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Growth of a Global Giant

Today Microsoft employs more than 55,000 people in 85 countries and regions. In 2006, the company made profits of US$ 12.6 billion. But it wasn’t always that way …

· The seventies and eighties (1975-1989)

Microsoft was set up in Albuquerque (New Mexico, USA) in 1975 by Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen. The two men were guided by a belief that every desk in every office, and every home, should have a computer,

1) . At first, the company concentrated on selling to businesses. In the late 1970s, Microsoft moved to the Seattle area. It is still based there today, on its own ‘corporate campus’ in Redmond. In the mid 1980s, Microsoft was growing rapidly and chose the Republic of Ireland as the Location of its first production facility outside the USA.

2) , and the company was criticized for making its employees work too hard!


· The nineties (1990-1999)

1994 Microsoft Encarta was launched – the first encyclopaedia 3______ __________. The company slogan was also changed to: ‘Where do you want to go today?’

1995 Windows 95 was released, and more than a million copies were sold in the first four days. The company focus moved from business to the consumer. MSN, the Microsoft Network online service, was also launched, and quickly became one of the largest Internet service providers.

1996 Microsoft was named the company that Americans respected and admired the most.

1997 Microsoft opened its headquarters in India, now the second largest after its US headquarters.

1999 Gates’s book Business @ the Speed of Thought was published. The book shows how computer technology can solve business problems in new ways.

4) .


· The ‘noughties’ (since 2000)

2001Windows XP was released worldwide.

2004 Microsoft gave $3.5 million for relief and recovery efforts after the Asian tsunami.

5) . In this year Microsoft faced legal action from the European Union for unfair competition.

2006Plans were announced to develop the campus in Redmond.

2007 Microsoft Windows Vista was launched.

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