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Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft on this day, April 4, in 1975

Or more specifically, childhood buddies Bill Gates and Paul Allen officially founded the company we all love (most of the time) on this day in 1975.

Without getting into too many details (this is a blog, not a history textbook), the company, originally named "Micro-Soft," was formed in 1975 and based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By no coincidence, that Southwestern, U.S. city was the location of the electronics company, MITS, which made the Altair 8800 computer, according to History.com. In creating the new company, the goal of both Gates and Allen was at first to create software for the Altair 8800, so it made sense to set up shop in Albuquerque.

Several years, later in 1979, Microsoft moved its HQ to the state of Washington, in Bellevue, where both Gates and Allen spent their formative years.

In 1981, Microsoft licensed its MS-DOS OS to IBM for use in its first personal computer (PC), the IBM Model 5151.

The company introduced the world to Windows in 1985 and nothing was ever the same since.

In 1986, Gates and Allen moved their company to Redmond, Wash., where its headquarters are still located.

In 2001, Microsoft debuted the very first Xbox and changed console gaming for good with the subsequent launch of its Xbox Live service.

The rest will forever live in history books. A bunch of other important stuff obviously happened in between these events, but the point is that it all began forty-two years ago today.

And if not for that fateful day, there'd be no Windows, no Xbox, no Surface, no Microsoft Stores ... no Zune — OK, that's pushing it — and no Windows Central. (No Windows Central!?! The horror, the horror.)

For all of these things, we're eternally grateful. Thanks, Bill and Paul.

And happy forty-second birthday, Microsoft. Here's to another four decades of changing the way the world uses technology to better itself.

Al Sacco is content director of Future PLC's Mobile Technology Vertical, which includes AndroidCentral.com, iMore.com and WindowsCentral.com. He is a veteran reporter, writer, reviewer and editor who has professionally covered and evaluated IT and mobile technology, and countless associated gadgets and accessories, for more than a decade. You can keep up with Al on Twitter and Instagram.

