1990 — July 25th: Microsoft Revenue Breaks $1 Billion
Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen with $3,000 earned from writing a version of the BASIC programming language for the Altair. While studying pre-law at Harvard, Bill saw an article for the Altair in a Popular Mechanics magazine and called the company to find out if they could use a programming language for their computer. They were interested, and Bill wrote half the code using Harvard computers. After flying to New Mexico to deliver the software he picked up the check from the company, but he held onto the copyright for his work. On July 25, 1990 Microsoft broke the $1 Billion mark in revenue.
Five years after selling the programming language, IBM knocked on Bill’s door asking if he had an operating system they could buy, and he said “Yes.” He quickly scrambled to find an operating system that someone else had created (DOS), bought the copyright and worked around the clock to customize it to meet IBM’s need. Ultimately delivering it at the last second. IBM never asked for the copyright.