Microsoft was founded in 1975 by William H. Gates III and Paul Allen. The pair had teamed up in high school through their hobby of programming on the original PDP-10 computer from the Digital Equipment Corporation. In 1975 Popular Electronics magazine featured a cover story about the Altair 8800, the first personal computer (PC). The article inspired Gates and Allen to develop a version of the BASIC programming language for the Altair. They licensed the software to Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the Altair’s manufacturer, and formed Microsoft (originally Micro-soft) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to develop versions of BASIC for other computer companies.
Microsoft’s early customers included fledgling hardware firms such as Apple Computer, maker of the Apple II computer; Commodore, maker of the PET computer; and Tandy Corporation, maker of the Radio Shack TRS-80 computer. In 1977 Microsoft shipped its second language product, Microsoft Fortran, and it soon released versions of BASIC for the 8080 and 8086 microprocessors.