Find out What Is Slowing Down Your Compute Obtained via Find out What Is Slowing Down Your Computer

Last week, while researching online, I had to open a number of tabs on my Chrome browser. Following links, I had to open up even more tabs and finally the count reached around fifty or so, and the system started to slow down. I found it extremely difficult to browse further. I wanted to investigate which processes in the system were slowing the system down, and the steps I followed might be useful to you too, if you are also finding your computer rather slow. Here they are.

The Tool

You can use a number of tools for monitoring the programs and resources on your computer. Latest versions of Microsoft Windows come with one or two of them, such as Resource Monitor (resmon.exe) and the widely used Task Manager. But the tool that I would recommend is known as Process Explorer.

It was developed by Microsoft subsidiary, Sysinternals. It is available as a free download from Microsoft Technet website. Get the ZIP file on your system.

Process Explorer is a standalone utility: something that you don’t need to install in the system in order to run. Just open up the program, and it will start displaying the most resource-thirsty applications on your computer.

1. Sort the List

First thing you need to do after opening up Process Explorer is sorting the list of running services and applications based on the resource used. At the top of Process Explorer, you will see ‘CPU’, ‘Private Bytes’, ‘Working Set’, etc. Click on Working Set in order to sort the list of programs based on their active memory usage. It will list the most memory-thirsty application at the very top.

Process Explorer main window

I also took a screenshot of my Task Manager, and check out the comparison here. 

Process Explorer vs Task Manager

See Task Manager doesn’t recognize the service’nessusd.exe‘ listed on top of Process Explorer. Task Manager doesn’t recognize this because ‘nessusd.exe‘ is a service, not a process (running application). For your information, ‘nessusd.exe‘ is Tenable Nessus network vulnerability scanner that I was running. There is a difference between services and running applications. Process Explorer lists both of them, while Task Manager does not list running services.

Now, I have identified the service taking up maximum memory in my system. I need to shut that down. You can try to shut it down using PE itself; in some cases PE doesn’t allow it, and you may need to go into Services console to do that.

2. Shutting Down a Service

Within Windows, you have a specific console known as ‘Services’ that can shut down any service. You can always restart the service when needed; also, the service will be started anyway when you restart the computer.

This doesn’t affect your system, although you should not stop any system services. If you stop any important system services, you may need to restart the service or the computer itself to get it working normal again.[It won’t cause any permanent damage to your system.]

Go to Start menu and type ‘Services.msc‘ and it will open the Services window. Here is my screenshot identifying nessusd.exe, which I will stop now.

Services window

Simply right-click on the entry and click ‘Stop’. You can also look through the started services and stop any that you don’t need. The window will give you a brief description and properties of the service which will help you decide.

3. Gathering Information About Running Applications

Come back to Process Explorer. We are going to find the next most resource-thirsty application now. Check this out, the most resource-thirsty application now is Chrome. This is not a service, but an application (otherwise known as process, as identified within Task Manager as well).

PE showing Chrome processes

As you can see on my system, there are several instances of the Chrome process. This is due to the basic design of Chrome program. Unlike other browsers, it opens its tabs as separate processes. Sometimes, multiple tabs are grouped into the same Chrome process. Sometimes, various plugins and add-ons you use may open up multiple Chrome processes.

You can look through the resource list and if you want, you can simply terminate one or two Chrome processes. However, note that when you do this, all the data associated with that tab will be lost, so you should do this only if absolutely necessary. Let me demonstrate.

I am going to select a Chrome process and terminate it. I am going to ‘kill’ the process (short-cut button: delete).

Killing a process

Process Explorer has immediately freed up the memory space occupied by that process, in this case around 100 MB. As soon as I did it, about four tabs within my Chrome window went dead. The

Chrome main window is identified by the ‘-‘ sign in the screenshot above. If I kill that process, the entire application will be terminated, not a few tabs.

Chrome error message

Go to this article about Chrome error messages to know more about this.

But that has freed up quite a bit of memory on my system. And I could immediately see the difference in speed and responsiveness.


Here is a way to identify Chrome’s tabs and plugins that take up maximum amount of memory. Within the Chrome address bar, type “about:memory-redirect” and it will show you all the tabs and extensions of your Chrome browser that are currently running. It will show individual processor and memory usage and will give you a way to decide which tab to terminate. In order to terminate a particular tab or extension, you have to go to Chrome Task Manager (under menu->Tools).

The memory-redirect window and Chrome task manager give you the process ID (PID) which can identify the specific process under Process Explorer. That is another way to gather information about individual processes.


