Microsoft turns forty years old today

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It’s April the 4th today and that means Microsoft is now a forty-year-old company, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 195, when Allen was 22 and Gates was just 19.

Microsoft is forty years old today

This week has seen a flurry of speculation about Microsoft’s future and questions about where the Redmond-based company will take Windows 10.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen

Microsoft’s Azure Chief Technology Officer Mark Russinovich said that open-sourcing Windows could even be a possibility – according to comments that he made at a panel at this week’s ChefCon conference.

Despite his “definitely possible” response to a question whether Microsoft may ever open-source Windows, it seems pretty unlikely that the company would ever go as far as that. Microsoft may in fact open source more bits of Windows, the way that it’s currently doing with “.Net”, but not all of the operating systems tangled web of code.

Having said that, it’s never a good idea to say never about what Microsoft may plan to do. And in recent times, it seems to even be persuading people that left in years gone back to come back. For example, Jeff Sandquist from Twitter, and Ian Ellison-Taylor from Google.

The company has made some massive organisation changes in the last few years too, starting with its “One Microsoft” moves that seem to be having positive effects on the company. Its decision to focus on its productivity software and services rather than trying to be Apple or Google is something that many people have overlooked.

Microsoft’s future?

Bill Gates MicrosoftThere is of course the question over how Microsoft plans to make money as it releases more of its products and services for free. But that’s not the only issue that it faces.

Will the new ‘universal apps’ focus help it boost market share, especially in mobile where it lags a very long way behind leaders Google and Apple. Microsoft is also developing its new HoloLens augmented reality product – though it could easily go the way of Kinect and remain very niche.

Perhaps its biggest challenge will be to convince consumers that Microsoft is a loveable company and operating system – whatever transpires, the next ten years will be prove very interesting for Microsoft, and it will be very different from the past few decades…

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