15 Fast Facts About Microsoft
At first, they operated a small shop called "Traf-O-Data" and sold a computer that counted traffic for the city of Seattle. They were teenagers then, but they would eventually go on to create something far, far larger: Microsoft. Those founding teenagers, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, were inspired by an issue of Popular Electronics to create the Altair BASIC interpreter as Microsoft's first product in 1975. Today, Microsoft Office, the Windows operating system, Bing, Xbox 360, MSN, the Microsoft Surface tablet, Windows Phone and countless other products are now associated with the brand. And while former CEO Gates has clearly established himself as one of the world's most driven philanthropists, he and his company have weathered a flurry of extensive controversies—most notably the federal antitrust civil case in the 1990s, which was settled in 2001. Tech powerhouses such as Apple and Google may have upended the company as far as tech "star power" goes, but Microsoft still commands a great many headlines with its continued pursuit of innovation. Here are some recent "fast fact" developments.