52 Comments
  • ...and 42 years later there were overtaken by Android as the world's most used platform.
  • What's your point?
  • They are losing focus.
  • Android is a mobile phone OS only. Microsoft is MUCH more than that. It's nearly a half trillion dollar company.
  • You lost your focus -1
  • for get on the internet 
  • Lol, they pick same month to go Android I guess by next year will be (MIA) Microsoft IOS Android.
  • You ASSSSS. If there are 7+ billion human beings on earth and about 2 billion have mobile phone of which many have 2-3 phones. WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE WILL BE THE OUTCOME????? More mobiles eventually right?
    .
    Android is for small, unimportant work, games. PC is for the people who really DO something. But this might change in 5 years time.
  • You are very short sighted my friend. The critical analysis behind this is no matter who owns what android is growing...who knows what they have in plan? They might have developers thinking and working on full blown android on pc....and you can guess what will happen next if that becomes possible. Nobody thought this day will come and that's a mistake most of you do cuz you are shortsighted and lack focus.
  • I didn't say android is not growing. Both PC and Mobile are growing. It just so happens that mobile is growing more. That's how technology is improving now. It's the way things have been going on since years. Everything is getting smaller.
    .
    There'll be a time when PC will be not useful anymore. That's why Nadella is going Cloud first.
  • Excellent point so now: Everything is going mobile and Microsoft is rather declining from Mobile....what what's happening with W10M. So then I don't understand why you disputed my first claim that Microsoft is losing focus.
  • No my friend. They aren't losing focus *today*.
    2014? Maybe yes. They were pretty lost.
    2015? Kinda - because we didn't get updates for expected phones.
    2016? The shift starts. Less mobile focus. More secret developing. Turns out that was ARM.
    2017? To hell with W10M... Just bring Windows on ARM and then completely MERGE them. :)
  • Nice plan but W10ARM will be a 5th reboot. As a fan will you be comfortable jumping on it.....knowing perfectly what they told us back then with WM6.5, WP7, WP8 and now W10M?
  • Yeah, i agree. Trust will be an issue there. Btw, sorry for being an ass :D
  • No problem bro, it's just that we are all concerned about Microsoft even if we don't work there. We all hope for a better future.👍🏾
  • IRK..... Sigh...
  • Kenzi, there is also a very important point to consider. MS has a important corporate arm that is called MS philanthropies which is more concerned towards the sustainable development. This is why I am not a fan of android because there are 100s of OEMs in the world and hardly 1% of recycle them with all safety measures. That is why I kind of appreciate apple. This is what MS also trying to do, build a phone that may be expensive but durable and people might not dump them every 6 months this is exactly what MS did with surface. A durable, satisfying device. So, may be you are providing ease of access to the services but sustainability of such progress is questionable and in the near future it will be doubtful also. A company will always want a consumer base which is sustainable keeping every aspect of your surrounding in mind.
  • Excellent reason and I 100% get your point Rahul but I don't think Microsoft is doing it right when it comes to that. If I were Microsoft and even secretly working on a future device and having 12% shares, I would have still supported W10M very little instead of total neglect just to keep some fans in the ecosystem. Having some fanbase before that future phone would've been better instead of starting all over from 0. Now with that new phone and OS, what magic are they gonna do differently or tell you to get back on the OS?
  • most used platform to browse the internet to be specific. they need a better mobile OS, which they are working on. so its not that it's lost focus, its just taking them longer than we would like.
  • Unfortunately, they are gaining focus again which is why some of their fledgling devices, software, and services with little return are being cut and/or forgotten.  Windows Mobile, for instance. You can't blame a company for losing their focus while at the same time they are slowly dropping support for one of their biggest failures in the companies history...it's a bit contradictory.
  • I wouldn't call W10M a failure....it just needed time. Apple didn't get the number of people it has now when it launched...same for android. It took time, marketing, convincing and dedication. W10M was on that till Satya came....we had 12% share in 2015 and he came to clean everything. This is lack of focus. Cloud alone can't save you.
  • Yeah, W10M itself isn't a failure. It's MSFT that didn't help push the OS enough.
  • yeah, Microsoft is clearly losing its power but Apple too. Microsoft has some great ideas like Continiuum or HoloLens but the reality is not as good as the concept itself
  • Exactly and that's why most enterprises claim they are good at initiatives but very bad at implementing and improving them.
  • No, they are just not focussed on mobile and recently Microsoft was awarded most ethical and most innovative company. These values are something that MS carries and the vision is to protect these values especially in today's world.
  • Not focused on mobile so Cut mobile off....the main element that Android used to overtake. I just don't get it.
  • Are you seriously posting the same comment on every article? Go away troll!
  • Don't talk when matured men are talking kid. We talking about realities here not some child ******' play.
  • Triggered?
  • If you were a mature man, you would realize that mobile is not the end all be all of Microsoft.  Ever heard of Azure, All Windows Server products, Exchange, Office? When you go to work and log in on your computer, what other back end system is like Active Directory? Microsoft has not its focus.  I would say they are just hitting thier stride.  Powershell is the tool to use for admins now.  Plus now theere is Bash support within Windows.  But I guess to all you "matured men" out there, Mobile is the end all be all of Microsofts game  
  • Happy birthday MSFT! Live long and prosper.
  • idiot.
    it's a mobile OS!
  • I think microsoft is ca$hing in on every android sold, so theyre literally feeding the giant with all the patents.
  • No windows central? ☠
  • So today was the day that the cancer on the world was born.....
  • WTF is wrong with you.
  • so you don't use Windows?
    WTF are you doing here?
  • He must be one of those Mac or Linux guys.
  • These are all stupid replays...
  • 😍
  • Wow same birthday as me, had no idea 😍
  • Happy birthday to you and Microsoft!
  • What's wrong with these android fanboys
  • Thanks Trailer Park Central!
  • Hey Al. A typo right? It says Berfday instead of birthday.
  • So.. Where is my article? I share bdays with MS. It's as important. If you don't believe me my mom has a little something to say to you! I'm a grown ass man. 33... Hope MS invents cryostasis.
  • Bornday?
  • Trailer Park Boys reference. Season 11 just hit Netflix! 2 smokes!
  • Happy birthday Microsoft!
  • Android just for fun, not for professional... Android just mobile OS
  • wow founded on the same day as my Birthday. Back in the day I was a Commodore 64/Amiga fan. I felt that DOS PC's were just for business use not for consumers. Then When Commodore died and  I took VA classes to learn how to use PC'S and the MS Office suite running Windows 3.11  got to appreciate Microsoft software products. I wish Microsoft and all the folks who work for MS all the best  
  • Awesome company. Love to work for them in the new building in Milan, Italy!