Microsoft is currently one of the most valuable corporations in the world. It alternates between the first and second place with Apple on a regular basis, and its value has surpassed $1 trillion on a few occasions. Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is currently the most popular desktop operating system. The company’s Xbox division is paving the way for the future of gaming. MS Office is still a popular app suite for millions, and the Microsoft Surface line includes some of the best laptops on the market. Microsoft is known for its impact on the tech world and the plethora of interesting facts associated with the company, in addition to a wide range of successful products. Here are 15 interesting facts about Microsoft you probably didn’t know.
Source: Windows Management Experts
1. The Origins of Microsoft’s Name
We are starting with the company’s origin being of the most interesting facts about Microsoft. One of the company’s founders came up with the name. Before they founded the company, Bill Gates wrote Paul Allen a letter in 1975. The word Microsoft was mentioned for the first time in the letter. Micro-Soft was created by Bill Gates as a combination of two words: microcomputer and software in its original form. After the company was officially registered in 1976, the hyphen was dropped.
2. XENIX was the company’s first operating system.
While many people believe that the company’s journey began with the MS-DOS operating system, another one of the interesting facts about Microsoft is that the company developed another operating system that was released before MS-DOS. XENIX was the name of the operating system. The operating system was a modified version of UNIX developed by Bell Labs for AT&T in the early 1970s. Microsoft obtained a UNIX license from AT&T, developed XENIX, and then licensed the operating system to hardware companies like Intel and SCO.
3. MS Office was first released on the Macintosh platform, not Windows.
In line with Windows, MS Office is one of the most popular Microsoft products of all time. And the Windows operating system is synonymous with the app suite. However, the Office suite was first released on the Macintosh. The reason was straightforward. When Microsoft Office was first released in 1989, Macintosh computers were more popular than Windows PCs, so it made financial sense to release the suite first for Macintosh. MS Office was added to the Windows operating system a year later.
4. Microsoft, not Apple, invented the tablet computer.
While Apple’s iPad, which debuted in 2010, popularised tablet computers, the company did not invent the form factor. In fact, Microsoft invented the tablet computer. In 2001, Bill Gates showed off a Windows XP-powered tablet PC prototype, but the market wasn’t ready. The device was too bulky, heavy, and thick to be considered ultra-portable. Despite the fact that many manufacturers released tablet PCs, the product was a huge flop. Tablets did not have a significant impact on the tech market until 2010. This is another one of the many interesting facts about Microsoft.
5. Microsoft also created the first smartwatch.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
If you wanted to know a little more, here is another one of the unique yet interesting facts about Microsoft. The mega-company was a trailblazer in many fields, but many of its groundbreaking products were released too soon. To put it another way, the company was ahead of the curve, and the market was typically unprepared for those products. In addition to the tablet PC, Microsoft invented the first smartwatch in 1994. Timex DataLink 150 was the name of the watch that was co-produced with them. It had a small LCD and could connect to Windows PCs to download information such as appointments. The watch was also 100 meters water-resistant. However, unlike the tablet PC, Microsoft’s smartwatch did not sell in large quantities.
6. The Original Xbox Design was an Exorbitant Experiment.
Microsoft’s original Xbox video game console was a huge success. The console competed successfully with Sony’s PlayStation 2 and effectively eliminated SEGA from the gaming console market. It had a monolithic and powerful design, but the original prototype was absurd. It was a colossal, X-shaped metallic slab with an absurd appearance. Fortunately, Microsoft changed the design before the Xbox console was released.
7. In 1997, Microsoft came to Apple’s rescue.
Here is one of the shocking and really interesting facts about Microsoft. In the final years of the twentieth century, Apple was struggling. After firing Jobs, the company began releasing a slew of products without a clear strategy. Then came Microsoft, or more accurately, Bill Gates. Steve Jobs, who had returned to Apple a year before, made a deal with him. Microsoft put $150 million into Apple, and Apple dropped all of its lawsuits against Microsoft. The real reason for the investment, however, was for Microsoft to establish real competition. During the 1990s, the company was in legal trouble with the US government due to its monopolistic presence in multiple markets and resurrecting one of its main competitors meant creating a worthy competitor capable of stealing a piece of the market cake. This ultimately saved Microsoft from being split up into several separate companies.