Setting Priorities

Another way to speed up the system is by reducing the priority of a process and increasing priority of the one you are using. Here is the procedure.

In the Process Explorer context menu for the particular process, you have the option, ‘Set Priority’. Click it and select low priority for unimportant processes and high priority for important applications.

Setting priorities

This should be done with care though. It could create instabilities in applications and you could potentially lose some data. Do this if you have a lot of RAM available. Also, you should not attempt this without saving any important information you have on your applications.

Purging Memory in Chrome

There is a tiny hack available in Chrome with which you can free up a little amount of memory. Although even the developers at Google are not quite sure as to whether it works effectively, let me detail the hack to you. Chrome browser has a command-line switch called ‘–purge-memory-button’. With this, you can add a button to the Chrome Task Manager that frees up unused amount of memory.

In order to do that, first of all edit the Chrome shortcut you are using to open it up. Go to the shortcut properties, and after the path of the Chrome installation, found as something like

“C:ProgramsGoogleChromechrome.exe“, add the memory purge switch. So, your target path should look like this: “C:ProgramsGoogleChromechrome.exe –purge-memory-button” and then press OK.

Now open the browser with that shortcut and then go to Task Manager. You should be able to find a ‘Purge memory’ button on it. Click on it if you feel the browser is slowing down.

This can help only occasionally though. I have found that closing unnecessary tabs works better.


If you carefully use Process Explorer in terminating unnecessary applications and services, you should be able to free up a lot of resources in much less time.

Also, there is a feature known as’Suspend’ in the context menu that can temporarily suspend the execution of an application. If you do this, the application will not respond to any of your actions until you resume the application. This can be used to free up CPU time to use with other applications. It will not free up system memory used by the application, though. You should be careful in following these tips as a wrong action may make the system unstable, and it may reboot to get back into proper status.

Whether-or-Not-to-Buy: Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 920
If you are looking for a Windows Phone 8 device, look no further than Nokia Lumia 920 (Check at Amazon or Best Buy). Two of the major handsets running Windows Phone 8 are Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X. Here, we will have a deeper look at Lumia 920 and see why it is a very good buy.

The Technical Specifications


We will begin with the technical specifications of the device.

Feature Value Notes
Display 4.5 inch LCD (IPS) Capacitive touch; 768×1280 pixels (WXGA HD+) Larger than Windows Phone 8X
Pixel density 332ppi Better than the iPhone’s Retina Display
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2 Highly scratch-resistant
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus (MSM8960) at 1.5 GHz (dual-core) The same processor used in Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE version, and HTC Windows Phone 8X
GPU Adreno 225  
RAM 1 GB  
Storage 32 GB  
MicroSD? Not available  
Connectivity HSPA+ at 42.2 mbps; LTE category 3 (50mbps up/100mbps down)  
Battery 2000 mAh (10 hrs 3G talk time)  
Camera 8 MP with Carl Zeiss optics; front-facing 2.1 MP Uses PureView technology and floating lens technology
Dimensions Height 130.3mm (5.13 inch) Pretty heavier than high end smartphones like iPhone 5, Windows Phone 8X, and Galaxy S3
Width 70.8mm (2.79 inch)
Thickness 10.7 mm (0.42 inch)
Weight 185 g (6.53 oz)
Other Features NFC, Supersensitive touch screen, Wireless charging, PureMotion HD+, PureView camera, etc.  


What do you feel after looking at the tech specs? We will look at the pros and cons of the device now.

1. The Build & Durability


Nokia Lumia 900 was the previous version in the Lumia series, and there were smaller Lumias too, with lower hardware specs. Lumia 920 is much heavier than all other Lumias. At 185 g, it is probably the heaviest of high-end smartphones. Windows Phone 8X and One X are only 130g, iPhone 5 is 112 g, HTC Droid DNA is 142 g, Motorola Razr Maxx HD is 157 g, LG Optimus G is 145 g, Google Nexus 4 is 139 g.

The huge Galaxy Note II with one inch larger display than the Lumia 920 is only 183 g. As you can see, there is no high-end device heavier than Lumia 920. It is the major disadvantage of the device.

The quality of the build is just perfect (as always among Nokia smartphones). Don’t take my word for that. Just look at this pretty amazing video created by PhoneBuff here:

Also check out the drop test video and the actual “cracking open the Lumia 920” video that follows this one.

