Microsoft is a leader in the manufacture and development of goods, licensing, and services that are related to computing. It was founded by Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen (Bellis, 2013). Because of Gates’ passion for computers, he dropped out of law school from Harvard in 1973. In 1975, the duo would rewrite Altair’s BASIC programming language for MITS and this would inspire Gates and Allen to establish their own company, which they named Microsoft. Established on April 4, 1975, Bill Gates would become the company’s first CEO (Bellis, 2013).
Today, it is undeniable that Microsoft has made a great impact on the lives of people. For one, the PC (personal computer) has greatly changed the computing industry by making computing capabilities acceptable to home users (McDonough, 2009). Although other computing devices, such as Macbooks, laptops, and tablets, are now popular, it can be said that all of these were developed as enhancements to the PC, meaning that the PC started this computing revolution. Even to this day, there are still many home and office users that use the PC. In addition, a recent poll in France indicated that seven out of ten people considered Microsoft to have done more to change the world than Apple (Gobry, 2011). This could probably be because a lot more people still use Microsoft products over Apple products and because the personal computer is still used by many people.
Another way that Microsoft has made an impact on the lives of people is with Microsoft Windows, which has now become the standard operating system, that is, most companies would have MS Windows as the default operating system in their employees’ workstations. Similarly, even most mobile devices would come with MS Windows installed.
Although Apple was responsible for initially making the PC viable to consumers, it was the MS Windows operating system that was compatible with any computer that had an IBM architecture. This enabled computer users to assemble their own PCs. It was unlike the Mac computer, which was self-contained. Today, everyone is familiar with the Windows OS. Its user-friendly interface also enables users to easily learn to use and navigate around the OS, making them easily adapt to each new version that comes out. Also, it is because of this familiarity that most people have with the Windows OS that most companies use it. This reduces the learning curve that their employees would otherwise need to go through and this would also eliminate the need for providing employees with training o how to use their computers, together with the applications installed inside it.
As well, the Microsoft Office suite has become a part of people’s everyday lives. Although Microsoft did not develop the first word processor (McDonough, 2009), they developed the most successful one. Furthermore, with the development of the other Office applications, users are provided with capabilities for their data processing needs, such as the creation of spreadsheets, presentations, and web pages among others. Today, every office or home computer is mostly equipped with Microsoft Office and there’s almost no one who doesn’t know how to use the Microsoft Office applications. Their use has become an important part of people’s lives, whether it is a student who uses Microsoft PowerPoint to do their homework; an accountant who uses Microsoft Excel to create a balance sheet; or a mother who uses Microsoft Word to write an excuse letter for her preschool child.
If compared to the applications that people used prior to the development of the MS Office applications, it can be seen that these applications have indeed provided users with more convenience and more ease when it comes to the completion of their computing tasks. For example, prior to the release of Microsoft Word, people were using DOS-based applications, such as WordPerfect or WordStar. With these applications, users had to remember the keyboard commands for even the simplest tasks, such as copying and pasting. It could become quite frustrating when the users forget the command for a certain function. In contrast, with MS Word, users can simply click the commands they want to perform. Similarly, prior to MS Excel, people used applications, such as Lotus 1-2-3, which was another DOS-based application. In this application, all the commands had to be accessed with the use of the keyboard, which slowed down the process of creating a spreadsheet. On the contrary, using Microsoft Excel is so much easier and provides users with more options, such as the use of colors. Although Lotus 1-2-3 was popular during its time, the Lotus 1-2-3 users didn’t hesitate shifting to MS Excel once it came out. As well, prior to the release of MS PowerPoint, users would use applications, such as Freelance Graphics and Harvard Graphics, for creating individual pages, which they printed out on transparency films (Stolts, 2010). The transparency films would then be displayed on the projector one by one. Evidently, the use of PowerPoint has made this entire process so much easier.
Finally, with Microsoft being the “first big viable software company” (Gobry, 2011), they have paved the way for many other software innovators. Although there was no assurance in the beginning that Microsoft can become a viable company just from making software, they have proved that it is possible, which has opened the field to more creative minds.
It is clear that Microsoft has made a huge impact on the lives of people. Since the company’s inception in the 1970s, Microsoft has consistently been an innovator in the field of computing. From the PC revolution to the predominance of Windows and Microsoft Office, not only in people’s homes but also in the corporate world, Microsoft has managed to make its products a part of people’s everyday lives, whether in the performance of serious tasks, such as work or school tasks, or for the purpose of entertainment, such as in playing games or web browsing.
There is no doubt that Microsoft will continue to be a key player in the computing industry. They will surely continue to come up with new innovations that make the lives of people easier, more convenient, more productive, and more fun.
Bellis, M. (2013). Microsoft - History of a computing giant. Retrieved from
Gobry, P-E. (2011, September 8). Yes, Microsoft did change the world more than Apple.
Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/yes-microsoft-did-
McDonough, M. (2009, August 14). What's the social impact of Microsoft? Retrieved from
Stolts, D. (2010, August 25). Microsoft changes our world through innovation. Retrieved from