The story of Microsoft continues here, the final page…
The Year 2005
Major software releases include SQL Server 2005, Microsoft Expression Media, Visual Studio 2005 Standard, BizTalk Server 2006, etc.
Jan 2005: Bangalore, India has MS its research center opened. Also there is an expansion of Redmond HQ.
Aug 2005: Brian Kevin Turner from Wal-Mart becomes COO of Microsoft.
Sep 2005: At Safeco Field, Seattle, Microsoft celebrates the 20th anniversary of MS Windows and 30th anniversary of the company.
Nov 22, 2005: Xbox 360 has been launched. It became extremely popular from the first day.
The Year 2006
Mar 2006: Microsoft gets its 5000th patent.
Jun 2006: Bill Gates announces his transition from day-to-day activities giving increased privileges to Ray Ozzie (who would become CTO) and Craig Mundie (who would become Chief Research and Strategy Officer).
Nov 2006: Microsoft and Novell come together to develop interoperability between Windows and Linux operating systems. On Nov 14, Zune 30, the original Zune player has been released.
The Year 2007
Jan 2007: Windows Vista has been announced with admirable improvements in user interface and security. Also released was MS Office 2007.
Mar 2007: Internet Explorer 8 has been released.
Apr 2007: Microsoft launches Silverlight as a competition to Adobe Flash and Apple QuickTime.
May 2007: Microsoft Surface technology sees daylight for the first time. The original Surface tablet comes much later, but the technology existed this year itself.
Aug 2007: Due to Google’s increased presence in online advertising market, Microsoft also tries to get into the niche. The move happens with the acquisition of aQuantive for over 6 billion dollars. Turns out, this was the largest acquisition by Microsoft to date. However, it became a colossal failure for Microsoft as Google continued to dominate every area in online advertising game. An important service released this month is Microsoft SkyDrive, the cloud storage platform of Microsoft.
Sept 2007: Halo 3 was released and went on to become the most popular video game of the year.
Oct 2007: MS launches HealthVault that helps people store their health information. Google also released its health database, Google Health the next year. HealthVault is still operational through its website. On 16 Oct, MS releases a round table video conferencing device shown below:
The Year 2008
Major software release: Visual Studio 2008, MS Office for Mac 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 (codename: Longhorn)
Feb 2008: Microsoft proposes acquisition of Yahoo! to be able to compete with Google more efficiently. The proposed acquisition was for 44.6 billion dollars giving 31 dollars per share. The merger talk between the firms happened since 2005, but this was the major offer made. Yahoo would decline the offer and cause its share price to drop further due to shareholder disbelief. The acquisition of Yahoo! actually happened much later, and is a great story indeed.
May 2008: WorldWide Telescope has been released. In that year, it directly competed with Google Earth. Microsoft withdrew the Yahoo! merger offer, since Yahoo! didn’t like the price.
June 27, 2008: Bill Gates retires.
Sept 2008: MS announces Hyper-V. This is a technology that enables running an operating system within another (like running Windows XP from a computer that runs Windows 7).
The Year 2009
May 2009: The birth of Bing as Microsoft’s major sub-brand. The BlueTrack technology has been used in Microsoft mouse, making it usable on any surface.
Sept 2009: Zune HD touch media player becomes available.
Oct 2009: Microsoft launches Windows 7, highly acclaimed, highly secure version of Windows. Windows phones also become available that have Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro.
The Year 2010
May 2010: Office has its latest version released—MS Office 2010 along with MS SharePoint 2010.
Sept 2010: Halo Reach has been released and crosses 200 million purchases within 24 hours.
Oct 2010: Cloud based version of MS Office called Office 365 has been created. Also, the Windows Phone 7 has been released with its first devices, announced by Steve Ballmer.
Nov 2010: Motion detector for Xbox, Kinect has been launched, and has sold over 8 million units in the first two months. This month, Microsoft Lync has been released. This is an enterprise communications package containing instant messenger, virtual presence, file transfer, etc.
The Year 2011
Mar 2011: Windows Intune has been launched. This is a cloud-based PC management program. Internet Explorer 9 has been released.
May 2011: Bing search offers personalized search based on the suggestions of your Facebook friends.
Sept 2011: Windows Phone 7.5 (codename: Mango) has been released.
Oct 2011: Microsoft’s largest acquisition to date: Luxembourg-based Skype, for 8.5 billion dollars.
Dec 2011: Xbox has a new dashboard allowing voice and motion control with the help of Kinect.
The Current Microsoft: Year 2012
Oct 26, 2012: Microsoft releases Windows 8 in two editions—RT and 8 Pro. Microsoft releases Surface, the tablet powered by Windows RT, a direct competition to Apple iPad.
Oct 29, 2012: Unveiling of Windows Phone 8
Nov 6, 2012: Halo 4 has been released.
It has been a pleasurable journey to go through Microsoft’s entire history in these four pages. I have tried to gather as much information as possible about the development of this great company. We have never been able to talk about computers without mentioning ‘Microsoft’, and that is the brand identity of this firm.
[Photo credit: Microsoft.com]