birthday celebration.

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