5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Microsoft

On April 4, 1975, Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about the goliath tech company started by two software geeks...


It Wasn’t the First Time Gates and Allen Worked Together Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the co-founders of Microsoft, worked together to form a business called Traf-O-Data while they were still in high school in Seattle. This company counted vehicles from passing traffic for traffic engineers. Although their company wasn’t a huge success, it helped them in developing Microsoft because of their work using microprocessors and developing software to count cars.

They Originally Called The Company Micro-soft Gates was attending Harvard and Allen was a student at Washington State University when they founded Microsoft in 1975, with Gates as the new company's CEO. They originally called the company Micro-soft, a combination of abbreviations for "microcomputer" and "software." The hyphen wasn’t removed until 1981, two years after the technology company moved its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington.


M&Ms are a Microsoft Tradition Softies, the people who work for Microsoft, are expected to celebrate their work anniversaries with M&Ms. At each anniversary of their employment, they are supposed to bring one pound of the tasty chocolate candies to share with co-workers for the number of years they have worked there. Bill Gates became a part-timer in 2006 to work for his foundation, otherwise, he would have needed to bring in 31 pounds of M&Ms for his anniversary but, of course, would have had no problem affording it.

Apple Would Have Gone Under if it Wasn’t For Microsoft Apple was nearing bankruptcy in 1997 when Bill Gates and Microsoft came along on a white charger to save the day. Microsoft invested $150 million in the company and allowed Apple to use Microsoft Office without charge on the Mac PCs. It was also at this time that Microsoft was facing possible charges by the Justice Department for violating the Sherman Act. This law prohibits the stifling the competition and establishment of a monopoly. Therefore, this helping hand probably benefited both companies.

People Who Invested in Microsoft Early on Made a Bundle It may have been considered a risky venture to have invested in Microsoft back in the 1980s because the company was fairly new. However, investors who bought the stock in March 1986 paid only $21 per share. Today, that one share would be worth around $158 dollars. Someone who invested $1,000 in Microsoft on the day of its initial public offering would have more than $1.6 million to show for it today when price appreciation and dividends are calculated.