Microsoft team in 1978

by Guruprasad

<Prev Gallery Index Next>

Upper pic: The Microsoft team in 1978
Lower pic: The same team in a 2008 reunion

In the previous pic, we saw the events that led to founding of
Microsoft, the suspense it involved and the breakthrough.

Microsoft was established in 1975 with Bill Gates as its President and
it took the industry by surprise because of a teenager being the
president of a company. The corporate culture was informal, unlike the
traditional companies. One of Microsoft’s earliest employees, Miriam
Lubow, who was hired as an office administrator shares her experience
as to how she was surprised to see the president of company in jeans
and t-shirt at work:

As you can see in the picture of the Microsoft team of 1978, Bill was
the youngest of all, looked like a kid but was the CEO :)
You can notice the guy in middle of top row in 1978 is missing in the 2008 photo because he died in 2002. He was Bob Wallace.

More details about where each of these members are now and what they are doing:

There was a significant event in the computer industry involving Bill.
It was about Bill writing an open letter to hobbyists, complaining
about how they are copying his software and causing piracy.

This had a great impact after which software was also given more
importance and was seen as a valuable commodity instead of seeing it
as a freebie. This might have influenced the opening up of software
market along with the computer hardware market.

From the beginning, Bill had only one vision “To have a computer on
every desk in the world, running Microsoft software”. How to achieve
it? He did not know. But that was the vision..

For the next few years, Microsoft came up with software products like
MS-Fortron, MS-Cobol and was growing gradually. MS partnered with
Japanese vendors (which would turn out to be a major boon later). In
1980, MS came up with its first OS called Xenix (which was a variant
of Unix). Later, Bill hired Steve Ballmer (who was his friend at
Harvard) as a business manager for MS. Steve Ballmer is now the CEO of
MS (since 2000).

But the major breakthough had not come yet. (The kind of breakthrough
which would fulfill his vision of computer on every desk with
Microsoft software, was still a far fetched thing) If not for some
miraculous deals, Microsoft would not be what it is today. If not for
some wicked planning and stealing of ideas, we would never have seen
DOS/Windows from Microsoft. I will narrate more about these miraculous
deals and wicked plans next time with a different photo :)