Microsoft is the world's leading producer of computer software. Microsoft was incorporated in 1981, but the company's roots go back at least as far as 1975, when the first commercially available personal computer appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics.
Microsoft's major breakthrough occurred in 1981 when they furnished an operating system for IBM's first major entry into personal computers. Called PC-DOS by IBM, Microsoft also marketed its own version, MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). The early 1980s saw both IBM's and Microsoft's fortunes soar: Microsoft dominated the software market, just as IBM dominated the personal computer market where the computers of almost any maker of PCs other than Apple became known as "IBM-compatible" clones (based on microchips from Intel). In 1983, Microsoft introduced the first Windows operating system. Heavily influenced by Apple's existing graphical user interface, Windows was more user-friendly than DOS.
Of Microsoft's succession of Windows operating systems, Vista is the most recent. The company's office applications - Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint - have been similarly successful. In recent years, Microsoft has increasingly turned its attention to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Its Web browser, Internet Explorer, has become dominant. Microsoft's latest business strategy, known as .NET, is a Web services-based approach to addressing the needs of business and consumer markets. One of the aims of .NET is to make all aspects of computing increasingly Web browser-oriented.

Microsoft is the world's leading producer of computer software. Microsoft was incorporated in 1981, but the company's roots go back at least as far as 1975, when the first commercially available personal computer appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics.
Microsoft's major breakthrough occurred in 1981 when they furnished an operating system for IBM's first major entry into personal computers. Called PC-DOS by IBM, Microsoft also marketed its own version, MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). The early 1980s saw both IBM's and Microsoft's fortunes soar: Microsoft dominated the software market, just as IBM dominated the personal computer market where the computers of almost any maker of PCs other than Apple became known as "IBM-compatible" clones (based on microchips from Intel). In 1983, Microsoft introduced the first Windows operating system. Heavily influenced by Apple's existing graphical user interface, Windows was more user-friendly than DOS.
Of Microsoft's succession of Windows operating systems, Vista is the most recent. The company's office applications - Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint - have been similarly successful. In recent years, Microsoft has increasingly turned its attention to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Its Web browser, Internet Explorer, has become dominant. Microsoft's latest business strategy, known as .NET, is a Web services-based approach to addressing the needs of business and consumer markets. One of the aims of .NET is to make all aspects of computing increasingly Web browser-oriented.