8. Microsoft does not sell software; instead, it sells licenses for software.
When you purchase a Windows 10 disc, you do not own the software on the disc. Rather, you own the license to use it, which Microsoft can revoke at any time. Microsoft does not, and has never sold software. It only sold software licenses over the years. To put it another way, you can buy a perpetual license to use Windows or MS Word, but you will never own the software.
9. Are you interested in learning everything there is to know about Microsoft Word? “=rand(200,99)” is what you need to type. Enter the text into a Word document
Inside Microsoft Word, there’s a neat Easter egg that gives you access to a long list of features. You can get the document by typing the symbols shown above (without quotation marks) and pressing enter.
10. In 1983, Microsoft released its first piece of hardware, a mouse.
Microsoft is now known for its high-quality hardware. The Surface line is the best option for those who want the best portable Windows machines, and the Xbox One X console is the best option for gamers who want a lot of power and 4K gaming but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a high-end gaming PC. However, until the release of the original Xbox, Microsoft was not a hardware-first company. In fact, they only made mice and keyboards before getting into the video game console business. Microsoft’s first piece of hardware was, in fact, a mouse called simply Microsoft Mouse. It came packaged with early versions of Microsoft Word and Notepad, and it was used when PCs ran text-based operating systems that didn’t require the use of a mouse.
11. The Company’s First Hugely Popular App Was MS Excel.
Although Microsoft had a lot of success in the operating system market, it didn’t create a killer app until 1985. That year, the company released MS Excel for Macintosh, which was a huge success. By the early 1990s, it had surpassed Lotus 1-2-3 and Apple VisiCalc as the two most popular spreadsheet apps, cementing Microsoft’s position as a leading software developer. Microsoft’s reign over computer software was cemented with the release of the first MS Office suite in 1989.
12. “DirectX Box” is what Xbox stands for.
The Xbox is an abbreviation for DirectX Box, which not many fans are aware of. DirectX is a Microsoft-developed API for 3D rendering applications. To put it another way, video games. To play video games, every Xbox uses a modified version of DirectX. With the announcement of the next-generation Xbox Series X console, that name has never been more accurate. The console is based on PC x86 architecture, runs a modified version of Windows 10, and has the appearance of a small gaming PC. We bet you weren’t aware of this interesting fact about Microsoft.
13. The first version of Windows, Windows 1.0, was released in 1985.
In 1985, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, the company’s first GUI (graphic user interface) operating system. The OS received negative feedback primarily due to its high hardware requirements. However, many reviewers panned it because it required the use of a mouse. Most operating systems were text-based at the time, and a graphical user interface (GUI) was dismissed as a passing fad, as was the case with another GUI-based OS, the Macintosh.
14. Windows was given a drab name by Bill Gates.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
As unbelievable it may sound, but let’s dive into another one of the interesting facts about Microsoft. While Bill Gates is a software development genius, his marketing skills aren’t up to par with his coding prowess. When the first version of Windows was being developed, one of Microsoft’s founders had an idea for the upcoming operating system’s mane. Bill Gates wanted to call the operating system “Interface Manager,” and for a time, that was the official name. However, when Gates’ marketing department heard about it, they strongly advised him that Windows sounded much better. And he said yes.
15. As of August 2019, Windows XP is installed on more than 40% of desktop PCs in Armenia.
Windows XP is by far the most popular version of Windows (though Windows 10 is closing in on it) and thus the most popular product Microsoft has ever released. Until Windows 7, it was the standard operating system for more than a decade. Even today, only a small percentage of all PC users have the operating system installed, at least in most countries around the world. In Armenia, however, nearly 42 percent of PC desktop users have Windows XP installed.
So, here were 15 of the lesser-known yet really interesting facts about Microsoft. We were shocked to learn about these facts so, we’re pretty sure your mind is blown.