Over the weekend, Microsoft, somewhat quietly, celebrated its 40th anniversary. Co-founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen back in 1975, Microsoft, of course, would eventually go on to become the de-facto standard in computer software thanks to the 1-2 punch of Windows and Microsoft Office.
In commemoration of Microsoft’s 40th year, Bill Gates recently penned a letter to Microsoft employees which touched on what the company has accomplished while also painting a rosy picture of what lies ahead.
The full email can be read below.
Tomorrow is a special day: Microsoft’s 40th anniversary.
Early on, Paul Allen and I set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. It was a bold idea and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible. It is amazing to think about how far computing has come since then, and we can all be proud of the role Microsoft played in that revolution.
Today though, I am thinking much more about Microsoft’s future than its past. I believe computing will evolve faster in the next 10 years than it ever has before. We already live in a multi-platform world, and computing will become even more pervasive. We are nearing the point where computers and robots will be able to see, move, and interact naturally, unlocking many new applications and empowering people even more.
Under Satya’s leadership, Microsoft is better positioned than ever to lead these advances. We have the resources to drive and solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry. In my role as technical advisor to Satya, I get to join product reviews and am impressed by the vision and talent I see. The result is evident in products like Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens — and those are just a few of the many innovations that are on the way.
In the coming years, Microsoft has the opportunity to reach even more people and organizations around the world. Technology is still out of reach for many people, because it is complex or expensive, or they simply do not have access. So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices.
We have accomplished a lot together during our first 40 years and empowered countless businesses and people to realize their full potential. But what matters most now is what we do next. Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.
All in all, a solid letter from Gates. Indeed, with Satya Nadella at the helm, the company does, in fact, seem better positioned to succeed in what may very well be the most competitive tech landscape in history.
All that being said, it’s admittedly been easy to take shots at Microsoft over the years, but there’s never been a doubt that the company’s products have played an integral role in bringing computing to the masses. And for all you Apple fans out there, you might also recall how Bill Gates and co. helped Apple out of a financial bind with a $150 million investment.