Microsoft has now been in the industry for more than 40 years. With such a long presence, much has been written about Microsoft, the windows history timeline and even about the captain of the ship Bill Gates himself. For those who are still curious to know more, we have managed to dug up some of the fun facts about Microsoft.
Following are 10 interesting facts about Microsoft we bet you didn’t know about:
1. The Name was “Micro-Soft”
The first ever mention of the word “Microsoft” was mentioned in a letter written by Bill Gates to his fellow co-founder Paul Allen. Gates intentionally wrote the word Micro-soft considering a portmanteau of “microcomputer” and “software”.
Mislaying its hyphen, Microsoft got its identity on November 1976 when it was officially registered at New Mexico where Bill Gates and Paul Allen were working with their first customer MITS. Microsoft relocated its HQ to Redmond, Washington in 1986.
Microsoft has made changes in the logo several times. The current “pac-man” logo was introduced in 1995. Until then the “blibbet” logo (shown above) was being used by Microsoft. The stylized “o” in the logo was taken from the name of a burger served in the Microsoft company cafeteria.
2. Brian Eno is the Man Behind the Famous Microsoft ‘Sound’
The six-second start up sound of Windows 95 was made from the musical mind of Brian Eno. The pioneering musician said that he found making the short piece of music funny and amazing just like making a tiny little jewel. Eno has also composed the music for the computer game Spore.
See Also: Windows 1o Review
3. The Favorite Food in Microsoft Campus is Pizza
Not like Google’s TGIF(Thank God It’s Friday) where company honchos meet directly with the employees over a drink, Microsoft too offers free beverages. More than 23 million beverages are downed on the corporate office each year.
Coming to the food, Microsoft has 35 cafeterias( you can spot one above) serving over 35,000 people each day and pizza charts the top. Free candies are also made available for Microsoft staffers.
4. Product Codenames
Microsoft likes to work on its product under codenames. Eventually, Bill Gates was willing to launch Windows under the name “Interface Manager” but then an employee persuade him from doing so. Product names a while seem to have Midwest geographic bent, some of the past codename includes “Lone Star”, “Vienna” and “Longhorn”.
5. An Average Microsoft Employee is Called “Softie”
Microsoft’s Software employees view themselves as ‘softies’. Rumors are that an average softie gets a starting average salary up to $106,000. Microsoft currently employs 88,180 employees working across 32,404,796 square feet of Microsoft’s premises. The male to female ratio among Microsoft is 76-24%.
6. Microsoft Loves Candies!
All companies, big or small have a small in-house tradition. Microsoft is too not an exception. At their hire date, Microsoft employees celebrate their employment anniversary by taking a pound of M&Ms to work. This means Bill gates have turned up with 33 pounds of M&M till 27th June 2008 (If he observed the tradition).
7. Microsoft Asks Strange Interview Questions
Microsoft has a stature of asking strange questions in the job interviews. One of the most off-beat question is Why a Manhole Cover is round? It’s certainly true that Microsoft employees are unusual and have a forward thinking interview process. Instead of asking questions like where do you see yourself in next 5 years? you can be bombarded with questions that will force you to think logically. Questions like Design a coffee maker that will be used by astronauts may be asked or you may be likely to solve a puzzle. The main intention behind this process is to find candidates that can think creatively. Rumor says that Google also have imitated this style.
8. Microsoft is Among the Top 5 Patent Holders in the US
Microsoft is one of the top patent owners in the US. Microsoft holds over 10,000 patents and files around 3,000 per year. Although most of them are software related, the 5000th and 10,000th were consumer friendly and easily understandable ideas. The 5000th was for Xbox 360 games that let people watch game remotely while the 10,000th was for Microsoft surface.
Microsoft also rewards their employees for holding a patent. The reward includes a bonus of $1500, a wooden plaque and a decorative black cube that features their names as well as title and date of the patent.
9. Microsoft has Huge Collection of Artwork
One of the most interesting facts about Microsoft is that it has huge collection of artwork. The giant company feels that artwork can reduce stress and helps increase productivity of the staff. Microsoft collects artwork from local artists, upcoming artists and also from renowned artists. With an collection of over 5,000 contemporary pieces including painting, sculptures, paper work, photographs and multimedia works, Microsoft is one of the largest corporate collector of artwork.
10. Microsoft Stock has Split Nine Times
The last fact about Microsoft is about its stocks. Microsoft went public on 13th March 1986. Since then, the firm has split its stock nine times. In simple terms, a company will split its stock only when its stock price becomes too high. Initially, Microsoft’s stock for public offering was $21 a share but now the one original company share would now be equal to 288 shares today.
Some Bonus Interesting Facts About Microsoft that you May Like
- The Microsoft campus is full of bunnies. It goes like this, one day someone brought bunnies to the Microsoft campus, soon one led to another and there were large group of reproducing rabbits and now bunny proliferation is a long-term issue in the Redmond campus of Microsoft. According to an article in Seattle Times, the Redmond Rabbit Problem was not limited to Microsoft campus but also affected Nintendo, Eddie Bauer and other campus areas.
- Microsoft began manufacturing hardware back in 1983. The first hardware to get its shape was MS mouse 1.0.
- One interesting fact about Microsft is that it never sells a software. It Licenses its software and enjoys full retaining rights. Buyers have to pay for the license and then have to use it, a system developed by Bill gates.
- Kinect, a motion-sensing X-box controller developed by Microsoft scans the skeletons to identify players.
- Before marrying to the then Top Honcho Bill Gates, Melinda Gates was working for an ill-fitted software for Microsoft, called Bob. The program not only flopped but is considered one of the worst software ever made by Microsoft.