5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Microsoft

On November 20, 1985, the first version of Microsoft Windows, Windows 1.0, was released. Windows has gone on to become a major operating system with both fans and detractors. Here are five things you didn't know about Microsoft.


Investing in Microsoft Stock in the 1980s Was a Good Investment People who invested in Microsoft during the mid-1980s were probably taking a big financial risk. However, those who took that risk have found that it paid in a big way. If you would have invested  $1,000 in Microsoft on the day of its initial public offering in 1986, you would now have 13,714 shares after its 9 stock splits. Those shares would be worth $2.9 million at the current stock quote of $212.  A $5,000 investment would have purchased 238 shares at the IPO price. After the splits, it would be worth $14.5 million.  The dividends you would be earning every year are just as awesome. If you hadn't succumbed to the temptation to cash in your shares too early, you would also be earning $139,830 every year from dividends alone.

The Company Created Three Billionaires and 12,000 Millionaires Bill Gates became the youngest billionaire in the world when he was 31, thanks to Microsoft.  In 1995, he  became the world's richest man with a net worth of $12.9 billion. However, he is not the only one to profit from Microsoft.  The explosive growth of the company created as many as 12,000 millionaires and at least two other billionaires including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and former CEO Steve Ballmer. Soaring stock options were the main driver of the growth in wealth.


Microsoft Employees Have A "Sweet" Tradition There is a very interesting tradition amongst the employees of Microsoft. On the anniversary date that you began working at Microsoft, there is an expectation that you will bring in sweets to share with your colleagues. And not just any old sweets will do; it has to be M&Ms. The amount of M&Ms to bring in depends on how long you have worked for the company. Traditionally, an employee brings in one pound of M&Ms for every year you have been in the employment of Microsoft.  Why the tradition was started and why the company insists on only M&Ms isn't known.

Windows' Startup Sound Was Composed By Brian Eno Every person who uses windows will instantly recognize the start up tune that the computer plays after it is turned on. Although it is only a few notes in length, it is actually the work of an influential composer Brian Eno. This popular musician and composer has worked with some major talents over the years, including David Bowie and U2. The six-second tune known as ‘The Microsoft Sound’ became one of the more recognizable sounds of the 1990s.

Two "Friends" Appeared In The Windows 95 Training Video In order to convince people to use Windows 95, Microsoft hired Friends stars Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry. Their job? To star in a "cybersitcom" teaching the masses how to use Windows. The video guide is in three parts: the “sitcom” portion featuring Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, and a cast of characters all with the purpose of teaching Matthew and Jennifer how to use Windows 95. Part two is a review of what was covered in the “sitcom,” and part three covers the twenty most frequently-asked questions about Windows 95.