Here’s another video by MobileSyrup that does fastball test on Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S3 (which shatters, as expected):

Lumia 920 is a sturdy, durable device, albeit a little too heavy. But still, it is more durable than even the iPhone. Haven’t you heard about iPhone 5 shipping with scratches at the back?

If it is durability that you are asking for in a smartphone, then nothing gives it better than Lumia 920.

2. Display


Lumia 920 bright display


It uses LCD with In-Plane Switching (IPS). The screen has a wide viewing angle, just like iPhone 5’s display and gives natural colors. If you are confused about the Retina Display gimmick, don’t be. With this 4.5 inch display, Nokia has packed more pixels than iPhone 5’s 326ppi. Lumia 920 has a 332ppi screen, and as such gives unnoticeably smaller pixels.

The resolution given is 1280×768, which is slightly better than Windows Phone 8X’s 1280×720. And hence, the aspect ratio is 15:9.

Forbes’s hateful review of Lumia 920 talked a lot about the battery consumption of the device. One thing to note about the display is that it can consume a lot more battery than Lumia 900’s AMOLED panel. Lumia 920’s brightness factor is at 600 nits (brightness unit), while iPhone 5 stands at around 500 nits, and HTC One X, slightly above 500 nits. Screen on Lumia 920 is really bright, and it is in the order of some HDTVs. Also, it comes with new technologies, such as PureMotion HD+ and Nokia ClearBlack.

Due its screen brightness, Lumia may tend to consume a little more battery; however, if you place the display at the low brightness level, you can save much more battery.

PureMotion technology is a very important one. In regular smartphones, the display response time is in the order of about 23 milliseconds, while PureMotion in Lumia 920 gives 9 milliseconds. This extra-fast response time gives Nokia 920 display that extra edge. It looks much smarter than any other smartphone display, and does not blur on fast swipe actions.

Another important aspect of this display is the ClearBlack technology, which gives much better black levels on an IPS LCD panel. Although it is still not in the order of AMOLED’s perfect black levels, this is a great improvement indeed.

The touchscreen is extra-sensitive. You can use it with gloves on. This makes the smartphone kind of optimized for cold atmosphere where you may walk around with gloves.

Supersensitive touchscreen on Lumia 920


3. Camera


We did touch a little bit on the 8MP camera on the smartphone in our introduction to Lumia 920 article last year. The PureView camera on Lumia 920 uses its gyroscope to obtain image stabilization. It is hence called a floating lens technology. The gyroscope can provide stability to the camera app even if you shake slightly during image capture. This is the reason why the camera takes shake-free pictures with Lumia 920.

In low light conditions, as promised, the camera performs really well. Also, the

Read further: Nokia faked a video (supposedly taken by 920), and got caught by the people at the Verge.

color and contrast of the pictures were of amazing quality. In a camera comparison by CNET, Lumia 920 performs better than Windows Phone 8X on most of the tests, and slightly worse as compared to iPhone 5. However, in low light conditions, Lumia 920 performs much better.

4. The Processor


Qualcomm Snapdragon

Have you read about what processor to look for on smartphones? In the current market, Lumia 920 doesn’t ace it, but it’s pretty close! Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz is a very fast processor. Snapdragon chip also has the LTE baseband built in, as Qualcomm is the industry leader in providing LTE baseband in the US.

This is the reason why Samsung Galaxy S3 uses the exact same processor in LTE markets, while it provides its own Exynos quad-core SoC on regular markets. There is no performance drop on Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor. It performs with the same agility of a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor.

5. Battery & Wireless Charging


Nokia Lumia comes with a 2000 mAh Li-ion battery that is expected to give around 10 hours talk time on 3G. There are a few tips that Nokia gives to save battery. It is important to follow these tips to get full power from Lumia 920’s battery.

Last year, in a review, Forbes mentioned how pathetic the battery was and how it did not last long enough to do most tasks. In our tests, we did not find any such issues. On proper full charge, the battery will definitely last a full day of usage. Also, a firmware update rolled out by Nokia in December last year, gives battery improvements.

The battery can be charged wirelessly with an induction pad that Nokia ships with the device. The charging pad is actually very convenient to use, and it can charge the phone as quickly as the regular wall charger does. Not only that, you can get charging accessories from other vendors, such as this JBL speaker that can charge your Lumia 920 through an NFC connection.

JBL Wireless charging speaker




Lumia 920 is an amazing phone. There is no downside to buying this smartphone, let alone its bulky build. It is the heaviest smartphone out there, and also it doesn’t come with an expandable MicroSD slot. Also, as in all Nokia devices these days, you cannot open it up to take the battery out.

