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  • History of Microsoft — 1983

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    For Microsoft, 1983 means the end of an era with the resignation of Paul Allen, the introduction of MS – DOS 2.0 and the formation of Microsoft Press, a trade-book publishing division specializing in computer books.

    February 18, 1983
    Paul Allen resigns as Microsoft’s executive vice president, but remains on the Board of Directors.

    March 9, 1983
    Microsoft introduces MS-DOS 2.0.

    May 2, 1983
    Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Mouse, a low-cost, handheld pointing device for use with the IBM PC as well as any other MS-DOS-based personal computer.

    August 1, 1983
    The assets of Wiser Laboratories Pty, Ltd. of Australia, the local distributor of Microsoft products, are acquired. With the establishment of this subsidiary, Microsoft obtains a direct distribution network into the region. All of Wiser’s employees will be retained, and the firm will stay at its existing address. This is considered the company’s first acquisition.

    September 29, 1983
    Microsoft ships it’s full-featured word processing program, Word for MS-DOS 1.00 and provides a free demonstration copy to subscribers of The PC World Software Review.

    November 3, 1983
    Microsoft Press, a trade-book publishing division specializing in computer books, is formed. Nahum Stiskin is named General Manager and Publisher. The primary marketing focus is the business professional, with secondary emphasis on the hobbyist, home, and education markets. Microsoft Press expects to publish 30 to 35 books in its first year.

    November 10, 1983
    Microsoft unveils Windows, an extension of the MS-DOS operating system that provides a graphical operating environment. Windows features a window management capability that allows a user to view unrelated application programs simultaneously. It also provides the capability to transfer data from one application program to another. Windows wouldn’t actually ship until 2 years later.

    December 1, 1983
    The first international subsidiaries to connect to Microsoft e-mail are in Europe: Microsoft Ltd. in the U.K., Microsoft Sarl in France, and Microsoft G.m.b.H. in Germany.

    Other products released in 1983:
    BASIC Interpreter 1.0, Multi-Tool Budget 1.0, Microsoft Multiplan 1.1, Microsoft Sort

    Notable new hires:

    Jon Shirley – Former Microsoft president, chief operating officer, and director; Joachim Kempin – Former senior vice president of Microsoft’s OEM Division;Mike Slade -Former product manager, helped products such as Excel and Works to become household names and managed the entire line of Mac products;Pete Higgins – Former group vice president of the Interactive Media Group and member of the Office of the President;Raymond B. “Buck” Ferguson – Former senior director of Investor and Shareholder Relations;Bernard Vergnes – Chairman Emeritus of Microsoft EMEA.

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