Issue 6.12 | Dec 1998
The Rise and Rise of the Redmond Empire
3/13/86 A market phenomenon is born: The 11-year-old company's IPO raises $61 million as MSFT rises from $21 to $28 on opening day.
3/13/86 Opening day MSFT investment = $1,000
1986 Revenue $197.5 million; 1,153 employees
4/2/87 The company announces MS OS/2 and Windows 2.0.
7/30/87 Microsoft acquires Forethought, the developer of PowerPoint.
9/8/87 The company ships its first CD-ROM application, MS Bookshelf.
9/21/87 MSFT stock (at $114.50) splits two for one.
10/6/87 Microsoft announces its first Windows application: Excel.
10/19/87 The Crash of '87: The Dow falls 508 points in a single session. (MSFT falls 30.12 percent.)
1987 Revenue $345.9 million; 1,816 employees
3/17/88 Apple files suit against Microsoft, alleging copyright infringement in the Windows GUI.
April 1988 Microsoft surpasses Lotus to become the Number One software vendor.
1988 Revenue $590.8 million; 2,793 employees
6/5/89 Microsoft creates its Multimedia Division.
11/13/89 IBM and Microsoft expand their partnership, agreeing to develop software for MS-DOS, MS OS/2, and MS LAN.
12/27/89 Jon Shirley announces his retirement as president and chief operating officer.
1989 Revenue $804.5 million; 4,037 employees
4/2/90 Michael Hallman is appointed to fill Shirley's posts.
4/16/90 MSFT stock (at $120.75) splits two for one.
5/22/90 Windows 3.0 is launched.
June 1990 The FTC launches a probe into possible collusion between Microsoft and IBM.
9/17/90 Microsoft launches a Windows print ad campaign.
1990 Revenue $1.183 billion; 5,635 employees
1/9/91 Excel 3.0 is announced.
6/27/91 MSFT stock (at $100.75) splits three for two.
Investment value 6/30/91 = $14,598
1991 Revenue $1.843 billion; 8,266 employees
3/1/92 Hallman steps down from the presidency and is replaced by a multimember "office of the president."
6/15/92 MSFT stock (at $112.50) splits three for two.
1992 Revenue $2.759 billion; 11,542 employees
3/22/93 Microsoft Encarta ships.
5/24/93 Windows NT launches.
8/20/93 The FTC closes its antitrust action against Microsoft. The Justice Department opens an antitrust investigation.
8/24/93 A federal judge dismisses Apple's copyright complaint; Microsoft prevails in appeals that last through 1994.
Investment value 7/31/91 = $15,750
1993 Revenue $3.753 billion; 14,430 employees
5/23/94 MSFT stock (at $97.75) splits two for one.
6/28/94 Microsoft acquires Softimage, a digital-video concern.
7/15/94 Microsoft enters into a federal consent decree with the Justice Department, agreeing not to use its desktop OS monopoly to gain advantage in new business sectors.
9/8/94 Windows 95 is announced.
10/13/94 Netscape releases a beta of its first browser.
10/13/94 Microsoft announces its intent to merge with Intuit, a leading maker of personal-finance software.
11/8/94 Procter & Gamble's Robert Herbold joins Microsoft as its COO.
11/14/94 The "Where Do You Want to Go Today?" ad campaign débuts.
1994 Revenue $4.649 billion; 15,257 employees
1/7/95 Microsoft Bob is announced.
3/22/95 DreamWorks SKG and Microsoft form DreamWorks Interactive.
4/27/95 The Justice Department challenges the Intuit merger.
5/20/95 Microsoft and Intuit abandon merger.
Investment value 6/30/95 = $58,097
8/24/95 Windows 95 ships.
11/24/95 Bill Gates's The Road Ahead hits stores.
11/27/95 Internet Explorer 2.0 ships.
12/6/95 IBM licenses Sun's Java; Microsoft follows suit the next day.
12/7/95 Microsoft announces its Internet strategy.
12/14/95 Microsoft and NBC announce a partnership to create MSNBC.
1995 Revenue $5.940 billion; 17,801 employees
2/15/96 Microsoft's Interactive Media Division is created.
3/12/96 The company announces ActiveX Technologies.
6/24/96 The online magazine Slate débuts.
7/15/96 MSNBC débuts.
12/3/96 Microsoft's Executive Committee is formed, replacing the Office of the President.
12/9/96 MSFT stock (at $152.88) splits two for one.
1996 Revenue $8.671 billion; 20,561 employees
4/6/97 Microsoft acquires WebTV.
6/9/97 The company invests $1 billion in cable TV operator Comcast.
7/21/97 Microsoft invests in RealNetworks, a streaming-video competitor.
8/6/97 Microsoft invests $150 million in Apple.
10/1/97 Internet Explorer 4.0 launches.
10/7/97 Sun sues, alleging that Microsoft is violating a licensing pact by creating a variant version of Java.
10/20/97 The Justice Department files a lawsuit alleging anticompetitive practices in forcing PC makers to bundle Internet Explorer onto Windows machines.
12/11/97 Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson orders Microsoft to offer a version of Windows sans Internet Explorer and sets a trial for May. The company appeals.
12/31/97 Microsoft acquires Hotmail.
1997 Revenue $11.360 billion; 22,276 employees
2/23/98 MSFT stock (at $155.13) splits two for one.
3/26/98 Office 98 for Macintosh is released.
4/9/98 Microsoft acquires Firefly Network.
5/18/98 The Justice Department, 20 states, and the District of Columbia file sweeping new antitrust suits. A trial is set for September and later moved back to late October.
6/15/98 Microsoft joins Compaq to invest in Time Warner's Road Runner cable-data venture.
6/23/98 The US Court of Appeals throws out Judge Jackson's December order.
6/25/98 Windows 98 launches.
7/21/98 Steve Ballmer is named president.
10/19/98 US v. Microsoft antitrust trial opens in federal court.
1998 Revenue $14.480 billion; 27,320 employees
Investment value 10/20/98 = $257,778