Other than these minor issues, Lumia 920 aces in every aspect. For a mere price of 449 dollars, contract-free, you are getting one of the best Windows smartphones out there. HTC Windows Phone 8X is also an amazing choice, but Lumia stands one notch above it.

[Image credit: Nokia,, Qualcomm]

The Actual Price of Microsoft Surface Tablet

Microsoft surface

Surface is Microsoft’s tablet computer running Windows 8. Two versions of the tablet are there: Surface tablet running Windows RT version, and Surface Pro (due to be out in January) running Windows 8 Pro (difference between Windows RT and Windows 8). Did you know recently Microsoft reduced the number of orders for Surface from 4 to 2 million units (that is the contract number given to manufacturers in Asia)? This is because of terrible sales record of the tablet. While on one side the Windows operating system is selling like hot chocolate, Surface is not selling enough.

The main reason behind the tablet’s lukewarm reception is probably the price. Surface basic unit comes at a price tag of 499 dollars and with the keyboard cover, price starts at 599 dollars (yes, hundred dollars for that keyboard cover). One thing that many don’t know is the actual price of parts that make up Surface tablet.

The market research firm, iSuppli has given us a breakup of parts that go into Surface. Here are the parts and prices for an estimate of the profit margin.

The Part
The Price
Memory (2GB DDR3L +32 GB eMMC) NAND Flash & DRAM
10 inch display + touchscreen
Nvidia Tegra 3 Processor
Camera (1Mp    rear & front)
User Interface, sensors, & Combo module
Power management
Li-Polymer Battery (31.5 Wh, 7.4 V)
Mechanical    & electromechanical parts
Box contents
Total Parts cost
Parts + Manufacturing
Price for which Surface is sold


Surface starts at the 32-GB model and it is priced at 499 dollars. Here is a price comparison of Apple iPad and MS Surface.

Tablet The Edition The Price
Apple iPad iPad 16 GB Basic $499
32 GB $599
64 GB $699
Microsoft Surface 32 GB tablet only $499
32 GB with black touch cover $599
32 GB with cyan, red, magenta, or white    touch cover $618.99
64 GB with black cover $699
64 GB with touch cover in other colors $718.99


Apple iPad, the fourth version comes at prices comparable to

For one thing, Surface with Windows RT will not work with any Windows application you have been using with Windows XP or Win 7.

Surface. However, Surface Pro tablet to be released soon may come at least 70 dollars more than iPad.

Price of Surface is such a big gamble by Microsoft indeed. For one thing, Surface with Windows RT will not work with any Windows application you have been using with Windows XP or Win 7.

It is a purely ARM-based tablet (similar to iPad or Android tablets). It is not a PC, just a tablet, that is!

Surface Pro on the other hand is exactly a regular PC and can work with other Windows applications.

Surface with RT has a limited number of apps available in the Microsoft app store, and the asking price is too high. The hardware given is not an improvement either. With such a huge profit margin as we saw, Microsoft could go with a smaller price tag for Surface, and they did not.

A tactic that companies have found useful is setting a high price for a product in order to make it look like a high-value, high-quality product—a strategy that Apple has successfully implemented for years. However, Microsoft’s reputation is sadly not right for that kind of a stunt.

Is Windows 8 Really Secure? Analysis of Security Flaws and Vulnerabilities of the Latest Product From Microsoft

security icon

If you are using the Internet Explorer, Office Excel, True Type Fonts, IIS, or the now out-of-date Windows Briefcase, your computer may be subjected to security attacks.

No sooner has Microsoft released its Windows 8 and RT versions than the security flaws of this OS were revealed. At the beginning of this month, Microsoft’s Security TechCenter revealed the possible security flaws on Windows 8 and has released necessary patches. Here is what you need to do to immediately secure your Windows computer.

If you wish to get notifications on any of the latest Windows security issues, subscribe to this newsletter.

Most of these issues cause ‘remote code execution’ that helps an attacker, such as a hacker or a virus, work on your system like it belongs to him. On computers, the attack by a virus occurs when you start a program, and this program is an executable file (one with the file extension .exe or .dll in some other cases).

When a program is executing on your computer, it has a lot of privileges—disk access to read data stored on the computer, memory operations, processor access, etc. If the executable file is a virus, it could access the disk to steal information, operate on the memory to crash other programs, or act on the processor to crash Windows 8 itself.

When you try to recover from such a crash, you may find out that the virus has replicated all over your system causing havoc. Here, I have a list of applications that could cause security loopholes on your computer.

