The future of personal computing now rests on just one thing.
Making it all make sense.
At Microsoft, first we make it possible.
If you happened to catch the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, you were
one of the lucky few to witness the debut of the personal computer.
Impossible as it seems, a magazine with less than one-tenth the readership
of Time or Newsweek launched a technology race roughly parallel
to that of the space program.
It also launched a company that immediately assumed center stage in the exciting
new world of personal computing. The company was Microsoft, and the tenet upon which it was
founded was a simple one. To see a computer on every desk and in every home.
To take that rudimentary new contraption that was the early
personal computer and turn it into the powerful machine that
has literally changed the way we work, required some important
steps. The first order of business was to create not simply products, but
standards. Microsoft® BASIC became the first universal programming language
for the personal computer. And set a standard upon which an industry
could grow. Next came what is now the world standard PC
operating system, MS-DOS®, developed by us and chosen by
IBM for its first personal computers. Today, 20 million machines
run on it, and so does a billion-dollar software industry.
And when the Macintosh® was being developed, we were there. That
early participation allowed us to write its richest and most important
software. These crucial pieces include the powerful
Microsoft Word, the much-applauded Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Works, the
single-solution program for the diverse needs of small business.
As we were contributing to the development of the Mac®, we were also
developing a system to put graphics interface technology into the world of
IBM® PCs and compatibles.
The introduction of Microsoft Windows in 1985 meant that an easy-to-understand
desktop graphical environment now appeared on PCs. Ultimately, this friendly
screen will forever replace the cold theater of character-based computing.
But Windows is more than just a useful tool. It is an important technological
feat, one that becomes critical to bringing into final focus that original
Microsoft vision. Through Windows, any number of software applications will
seamlessly integrate. Sophisticated spreadsheet programs. Powerful word
processors. Interactive databases. All effortlessly accessible.
And in MS® OS/2, the new operating system we developed jointly with
IBM, the Windows technology (called Presentation Manager) gets even more
exciting. Opening up megaamounts of power and memory. Opening up your
screen to do several tasks at once. And opening up endless possibilities
for developers using the Microsoft family of languages.
But all this doesn’t end at the desktop. With Microsoft OS/2 LAN
(local area network) Manager, it’s as easy and natural to work on
a network as it is to work alone.
By linking users via software, information can be shared and exchanged
by members of a group. Projects are worked on together, instead of
bit by bit. And it’s amazing how a company communicates once it’s
joined by electronic mail.
There is no question that the advanced productivity springing from today’s
personal computer is the direct result of our continued commitment to
But even so, that's only half of the equation.
Then we make it practical.
The philosophy behind Microsoft includes another, equally important, notion.
That all the technology in the world doesn’t add up to a hill of beans unless it is
practical, useful and, above all, easy.
Unless it makes sense.
That’s why, whether you’re using a Microsoft application on a
Mac, an MS-DOS or even an OS/2 machine, it will have a comforting familiarity.
Because today’s computers share a common software guardian. Microsoft.
Thanks to our groundbreaking work on the graphical interface for the IBM
PC and its compatibles, virtually every personal computer can give its user
a simpler way to get a lot more done. With a screen that thinks in pictures
instead of words, arranged like papers on a desk. Naturally,
working with pictures makes the work you turn out much more interesting.
Which is why the introduction of Microsoft Windows to the IBM PC and compatibles
brought with it a whole new category of software with impressive credentials. Like
desktop publishing. And presentation applications that let you create a
sophisticated graphics show, from your office instead of the art studio’s.
With Windows giving laser printers their marching orders, all manner of
documents take on a more finished look. And no matter what application
you’re using, Windows will take over the job of running your printer.
There is also a hardware complement to graphical applications: the Microsoft
Mouse. An unprecedented 1.5 million users have found that a simple point
and click eliminates complicated keyboard commands.
Our Windows spreadsheet
program, Microsoft Excel, goes so far beyond just simple number-crunching
that it has unparalleled acceptance in corporate America. More powerful than
any other, it also easily delivers sophisticated charts, graphs, text and
data pulled simultaneously from several sources. And to make it even easier,
we built it to graciously accept files and macros from other programs.
The new generation of PCs will run OS/2 with Presentation Manager, taking
our graphical screen to even greater heights. By unlocking the capability
of these machines, users can easily switch between programs almost instantly.
Members of a workgroup can work together on an unlimited number of tasks.
And finally, every kind of program, from spreadsheets to electronic mail
to word processing, works in a common way. To the user, learning one is
a quick step toward learning them all. To the corporate bottom line, it
means far less valuable time and money are spent on training.
But the real practicality of the graphical user interface comes to life
when, inevitably, it appears on every computer screen, everywhere.
And networking becomes not only possible, but required in this competitive
When you think about it, the goal Microsoft set in 1975 of seeing a
computer on every desk and in every home seems close at hand. Because,
at Microsoft, our fierce pursuit of technology comes with a promise to keep.
Making it all make sense.
[cover of Popular Electronics]
“The world wasn’t waiting. We were. The PC makes its debut.”
[three personal computers]
“MS-DOS with Windows. Mac. MS OS/2. Three ways to go. One driver. Microsoft.”
“Networking made practical, with software driving the network.”
[screenshot of Windows 2.0 File menu]
“Easy commands from pull-down menus make window-shopping easy.”
“WYSIWYG, as in What You See Is What You Get. No translation needed.”
“A simple point and click replaces mumbo-jumbo keyboard commands.”
© 1988 Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, MS-DOS
and MS are registered trademarks and Making it all make sense is a trademark of
Microsoft Corporation. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business
Machines Corporation. Macintosh and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple
Computer, Inc. Micrografx Designer is a product of Micrografx, Inc. and
OPUS I is a product of Roykore Software, Inc.