Although Apple’s corporation claims to have nearly monopolized the PC business with its ever-increasing sales, the company still dominates much of the competition. To celebrate Microsoft’s 40th year in business, here are five fast facts about the company.
Number Five: Microsoft was offered YouTube first. Before the world-changing partnership between Google and YouTube emerged, Microsoft was actually offered the acquisition for a mere 500 million dollars, nearly half of what Google ended up paying.
Number Four: The M&Ms Tradition. The people at Microsoft must have a sweet tooth, because a tradition throughout the company is for employees to bring a pound of M&Ms into work on the anniversary of their hire date. On the second anniversary of their hire date, employees are supposed to bring two pounds of M&Ms into work, and so on. If Bill Gates follows that tradition, he would need to bring forty pounds of M&Ms to work with him.
Number Three: Microsoft wasn’t originally called Microsoft
Microsoft was originally a hyphenated word. Micro-Soft was the original name, which was created by Bill Gates’ partner Paul Allen. Allen came up with Micro-Soft at a club that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak attended as well. The reason Allen fell in love with the name was because of the microprocessor that had just been released – he wanted to create software for it. “Software for Microprocessors” became the goal of the company, so by using a play on words, Microsoft came to be.
Number Two: Employees call themselves “Softies.” Softies are what the average employees call themselves, and sadly their demographics are primarily middle-aged, male developers who get paid six-figure salaries. With nearly 90,000 employees, the average male to female ratio is very upsetting, with 76% of employees being male.
Number One: The Mike Rowe Lawsuit. Yes, many companies will quickly jump on people for copyright infringement, but the company went too far in 2004. A seventeen-year-old boy named Mike Rowe thought it would be clever to make a domain named MikeRoweSoft.com, which made Microsoft angry; the company actually threatened to sue if Rowe did not take the site down. Rowe asked for a settlement if he was being forced to take it down, and they offered him ten dollars, making them seem like even worse people. With the company in bad limelight, the company reimbursed Rowe and offered him a visit to the company headquarters, free Microsoft training, and an Xbox with a selection of games.