Tomorrow marks Microsoft's official 40th anniversary. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started their tiny company on April 4th, 1975, setting up shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the home of MITS, makers of the Altair 8800 computer. Their little company produced a BASIC interpreter for the Altair, which they demoed to MITS in March of 1975 and officially started Microsoft shortly thereafter.
Fast forward a few years and more than a few billion dollars later, and Microsoft is about to begin its 40th year in what may be its most ambitious, and scariest period in a long time. Microsoft is placing big bets on Windows 10 and Universal Apps, in an attempt to win back some of the cachet it's lost by missing on mobile, on tablets, and in search, three of the biggest tech industries powering the landscape today.
In an email to company employees today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who still has a role in the company as a technical advisor to CEO Satya Nadella, spent more time talking about the future than the past. Citing the likes of Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens, Gates said that Microsoft has "the resources and drive to solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing, and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry".
Gates points out that the technology landscape is still changing quickly, with computing evolving faster now than it ever has before, to where, "in a multi-platform world, ... computing will become every more pervasive".
Indeed, although tech pundits have been quick to declare winners and losers, Microsoft may well yet find itself positioned well for the next generations of computing, even though it missed a cycle or two. It's one of only a handful of companies able to deliver on mass-scale cloud storage, and is pulling its cross device and cross platform act together.
Will Cortana and Windows 10 and the next generation of Lumia devices be enough to propel Microsoft into this new multi-platform world?