Microsoft Is 40 and Fabulous, Thanks to These 40 People, Products and Moments

A look back at 40 memories that made Microsoft the company it is today.

With the release of Windows 10 and a new browser later this year (RIP Internet Explorer), Microsoft hasn't garnered so much excitement in a long time.

In honor of the Redmond, Washington, company's 40th birthday, here's a look at 40 of the people, products and moments that helped define Microsoft's first four decades.

2. Paul Allen - The other half of Microsoft, Allen told Fortune Magazine in 1995 that he was responsible for suggesting the company's name when he and Gates first went into business together.

3. Microsoft’s first product: Software for the Altair 8800. By 1978, year-end sales had topped $1 million.

4. Getting a deal to provide a DOS Operating System for IBM's computers in 1980 was a huge moment in Microsoft history, positioning the company as a software leader.

5. On Nov. 20, 1985, two years after the initial announcement, Microsoft ships Windows 1.0.

6. Gates and Allen took their company public in 1986 with IPO shares priced at $21.

7. Microsoft Office for Mac is released in 1989.

8. Windows 3.0 ships in 1990, ushering in the era of graphics on computers.

9. Windows 95 launches in 1995, selling an astounding 7 million copies in the first five weeks, according to Microsoft.

10. Windows 95 is also the first time the start menu, task bar, minimize, maximize and close buttons are introduced on each window.

11. "The Internet Tidal Wave," a 1995 memo written by Gates, calls the Internet "the most important development since the advent of the PC." That Bill Gates turned out to be right.

11. As the Internet exploded, Microsoft came out with its first browser, Internet Explorer, in 1997, thus beginning a love-hate relationship until its death in 2015.

12. Gates stepped aside as CEO in 2000, giving Microsoft its first new leader in the company's 25-year history.

15. In August 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP. The interface was pretty and allowed people to burn music (here's my playlist, bro) and is remembered as one of the more important Windows updates.

16. Speaking of Windows, it was pretty genius of Microsoft to begin bundling Word, PowerPoint and Excel together beginning in 1990, setting the standard for offices everywhere.

17. Microsoft's bet on PowerPoint was a winner. The company acquired the program for $14 million from Forethought Inc. in 1987.

18. There were embarrassing moments too, though. Like when Excel had a multiplication bug in 2007.

19. The U.S. Department of Justice accused Microsoft of being a monopoly and in 1999 a judge agreed. That ruling was later vacated and Microsoft settled the antitrust case.

20. You don't go 40 years as a multi-billion dollar company without having your share of headaches. In 2008, the European Union slapped a record fine of $1.3 billion on Microsoft for anti-competitive behavior

21. Microsoft Internet Explorer has suffered its share of an image problem. An alert from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team warned users in 2004 that holes in the browser could lead to their passwords and other personal information falling into the hands of hackers. Microsoft rolled out a fix, however, security issues continued to snowball.

22. Microsoft this year announced it would be releasing a new and improved browser, Project Spartan, effectively killing off the oft-maligned Internet Explorer.

24. Later on, of course, Apple would thrive and grew into the world's most valuable company while taking shots at Microsoft along the way. Who can forget those iconic "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" commercials? They didn't do wonders for Microsoft's image.

25. Sure Microsoft went through an era of not being cool, but let's get nostalgic for a moment and remember the joy that was Microsoft's Clipart collection -- long before it was easy to integrate photos.

26. Let's not forget Clippy, the paperclip assistant in Windows who was always there to help.

27. Microsoft bought video and messaging service Skype in 2011.

28. Since then they've done some pretty cool projects with the service, including Skype Translator, which was showed off last year. The program lets people who speak two different languages seamlessly communicate.

29. Windows 8 was released in 2012 with a radical design overhaul featuring tiles and provoking a love-it-or-hate-it response.

30. With everyone owning a smart device, Microsoft got into the game too with its Windows Phone operating system.

31. Microsoft took the mobile push even further in 2014 when it acquired smartphone maker Nokia.

32. Cortana, Microsoft's intelligent virtual assistant, made her debut last year and has quickly positioned herself as a sassier counterpart to Apple's Siri.

33. Microsoft's goal is to have a presence on all of your devices. The Office suite of apps came to iOS and Android devices free of charge last year. They quickly shot to the top of the charts in Google Play and Apple's app store and have been downloaded more than 80 million times, according to Microsoft.

34. Even though Bing only has a sliver of the traffic that Google receives, Microsoft really wants to be thought of as a place people turn to for search.

35. In the new millennium, Microsoft set its sights on joining an already crowded gaming market by releasing the first Xbox in 2001. Versions of the gaming console can be found in plenty of living rooms to this day.

36. Microsoft Studios established 343 Industries, which creates games, including the popular Halo franchise.

37. Speaking of games, Microsoft showed off HoloLens, its new virtual reality glasses, earlier this year. Imagine holographic Skype calls, playing a holographic video game in a world you're a part of, or using the glasses to virtually design a new product.

38. Windows 10, the operating system update that is so radical it prompted Microsoft to skip straight from Windows 8, will be coming to users later this year. It's the first Windows product in a while to generate huge excitement.

39. Satya Nadella, who completed his first year as CEO in February, has packed plenty of accomplishments into his freshman year -- from Windows 10 to Project Spartan to HoloLens. Dare we say he's also made Microsoft cool again?

40. Perhaps its biggest accomplishment of all: Microsoft has changed the way we work. Goodbye typewriters and fax machines!