The first week of April is a time of celebration in the technological world: two tech giants celebrate their anniversary, and they are getting closer and closer to reaching half a century of existence. While the 1st of April marks Apple’s 47th birthday, the 4th of April marks the 48 years of Microsoft.
Apple and Microsoft are two of the world’s most influential companies. Almost fifty years after being founded, Apple revolutionised the era of personal computers and mobile phones and is constantly at the forefront of innovation. Simultaneously, Microsoft has paved the path for software development and is now one of the most recognised pieces of software that the world has ever seen.
The Year Was 1975: Microsoft Was Born
On the 4th of April 1975, the most influential software vendor in computing history was born. First established as Micro-Soft (deriving from the words microcomputer and software), the company was founded by Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen. Together, they converted the BASIC programming language, a popular mainframe, for use on the Altair systems, an early personal computer.
In 1980, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) asked Microsoft to produce the operating system for its first personal computer, but it was only in 1990 that the company deepened its position in operating systems with the release of Windows. Three years later, nearly 90% of the world’s personal computers ran on a Microsoft operating system.
Thus, by the mid-1990s, Microsoft had become one of the most powerful brands and profitable companies in American history. Today, it holds more than 1 billion devices running Windows 10 and Microsoft remains the dominant personal computing platform.
A Timeline of Microsoft’s Milestones
April 1975: Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
August 1981: IBM introduces the IBM PC, running Microsoft’s operating system.
May 1990: Microsoft launches Windows 3.0, marking its position in the operating system’s market.
October 2001: One of Microsoft’s most beloved operating systems, Windows XP, is launched.
November 2001: The first Xbox is launched, and it quickly reached second place in the video gaming market.
June 2011: Microsoft launches Office 365.
July 2012: Microsoft launches the Outlook.com webmail service to compete with Gmail.
July 2015: Microsoft launches Windows 10, the most popular Windows desktop operating system.
March 2017: Microsoft launches a new modern workplace communication suite, Microsoft Teams.
January 2023: In the era of artificial intelligence, Microsoft announced a new multi-year, multi-billion-dollar investment deal with ChatGPT developer OpenAI.
The Day Apple Was Founded
Founded during a time when technology was still in its initial stages, on the 1st of April,1976 Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne started Apple computers, thanks to Wozniak’s lifelong dream to build his own computer, more user-friendly and portable. On that day, 47 years ago, the group of three assembled a partnership agreement to develop and sell the Apple I personal computer. Two weeks after the company was formed, Ronald Wayne decided to sell his interest in the company.
Built by Steve Wozniak, Apple’s first product was the Apple I computer and it consisted of just a motherboard without a keyboard and monitor. The computer entered the market in June of 1976 for $666.66 and it was quickly followed by the release of the Apple II in June of 1977.
47 Years Later: Where It Is Now
In the years since its founding, the company has released groundbreaking computers, from the Apple I to the Macbook Pro. Under Steve Jobs’ leadership as CEO, Apple introduced the iPod, iPad, iPhone, iMac, and its own digital content retailer, iTunes. All these innovations revolutionised MP3 players, tablets, and smartphones.
In August 2018, Apple became the first public North American company to be valued at over $1 trillion. In January 2022, Apple became the first company to hit a $3 trillion market value.
Apple has gained a strong and loyal customer base by creating and selling high-quality and innovative products. Today, the company is one of the largest phone makers in the world and maintains a worldwide network of over 500 stores in 25 countries. Throughout the world, there are more than 1.5 billion Apple active users.
A Timeline of Apple’s Milestones
April 1, 1976: Apple is founded in Job’s family garage in California, and it went public in 1981 with Apple II.
January 1984: Apple grabbed the world’s attention with the introduction of the Macintosh computer.
August 1998: Steve Jobs revitalized Apple with the launch of the first iMac.
January and October 2001: Apple launches iTunes and the iPod.
March 2001: The technology built-in OS X was used in the software that powered the iPhone, the iPad, and the Apple Watch.
January 2007: Steve Jobs presented Apple’s first iPhone.
April 2010: Apple launched the iPad.
September 2014: The Apple Watch is launched.
September 2016: Apple’s AirPods offer a new type of wireless headphone.
September 2017: With a new innovative design, iPhone X is released in the market.
August 2018: Apple becomes the highest-valued company ever.
September 2019: iPhone 11 is released with game-changing cameras.
Apple and Microsoft are two tech giants that changed the world by being sources of innovation and technological foresight for almost five decades and they will most certainly continue to pave the path in the tech world. Happy Birthday, Apple and Microsoft!