Through the Golden Years of Microsoft


A picture speaks a thousand words, a fact I truly agree. While browsing through the internet, I came across a very interesting article relating to the history of Microsoft.

Below is a Picture of the company’s founders, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, taken in 1981. The picture has the duo surrounded by personal computers of that era.


That was then, but this is now! Fast Forward 32 years, and we have the recreation of the same picture, recreated at the Allen’s Living Computer Museum in Seattle.


Yes, even the computers are the same models, for the most part. Gates is in a pullover, Allen in a suit jacket. About the biggest difference, apart from the three decades, is that Allen is missing the beard and tie. Pretty awesome, isn't it? Amazing how some things can change, yet certain moments in history remain untouched.

In a similar fashion, there was another recreation of a photo from Microsoft History Pages.


Microsoft's founding employees gathered in 1978 to take a portrait before the company moved to Washington. Front row (left to right): Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, and Paul Allen. Middle row: Bob O'Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, and Gordon Letwin. Back row: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, and Jim Lane. Not pictured is Miriam Lubow.

This image taken in 1978, of the founding employees of Microsoft. Now,the bushy beards and big hair are gone, replaced with receding hairlines and streaks of gray.

For the first time in 30 years, 11 of Microsoft's 12 original employees got together to re-create a famous photo taken just before the company moved from its Albuquerque birthplace to the Pacific Northwest in 1978.

"Paul doesn't have his mustache," quipped Bill Gates at the April photo shoot at Microsoft's Redmond campus. "Facial hair is on the decline, I guess," answered Paul Allen.

Reshooting an image known for its young faces (and of course groovy outfits and far-out hair) gave the company's founders a chance to look back at what Microsoft has accomplished over three tumultuous decades. Everyone was there except Bob Wallace, who passed away in 2002.


Microsoft's original employees got together to reshoot the famous photo in April. Front row (left to right): Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Miriam Lubow, Marla Wood, and Paul Allen. Back row: Bob O'Rear, Steve Wood, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, Gordon Letwin, and Jim Lane. Not pictured is Bob Wallace, who has passed away.

The photo has gained a foothold in history for its look but also because "it's the only photo" from that era, explained Marc McDonald, who left Microsoft in 1984. He returned to work with Design Intelligence in 2000 and still works at the company.

For many in that original group, the photo is how they are most often recognized.

"It's iconic," Greenberg said. "It's taken on a life larger than any of ours, really."

For Allen, the photo brings back memories of what it was like to work at Microsoft in the beginning.

Come to think of it, one does not simply take a photograph, you make it.




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