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History of the Company,Part 2: 1977-1979

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History of the Company,Part 2: 1977-1979
This is the second part of a translation of a series of articles from
channel9.msdn.com .For those who missed the previous part, I suggest you read : 1975-1976
1977 for Microsoft was the beginning of a formal partnership between Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the company hired its first employees and released a new product, its second implementation of the programming language – FORTRAN-80
In 1978, the company releases another language, COBOL-80for the 8080, Z80 and 8085microprocessors, which conforms to the 1974 ANSI standards.The first international sales office is established and Microsoft makes a million dollars for the first time.
For Microsoft, 1979 was the year of
M6800 -versions of Microsoft Basic which was released this year.The same product was the first software that won the ICP Million Dollar Award In addition, in 1979 the Microsoft BASIC compiler became available for systems based on 8080 and Z-80CP/M


February 3, 1977

A formal partnership agreement between Paul Allen and Bill Gates is signed.

July 1, 1977

The company releases its second implementation of the programming language, this time FORTRAN-80 , priced at $500 per individual license, plus OEM licenses become available.

September 13, 1977

Microsoft gets new computers from companies Commodore , Radio Shack and Texas Instruments

September 26, 1977

The company’s Albuquerque office expands with three more offices in the same building.

November 18, 1977

Company terminates exclusive MITS license for BASIC and announces microprocessor versions 8080 and Z-80

Number of employees and profit for 1977

Profit for 1977 was $381, 715 and the number of employees increased to 9.

Other events of 1977

  • Tandy Corporation announces TRS-80® Model 1 microcomputer that goes on sale for $600 with 4K memory;
  • Commodore Business Machines introduces the Personal Electronic Transactor (PET) computer;
  • Elvis Presley, the king of rock ‘n’ roll, dies;
  • Star Wars, the high-tech blockbuster from director George Lucas introduces the robots R2-D2 and C3PO.


April 11, 1978

Programming language implementation announced COBOL-80 for systems based on 8080, Z80 microprocessors and 8085 compliant to the 1974 ANSI standard.

November 1, 1978

The company opens ASCII Microsoft – first international sales office in Japan.

November 6, 1978

Microsoft announces Microsoft EDIT-80 – is a line oriented text editor with random access for 8080 and Z-80 based systems. EDIT-80 is the first editor with random line access to floppy disk files. [from translator: who can translate it better, suggest it].

December 1, 1978

The company presents Microsoft Macro-80 for the 8080 and Z-80. This 14K assembler becomes the fastest macro assembler on the market with 1000 lines per minute.

December 1, 1978

Microsoft announces compiler Microsoft FORTRAN-80 for TRS-80.

Number of employees and profit for 1978

Year-end sales revenues exceeded $1 million and totaled $1, 355, 655. The staff grew to 13 people.
* The coke bill of the Albuquerque office for the calendar year 1978 was $566.50.

Other events of 1978

  • Intel releases the 8086chip and begins the 16-bit microprocessor family;
  • Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee utters the phrase "information expressway" at a meeting with representatives of the computer industry;
  • Lewis Brown becomes the first child conceived outside the human body to be born in Britain;
  • U.S. bans chlorofluorocarbons chemicals, due to their threat to the ozone layer;
  • composition Shadow Dancing from Andy Gibb tops the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks.


January 1, 1979

The company moves its office from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Bellevue, Washington.

12 March 1979

M6800 version of Microsoft Basic is released.

April 4, 1979

The 8080 version of Microsoft® Basic becomes the first software to win the ICP Million Dollar Award.

June 18, 1979

The number of Microsoft BASIC installations for the Z80 and 8080 has reached over 200, 000. New version of the product for 16-bit microprocessor is released 8086

1 August 1979

Microsoft BASIC compiler versions for the 8080 and Z-80 CP/M systems were announced.

November 29, 1979

Services for the European market will expand with the opening Vector Microsoft the company’s new representative located in Gaasrod, Belgium.

December 1, 1979

For systems based on TRS-80 released Level III BASIC – is the most powerful BASIC implementation. This product was released by a new division of the company Microsoft Consumer Products

December 3, 1979

Microsoft produces the first CODASYL -compatible database management system for microprocessors.

Number of employees and profit for 1979

At the end of the year, profit on sales was $2, 390, 145. The number of employees increased to 28.

Other events of 1979

  • at the event West Coast Computer Faire VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program, is presented;
  • the first CD was created by companies Philips from the Netherlands and Sony From Japan;
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected prime minister of Great Britain;
  • Sony introduces first Walkman and shows the world that technology can be sophisticated and portable.

This article is based on the translation of the following articles from channel9.msdn.com:

In addition to the text, you can watch videos on these sites with material related to the topic.
To be continued.
PS: Microsoft photo for 1978, thanks egge
History of the Company,Part 2: 1977-1979

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