1. Internet Explorer Vulnerability

Three reports have surfaced since the release of Windows 8 on vulnerabilities of Internet Explorer. This affects Internet Explorer version 9 on various versions of Windows. The loophole gives a hacker permission to access your system and work on it with the same privileges as you have. If you are the administrator, the hacker can become the administrator on your computer if you get attacked.

Microsoft has released a security patch to cover this vulnerability here.

2. Briefcases in Windows


Microsoft Briefcase

If you are still using this functionality of Microsoft Windows, be careful. The current vulnerability found in Briefcases could open security loopholes.

So what is Briefcase in Microsoft terminology? Simply right-click in a folder and select the ‘New’ option and you will see ‘Briefcase’ as one of the things that you can create. It is a file synchronization tool (just like the Dropbox app you install in your computer for remote synchronization with your cloud storage provider). The Briefcase is equipped to provide 2-way synching with another folder that you choose (mostly belonging to the mobile PC).

In order to secure your briefcase, do not open it or work with it before applying this Microsoft Briefcase patch. The vulnerability is not applicable to Windows RT though.

3. .NET Framework

.NET Framework is a technology that forms the basis of Windows application development. That means, in order to run a lot of Windows applications, you have to have .NET Framework installed. They include high productivity apps, certain games, etc.

You may not know if you have it installed, but there is a way to find out. Simply go to Control Panel->Programs and Features. You will get a list of applications installed on the computer, and among them you can find .NET Framework if installed.

In order to secure this application, download the patch here.

4. Issues With Documents and Fonts

Do you know that you can embed executable code on a document such as a Word document or and Excel Spreadsheet? Such code snippets could create interactivity on your document as well as prove drastic if the code is malicious. This could simply make way for remote code execution.

If you are unsure of the documents you are downloading from the web, do not download them. Also, certain websites may embed unusual fonts in your system without your knowledge. This could also pave way to remote code execution, thwarting the security of your Windows computer.

In order to make your documents and fonts secure, install this Microsoft patch.

5. Microsoft Excel

A part of the Office Suite of Microsoft, Excel is a highly acclaimed spreadsheet program. Do you know that even a spreadsheet file you download from an unknown location could inject malicious code that may make your computer insecure?

Four reports have surfaced regarding the security issues of Microsoft Office, specifically Excel. Microsoft has released this patch to secure the application.

6. Internet Information Services

Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) is a web server, and on most of the client systems, it may not even be turned on. This is an application that websites running Microsoft Windows operating system at the server side use. It is hence most probably dormant on your computer. Still, if you are unsure, you can find out from Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs->Windows components (Win XP) or Programs & Features->Turn on Windows Features (Win 7).

If IIS is turned on in your computer, you should install this patch to fix issues with it.

In order to download the patch go here.


As Microsoft has become mostly secure, people don’t worry much about the operating system. Also, if you have a third party antivirus application, your system should be secure. One other thing you should make sure is browsing secure websites and not downloading unknown data. Most of your computers have Windows Update service turned on and the system will automatically update all necessary Windows 8 security updates. If in case it is not enabled on your computer, you should download these patches.

[Image credit:, SoftIcons]

The History of Microsoft – Page 1

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My readers have been asking me around about the company known far and wide as Microsoft and how it came to be the top-most in computer technology. I thought it apt to make a post here detailing the story of Microsoft through its developmental stages. Two tech geeks, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, both dropouts from their respective universities, have managed to create this giant in computer software. Here it is, the history of Microsoft as a software company.

I found a lot of information published by Wikipedia and other such sites to be wrong. I have managed to get the dates and events as accurately as possible here.

The story of Microsoft begins when Popular Electronics published an article about the first personal computer.

The First Year—1975

January 1st 1975:

The advertisement of the first ever personal computer—MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) Altair 8800 appears on the Popular Electronics magazine. This is a development that attracted the attention of Paul Allen and Bill Gates.

Popular Electronics

Feb 1975:

Bill Gates and Paul Allen have moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and have developed and sold the first ever operating system on a personal computer, Altair BASIC to MITS to use on Altair 8800.

MITS Altair 8800

Jul 1975:

Bill Gates and Paul Allen communicate and use the name ‘Micro-Soft’ to refer to their company. This is, according to Microsoft, the earliest written reference to the company.

Initial Success: 1976—1978

Nov 1976:

Official registration of the name Microsoft, soon after starting the company in the Two Park Central Tower on Sept 1st 1976.

