Microsoft signs contract with IBM to create MS-DOS
6th November 1980
On 6 November 1980, Bill Gates signed a contract on behalf of Microsoft to create an operating system for IBM's new PC.
Rather than create the new operating system from scratch, Microsoft bought existing software, 86-DOS, from Seattle Computer Products and hired the author, Tim Paterson. 86-DOS was used as the foundation for Microsoft's operating system, which was released as MS-DOS and licensed first to IBM. In the following 12 months, Microsoft licensed MS-DOS to more than 70 other companies.
The revenues that resulted from licensing MS-DOS to multiple companies proved to be decisive turning point in Microsoft's fortunes, enabling them to evolve from a modest programming language company to a software industry leader.
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