Apple & Microsoft History – How it all Began

old-pcNormally I don’t write about movies in my blog, but this one is special. Last night I saw a made-for-TV movie called Pirates of Silicon Valley, which tells the story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their respective companies, Apple and Microsoft. The movie concentrates on the early history of Apple and Microsoft, specifically the establishment of the two companies, the creation of the personal computer and the beginning of the rivalry between the two.

The movie is based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Story of the Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine. Even though the movie didn’t have a big budget and very famous actors – you may have heard about Anthony Michael Hall and Noah Wyle though – it looks great and it’s very interesting. More importantly, it is quite accurate.

It is made partly as documentary – the actors who portray Bill’s and Steve’s friends narrate the history in interview style – and partly as a regular movie. They call this a docu-drama.

I am not going to rewrite the plot or give it my rating, but I will tell you a few things I found out from this movie just to make you curious:

  • Apple was already a successful company before Microsoft made it big with their Windows operating system.
  • Steve Jobs was not a very nice man, especially to his employees. He made them work 90 hours per week.
  • Bill and Steve first met at a science fair in the 70s where Steve presented his first Apple computer. Steve snubbed Bill when he first saw him, because Bill was a nobody at that time :).
  • According to the movie, Bill borrowed Apple’s prototype computer, investigated its new graphic operating system, changed it and sold it as Windows. As we all know Windows became more popular and widely used around the world.
  • Bill made a great business decision by selling his operating system to IBM while retaining ownership. He was able to sell his system to other companies as well.
  • Steve jobs was fired from his own company in 1985, before returning in 1997.
  • Bill Gates was the richest man in the world when this movie was made.
  • Microsoft now owns a part of Apple.

It is interesting to see just how two nerds changed the world with one invention – the home computer – and became very rich in the process.

I definitely recommend this to all the nerds, computer geeks and everyone who is interested in knowing how we got to have these nice computers in our homes.

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