Feb 1977: Bill Gates and Paul Allen become official partners.

Nov 1977: The exclusive license to MITS for MS BASIC is terminated. This would pave way for Microsoft to publish BASIC for other companies and hardware. This decision comes soon after Microsoft has received new hardware implementations from other companies like Texas Instruments, Commodore, and Radio Shack.

Apr 1978: Microsoft releases COBOL-80 programming language. They have already introduced FORTRAN-80. Both languages are developed for Intel 8080 and 8085 microprocessors, which would develop later into the x86 architecture revolution. These microprocessors were 8-bit, and currently Windows operating system supports 32-bit and 64-bit architectures—much advanced from the 8-bit systems.

Nov 1978: The first international office of Microsoft is built in Japan—earlier known as ASCII Microsoft, now known as Microsoft Japan.

Dec 1978: One year revenue of Microsoft now exceeds 1 million dollars (a million back then would equal about 3.5 million today). Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and the first employees of Microsoft took a picture at that time. Shortly afterward, the company moved its offices to Bellevue, Washington.

Earliest employees of microsoft
Top row: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, Jim Lane
Middle row:  Bob O’Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc B McDonald, James Gordon Letwin
Bottom Row: Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, Paul Allen


Competitive Success: 1979—1980

April 1979:

International Computer Programs (ICP) was an extremely successful software directory and it had its annual million dollar award for the most successful software products. Microsoft’s BASIC for 8080 microprocessor becomes the first processor program to get ICP Million Dollar award.

Dec 1979: Microsoft develops and releases Micro-SEED, a database management system (DBMS) for personal computers. The implementation is according to CODASYL standard that standardized programming languages and database systems.

1980: Around June this year, the current CEO, Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft after interrupting his MBA from Stanford. That was how committed he was to the company. It is around January this year that Microsoft announced its first application software for customers—Typing Tutor.

April 1980: Microsoft has introduced Z-80 SoftCard that forms the first ever association of the company to Apple Computers. This is a hardware implementation for Apple II computers for them to be able to run CP/M (an operating system) applications. Apple II didn’t have a Zilog Z-80 compatible hardware to run CP/M and Microsoft SoftCard helped them in this. Apple II, if you don’t know about it, was one of the most popular personal computers at that time.

Apple II personal computer

Aug 1980:

Microsoft took UNIX version 7 from AT&T (then Bell) and announced its own implementation, Xenix. This was a portable operating system for 16-bit microprocessors including Intel 8086. Later, Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) acquired Xenix and made it into SCO UNIX. Many call Xenix the first ever operating system project by Microsoft.

An Independent Company: 1981—1984

Jun 1981:

Microsoft becomes a private organization; Bill Gates is the president and chairman; Paul Allen is the executive vise president.

Aug 1981: The association between IBM and Microsoft for the development of IBM PC. Microsoft purchased a version of CP/M operating system and developed it for the IBM PC. The operating system came to be known as DOS (Disk Operating System). IBM called it PC-DOS, and it soon dethroned CP/M, making Microsoft the sole vendor of computer operating systems. The IBM PC also incorporated other products from MS—BASIC, COBOL, Pascal, etc.

Oct 1981: Microsoft moves its headquarters to Northup Building in Bellevue, Washington.

July 1982: MILAN (MIcrosoft Local Area Network) has been developed for use within the company—it connects all the development computers within the company and provides intranet and email facilities. About this time, Microsoft has become a registered trademark in the United States. Sometime in this year, one of the most ground-breaking games from the company, Flight Simulator gets released.

Mar 1983: MS-DOS 2.0 gets released.

May 1983: Microsoft has introduced the first hardware device, the Microsoft Mouse to be used with the IBM PC and other MS-DOS computers.

The first Microsoft Mouse

Aug 1983:

Microsoft has acquired Wiser Laboratories, an Australian distributor of MS products. This is the first corporate acquisition by the company.

Sept 1983: Microsoft releases MS Word for MS-DOS computers

Nov 1983: Microsoft releases Windows! This is however not the official operating system release, but just a graphical extension to existing MS-DOS operating system.

Jan 1984: A major collaboration between the future rivals in computer technology, Microsoft and Apple together unveil Apple Macintosh computer with Microsoft’s productivity software installed.

Mar 1984: Microsoft Press is operational and has published its first books—Apple Macintosh book by Cary Lu and Exploring the IBM PC by Peter Norton (who sold his software business to Symantec Corporation, thus creating Norton Antivirus, Firewall, etc).

[Images from Microsoft]

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